Dear Idaho Organization of Resource Councils members and supporters, My name is Irene Ruiz, IORC’s new Executive Director. I am pleased to be able to take on this amazing opportunity with a great organization that has worked towards grassroots organizing to support Idaho’s communities around environmental and sustainability issues. A little bit about me. I am a first-generation daughter of Mexican immigrants who was born and raised in rural Idaho. I am also a former farmworker who has knowledge of how our agricultural system works. I moved to Boise, ID, to attend Boise State University where I received my Bachelors degree. I also have a Masters degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I have done advocacy work for over twenty years, focusing on immigrant, reproductive, racial, and climate justice.
I have been at IORC since 2018. I was hired to be the organization’s first Bilingual Community Organizer where I had the opportunity to do an assessment of Canyon County to see the need to organize Latinx communities around the issues we work with. Vision 2C Resource Council came out of this project and was kicked off in February 2020 right before the COVID-19 pandemic. I have learned so much these last five years and am excited to usher IORC in a new era where we will continue doing amazing grassroots work.
Our membership and supporters have always been on our minds through all the struggles and transitions we have been through the last few years. Especially this last year when we saw a sudden change of leadership. It has been a bumpy road where many hard decisions had to be made to ensure that IORC survived this transition period. IORC’s board of directors have been instrumental in ensuring that IORC was able to continue doing what it needed to do to survive as an organization. I want to give a heartfelt thank you for the dedication and service that I have seen from them. I would also like to acknowledge our parent network, The Western Organization of Resource Councils who provided much-needed administrative support and assistance to get us through this. IORC is lucky to have dedicated people who want to see us succeed.
As we look towards the future, we understand the need to start focusing on those who are directly impacted by climate change. IORC hopes that in 2024, we will be able to update our strategic plan to reflect our shift in the communities we serve in the next five years. IORC’s goal is to be an inclusive and diverse organization where we serve those who provide for us and sustain our food system as well as ways to continue sustainability issues such as renewable energy and regenerative agriculture. Our chapters and teams such as Portneuf Resource Council, Vision 2C Resource Council, The Ag/Food Team, and our newest service-based team the Idaho
Immigrant Resource Alliance. I truly hope you will continue supporting IORC as we enter this new decade and leadership transition. IORC has been here since 2012 and we hope to continue advocating and organizing for a healthy environment and community in Idaho.