BIO - the skeleton version.

      Ruth Musser-Lopez was drop kicked into politics and environmental activism in 1986, when as a federal archaeologist, she blew the whistle on the then-East Mojave Desert Bureau of Land Management manager who caused a stone age prehistoric site to be destroyed to make way for the new bureau office on Spike’s Road in Needles, California.  The manager refused to extend her appointment but not before she learned of his intent to permit a national nuclear dump over the pristine underground water aquifer in Ward Valley, a tributary to the Colorado River.     Concerned with the potential of radioactive contamination of Southern California’s water supply, Ruth wrote the first letter to the editor opposing the dump and  after a long struggle with the help of Gray Davis, Byron Sher, Tom Hayden, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein and Native American Tribes, she wrote and circulated with the assistance of many volunteers a voter initiative prohibiting the disposal of radioactive waste above desert area aquifers. The over 20,000 signatures on that voter initiative proved  instrumental in preventing the permitting of the dump project.  This was not to be Ruth’s last battle to protect desert water, as several years later there were  attempts by the Cadiz Corporation to privatize and heist the precious water supplying desert springs critical to the survival of desert wildlife, which had been “discovered” during the campaign against the Ward Valley nuclear dump.  The continued battle against the Cadiz Corporation’s plan to extract water at a rate 10 times that which can be recharged and convey it to coastal golf courses with man-made lakes, car washes and other unsustainable developments is Ruth’s inspiration for running for SD16 which includes both Cadiz and Ward Valley.  
      Born in 1953, Ruth was raised with her eight siblings on a family dairy farm at the border of Ontario and Upland.   She attended Vineyard Elementary, Imperial Jr. High, Chaffey High School, and Chaffey College.  In 1973-74, while her brothers served their draft terms, one in Viet Nam (who died of Agent Orange poisoning) she devoted a term volunteering at a Brethren in Christ mission in New York City and supported sending residents at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Home for Dependent and Neglected Children to support summer camp.  Returning to California, she attended UCLA and then graduated from UCRiverside in 1976 with a degree in Anthropology (Archaeology).  After working in the Archaeological Research Unit at the University, she moved to Oregon for a year while working on her first  publication about rock art discovered while her crew surveyed a trail near the giant Blythe Intaglios.  Musser-Lopez says her paper published in the Pacific Coast Archaeological Society Quarterly was likely what landed her the job with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), where she ran the cultural program for 8 years, worked with rangers, biologists, realty specialists, geologist, range conservations and conceived of and during the Carter Administration, initiated the original Archaeological Site Stewardship Monitoring program.
      She married Robert, a Native American in 1983, and after her  first child, Bobby Jess, was born, she stepped down to an intermittent role with the BLM due to no family leave time off and no child care facilities in Needles in 1984. At the time, she was no longer a permanent government employee and lost her tenured job protection.   It was during those two years that she blew the whistle on her Republican administration-appointed boss for building a BLM office on top of an important portion of the last standing remains of the Mojave tribe’s prehistoric village area without ever requiring professional data recovery and preservation. The Reagan appointee told the town to go pick up what they wanted of the artifacts.  This incident, along with the later environmental battles Ward and Cadiz Valley against Republicans gave Ruth a firm grasp of the importance of solidarity and supporting the values and platform of the Democratic Party.
      Ruth continues to battle for Democratic values. She was elected to the Needles City Council in 1993, was the “Top Dem” for California Senate District 16 in 2014, and Chair of the Inland Empire Region of the California Democratic Party Rural Caucus in 2015.  In 2017 she was appointed as the chair of the Rural Caucus Bylaws Committee where she wrote the procedures for ranked choice voting.  The chair of the California Democratic Party recognized Musser-Lopez’s commitment to Democratic Party causes by appointing her to the Organizational Development Committee in 2017 where she was assigned to assisting other caucuses develop and revise their bylaws.  
      Musser-Lopez supports peace and the right to healthy, happy and creative living for ALL; equal access to justice and the courts; art and music in public schools; planned parenthood AND an end poverty and homelessness;  humane treatment of animals; ending the privatization of our public hospitals and schools; state supported national public radio available on all major rural travel corridors/highways;  internet neutrality;  protections for personal choice including those surrounding reproduction and sexual preference; tuition free college and apprenticeships; living wage for all workers, 100% renewable energy; the end of mass incarceration; body cameras turned on worn by officers making arrests; decriminalization of cannabis use; repair of Route 66 in the East Mojave and other crumbling infrastructure; focus on coastal rain water runoff capture and other water recapture/recycling; end water privatization and heist schemes; single-payer healthcare/Medicare for ALL.

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