Elected to the House of Representatives in 1981, Mr. Ruiz was the youngest Hispanic legislator ever to be elected in State of Arizona, He served as a member of the Appropriations, Judiciary, Joint Legislative Tax, and Ways and Means Committees; and was also a member of the House Democratic Legislative Leadership, serving as chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee. In 1993 Mr. Ruiz became the Executive Director of the South Phoenix YMCA. In 1995 Mr. Ruiz became an executive assistant to the Republican Governor of the State of Arizona overseeing “Neighborhood Revitalization and Community Development.
In 1997 Mr. Ruiz founded MaryTown-Espiritu Community Development Corporation to form leaders from primarily low-income communities, so they could then transform their communities. He became the Chief Executive Officer-Servant Leader and had the primary responsibility of conceptualizing, coordinating, and fund-raising to establish the National Football League – Youth Education Town Center in Phoenix, Arizona. ESPIRITU was the successful recipient and had the responsibility of facilitating the partnership with the National Football League, the Arizona Cardinals, the local business community, the City of Phoenix, volunteers and parents to raise approximately $2 million in a capital campaign.