Ruth Georges was born in Haiti, raised in Florida, and moved to Boston last year to attend a graduate program at UMass Boston. Last month, the 30-year-old new Bostonian launched a new career as well: She joined Mayor Martin Walsh’s Office of Neighborhood Services, where she has been assigned the task of coordinating Mattapan and the Haitian community for Walsh’s office.
A former community organizer, this is Georges’s first professional experience in government, although she interned in the State Senate while attending UMass Boston’s Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy program. She started her role as a neighborhood coordinator on July 3.
“One of the first things I did was to reach out to neighborhood association presidents and executive boards and non profits and I sat one on one with them,” said Georges. The mayor’s marching orders, she says, are simple: “He communicated to me that Mattapan is a neighborhood he cares passionately about and he’s focused on whether Mattapan is receiving the services it wants.”
Historically, neighborhood coordinators in the mayor’s office have been assigned to cover blocks of the city that roughly match up with city council districts. In Georges’s case, she’s responsible for Mattapan and parts of Dorchester, along with the city’s still-growing Haitian immigrant base.
“Quite a bit of my responsibility is direct services and organizing in the Mattapan community,” said Georges. “I know the fall will be more involved, but I have started already to create that connection with the community.”
She has been arriving at meetings armed with a guide to city services that is published by the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians. She has found that many residents are not sure whom they should call when they have an issue. “My duty to make sure that the conversation is facilitated,” she said.
The advice that Georges has gleaned from resident she’s encountered so far? “Stay on the ground, stay active, attend the community meetings and one on ones. I make myself available and let them know that the mayor wants to be available, too.”
Georges can be reached via email at Ruth.georges@boston,gov or by phone at 617-635-2677.