Eva Ramirez Leader Spotlight

Eva Ramirez

 

How long have you lived in Long Beach?

20 years.

How long have you been involved with HLB?

I was involved from 2002—2004 and then again since May 2011.

Who is your role model?

I wouldn’t say I have one role model. When I see certain things I like in certain people I try to emulate those qualities. I get a little bit from the people I meet. I try to copy a little bit from everybody. Everybody has something to show me.

What is on thing you want to see changed in Long Beach?

I would love to see the cultures in the city more intermixed. It is so diverse here but you don’t often see people who are different interacting with one another.

How have you grown from your involvement with HLB?

I have learned to pay more attention to what the people in the community want. Before I was focused on what non-profit organizations can offer people through services but with HLB I have been watching to see how to reach the community strategically. I watch people more and think about how we can help them in a better way.

What leadership skills have you developed with your work with HLB?

I have learned how to reach out to the community through phonebanking.  Before coming to HLB I didn’t have experience phonebanking but now I am not only doing it myself but also leading others to phonebank as well.

What kind of work do you do with HLB?

I do pretty much everything! I phonebank, doorknock, enter data, help with giving presentations, attend legislative visits, plan and MC meetings.

What’s your favorite memory with HLB?

The day we went to City Hall for the Downtown Community Plan hearing.  I was cut off when I was at the podium during public comment. I stood up for myself and demanded that they give me my full time for what I had to say. I felt proud to say to them that the people that don’t speak English fluently need to be listened to. They need to make more time for people who don’t speak the language so that it can be interpreted as well.

How has your involvement impacted the city?

People take me more seriously now, both in the city and in the community. I also make an impact through my classes that I lead for women who want to learn cake-decorating skills. Through those classes we can talk about bigger issues in the community. I have seen people get more involved once they learn about the issues.

When did passion for social justice come alive?

My passion came alive a long time ago when I saw the things that were happening in my community.  I started at the school where my son Rudy attended. The school didn’t take into account the diversity from the community and didn’t help moms who needed more attention. They wanted to treat all the kids in the same way and act like they are all from this culture. They didn’t know how to manage my child who came from a different culture. I didn’t want my son exposed to that. I fought to ensure he got a well-rounded upbringing both in my home and at his school.