A Maryland State Senator from January 14, 1987 to January 10, 2007, Senator Ida Ruben was a true leader for the body over her legislative tenure and a clear unsung heroine for the Maryland General Assembly.
Senator Ruben would come to politics in the 1970s. After her husband Leonard (a sitting member of the House of Delegates at the time) would be appointed to a judgeship in 1974, she successfully pursued his seat in the House of Delegates thus beginning a political career that would span some thirty-two productive years. Senator Ruben would serve in the House of Delegates from 1975 until 1987. Then in the 1986 elections, she’d be elected to the State Senate and stay there for five terms until leaving the body in 2007.
Her tenure in the General Assembly would be known for effectiveness and for her desire to meet the needs of those who were often unable to speak for themselves. She’d prove a champion for the issues of women, of children, and of public health and safety. Her legislative successes would include bills to fight domestic violence, to stiffen regulation and strengthen punishment for drunk driving, and to stop irresponsible tobacco sales. She’d also be known for efforts to bring State resources to Montgomery County including some $38 million in funding to the county for the revitalization of downtown Silver Spring.
Ruben’s legislative career would also be marked by numerous leadership positions. She’d serve as the Chair of the Montgomery County Senate Delegation (1989-2007), Senate Majority Whip (1995-199), and as the Senate President Pro Tem (the presiding officer of the Senate in the absence of the Senate President) from 2000-2007.
Ruben would leave Annapolis 2007, having served her community with unique distinction and having proved herself a true, yet often unsung, leader for the Maryland Senate.