Sylvia Ruiz

Director, Power Building Initiative


Sylvia Ruiz is the director of the Power Building Initiative at Roosevelt, leading organizing efforts for the project and focusing on collaborating with movement leaders and academic researchers.

As the director of Roosevelt’s Power Building Initiative, Sylvia is responsible for collaborating with organizers, movement leaders, and academic researchers to generate and disseminate new learning about the theory and practice of power building, including local base building, and how base building can address social, racial and economic inequities. She brings more than twenty years of experience working with low-income and low-income people of color through advocacy, electoral, union, organizing and strategic campaigns to this role.

Prior to joining Roosevelt, Sylvia worked at Community Change/Community Change Action on immigration and electoral issues. As the deputy director of immigrant justice campaigns at the ACLU she worked at the local, state and national level to protect immigrants. Prior to the ACLU, she was the Political Director of Let America Vote, an organization dedicated to winning the public and political debate over voter suppression laws.

As the director of hispanic paid media for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, Sylvia developed and implemented the primary and general election strategy for television, radio, mail, and digital advertising to engage and mobilize Latino voters. Prior to joining the campaign, Sylvia worked at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as the director of SEIU’s Immigrant Justice campaign to win immigration reforms; served as the director of the Airport Workers Campaign to raise standards and win union rights for contracted out airport workers; and as the political director for the Justice for Janitors, Security Officers, and property services workers’ union in California-SEIU United Service Workers West.

An immigrant from Guatemala, Sylvia was the first in her family to graduate college receiving her undergraduate degree in Government from Harvard-Radcliffe College and served as an elected county school board member in Sacramento.