People in your neighborhood: Cecilia Ruesga

By Scott Carlson

As a member of the St. Anthony Park Community Council’s Transportation Committee, Cecilia Ruesga is leading a safety campaign for pedestrians and motorists.

What’s extraordinary about Ruesga? Cecilia, of St. Anthony Park, is 11-years-old, perhaps the youngest person ever to serve on a District 12 committee.

Cecilia has been concerned about pedestrian safety since she was a kindergartener and found it difficult navigating a crosswalk at the intersection of Raymond and Gordon avenues. Seems that she’s seen motorists too often rumble through the intersection without regard to walkers.

So, Cecilia, who attended St. Anthony Park Elementary, wrote letters about her experience to the District 12 council. A year ago, a member of the District council, Pat Thompson, invited Cecilia to come to a transportation committee meeting to share her concerns.

After attending a couple more meetings with her mother, Tara Smith, Ruesga accepted an invitation to join the transportation committee.

Cecilia, who will be a sixth grader this fall attending Southview Middle School in Edina, said joining the committee has been an educational experience. Smith noted her daughter is learning how to participate in civic activities and move an idea forward.

“The committee was very welcoming and supporting of her (Cecilia),” Smith said.

Cecilia’s next step in her safety campaign: Participate in distributing signs that publicize lower speed limits taking effect in St. Paul residential neighborhoods. She will be helping pass out “20 Is Plenty” yard signs at Tim & Tom’s Speedy Market from 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 12 and at the Hampden Park Co-op from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 13. (For further details, see Cecilia’s letter on our editorial page in this issue.)

When Cecilia is not involved with pedestrian safety, she spends time playing the flute, guitar and piano. Her career aspiration is to become a professional actress.

Know of someone who would be a good subject for “People in your neighborhood”? Send your suggestions to Scott Carlson at

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