Ruth is a lifelong resident of Washington State. She was born and raised in North King County and is a proud graduate of the University of Washington. After completing her BA, she graduated with a Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
Ruth’s career began as an intern with U.S. Department of Labor. Following a brief stint in Washington DC, she returned to Seattle to start a regional office for the Employment and Training Administration. She left her position after fifteen years to spend time with her young children and become more active in her community.
Over the next 15 years, Ruth served on many boards and commissions, including the King County Commission on Children and Youth, the Lake Forest Park Human Services Commission, and the Washington Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect which she chaired. She also chaired the Center for Human Services Board for several years, was active in Shoreline Breakfast Rotary, and served on the Shoreline Community College Foundation Board for 15 years.
Following years of involvement in the League of Women Voters, Ruth was elected vice president of the State League and led the League’s citizen lobbying effort in Olympia. In lobbying to improve childcare and foster care in Olympia, Ruth decided to run for office, where she could commit to herself to advocating on behalf of children. She was elected in 1998 and has served in the legislature ever since.
She currently chairs the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee. Nationally, she is the past-chair of the National Conference of State Legislature’s Human Services Committee. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Washington State Institute for Public Policy Board.
Ruth is the proud mother of five adult children and three adorable grandchildren. When she is not conducting legislative business, she owns and manages a small business. In her free time, Ruth loves hiking, spending time her garden, and, of course, playing with her grandchildren.