Ruth Williams, the City’s longest serving Public Safety Commissioner, suffered a series of small strokes over the weekend and is in a coma at Cedar Sinai. Concerned neighbors alerted her family.
Ruth was an active member of the Coalition of Economic Survival before the campaign to incorporate the City of West Hollywood. Early discussions about forming the incorporation campaign took place in her apartment on Lexington. Ruth was one of the forty candidates in the original campaign for City Council in November, 1984, after efforts to gather signatures to put the issue of incorporation on the ballot.
Ruth’s initial activism pre-dated the creation of the City. As a single mother of three small boys, she doggedly demanded that the County and the Sheriff’s Department clean up Plummer Park, which had become a haven for sex workers and drug sales. She organized her neighbors into what became the first Eastside Neighborhood Watch. Donny Cacy, the owner of the 7-11 on Santa Monica and Curzon was one of her early backers as Ruth recruited local businesses in her efforts to clean up the Eastside. Ruth was one of the few local figures know to the Board of Supervisors, as Supervisor Ed Edelman was an ally.
After West Hollywood became a City, Ruth served on the Rent Stabilization Board.
By the early 1990s Ruth had become a major force in West Hollywood having organized much of the Eastside to fight crime and insure public safety. She also served on the Board of Stonewall Democratic Club and was an active member of the West Hollywood Democratic Club.
In 1992, when faced with the West Hollywood Police Initiative, Ruth founded “Safe Our Sheriff” to counter that ballot measure. “Safe Our Sheriff” eventually became ACES, an organization committed to public safety and Ruth recruited many of the young gay men who had worked on the WHDP campaign into the new organization.
Maintaining a high profile in West Hollywood, Ruth ran for City Council again in 1999, but was edged out by John Duran.
Ruth served on the Public Safety Commission until 2021 and was one of the longest serving Commissioners on any City Board or Commission.
Ruth remained engaged even after retiring from the Commission. “Ruth was horrified by the vote of the Public Safety Commission to ‘de-fund’ the Sheriff’s budget, saying that a cut of ten deputies would put West Hollywood residents at risk”, said longtime friend and ally, Steve Martin. “Ruth told me she was anxious to get back into the fight to ensure the cuts never happened”.
Is there any update. If you a Jewish woman pray tehillim.
Hi Chloe, I assumed you found your answer, Please text me at 310-733-7388 and I can update you.
I have been emailing her and wondering why I have heard nothing back. I am a long time friend and nearby neighbor. I am devastated. Someone please contact me with more details and family info. Ruth and I have been friends – just as we all have been in WeHo, for over 30 years. I love her and cherish her. Please —anyone—contact me and tell me when and how this happened. I would be so grateful. I live in the building right behind her. I am at email@example.com. My heart is racing, but more than that my eyes are stinging.… Read more »
Chloe, this is one of Ruth’s sons. I emailed you my contact info.
Ruth! Fight! You can do this. We still need you. We got you too! Sending you love and light. xBrian
Praying for Ruth.
Dear Ruth, my heart aches to know you are ill. When you recover, and I know you will, you can count on me to help you in whatever you may need. Sending you love and healing thoughts.
Four days ago? Why did I NOT know. She is so dear to me privately and personally.
Thank you all for the well wises, Steven, Richard, Michael and the rest of Ruth’s family.
Mike…we have not ever met, but your mom and I have been close and close-by neighbors for over 30 years. And we have grown very close in the last few years. I am devastated. She has made me part of your family in a sweet and caring way. We are both sorta private friends – but the connection grew and grows. I am at firstname.lastname@example.org – because know you are very engaged in this sad situation, I do not expect info; but I am here and right behind her building and am at your beck and call. With love Chloe… Read more »
Sending love to Ruth and her family. She is a tireless fighter and I hope she will fight this! She is a good friend.
Ruth, our love powers are with you and your beautiful family as you endure this affliction.
Sending much love and good energy to Ruth and her family. Your work here is far from finished and l wish you a speedy recovery and return to that work!
I hope Ruth knows the far reaching impact she’s had on everyone who witnessed her in action..from her beginnings up to the new bourgeoning crop of civically engaged young leaders.
Much love and best wishes to Ruth, a real treasure of the community.
Ruth is not just an activist/commissioner and one of the few weho originals, but she is my dear friend. I look forward to her good health and one of our 2 hour conversations. Xo.