‘From 9/11 to City Hall’ — Ex-Firefighter Seeks El Barrio / Bronx Council Seat 

Democratic District Leader John Ruiz.(medianoche.us)

Democratic District Leader John Ruiz.(medianoche.us)

El Barrio Democratic district leader and 9/11 first responder, John Ruiz says he wants to be the first ex-firefighter elected to the City Council. He has branded his campaign, “From 9/11 to City Hall.”

On Monday, Ruiz announced his candidacy for the 8th District in the South Bronx and East Harlem. Ruiz also serves as co-District Leader with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who backs Diana Ayala as her replacement.

In a statement, Ruiz said dealing with his 9/11 related ailments “helped me to decide to be a voice that will fight for the safety and security of our city and to continue the work of James Zadroga and The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.”

In a break from his co-leader, Ruiz recently slammed Mark-Viverito and Ayala for supporting the Puerto Rican Day Parade committee’s decision to honor convicted terrorist, Oscar Lopez Rivera. 

“I am a proud New Yorker and proud Puerto Rican and I call on them to denounce this disgusting terrorist who has never renounced violence or shown remorse for his attacks on NYC,” Ruiz told the NY Post.

On May 19, Ruiz posted a YouTube video where he explained his reasons for wanting to run for city council. ” With the climate of terrorism today I believe New Yorker’s will appreciate my candidacy more now than ever! My name is John Ruiz and I am your 9/11 firefighter.”

Ruiz, a lifelong East Harlem resident, is a retired twenty-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department and a 9/11 first responder who spent weeks at Ground Zero. The murder of his son led Ruiz’s work as advocate against gun violence and street crime in El Barrio.

Ruiz touts himself as a pioneering public safety educator (aka “The Rappin’ Fireman”), artist, and political leader in his community, who understands the priorities and needs of the 8th Council District.

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