Ruth Debra has an on-line store on Ebay where she merchandises her political opinions on T-shirts, jewelry and flags. If you are looking to wear your politics you can adorn yourself with slogans like…. “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History”, “Black Lives Matters”, “Not My President” and other progressive thoughts.
Ruth is a throwback to another time in America when women locked themselves in the Ford plant and demanded to join unions and smashed up bars in protest of drunken men who beat their wives. She is a reincarnation of Howard Jarvis, the curmudgeon who was unrelenting in his fight to reduce property taxes in California which gave us Proposition 13 and Emma Goldman, the anarchist who shaped radical political thinking in American in the early 20th Century.
She is a working class activist from New York City in her 60’s who has spent her entire life marching, meeting and demanding equal rights for women and people of color. At a recent dinner she was casually asked what she had planned for the week. Her response was,” I’m going to the City Council meeting on Wednesday to demand the Mayor resign.” Well why not, it beats the movies.
To her friends she is a joy, to those who disagree with her politics she is like a cold shower in the dead of winter. She has lived in Palm Springs for the past 15 years and brings the lesbian community the kind of gadfly that is needed when you are looking for influence and respect.
The City Council in Palm Springs is made up entirely of people who can afford to take a job that pays almost no money. Ruth says poor people ought to be able to run for public office and get paid enough to live on. If anyone can make that happen she can. Ruth Debra is a breath of fresh air in a political climate where everyone is choking on the fumes of right wing dogma.