President of Siesta Key Community
Lourdes has been an activist protecting Siesta Key's quality of life since 2001. She started as part of a small but determined group of neighbors to stop Sarasota County from creating small non-conforming size lots by dividing lots that conformed to the code. Although unsuccessful in that attempt, Lourdes pushed harder to protect Siesta Key from being overly developed. She joined as a board member of the Siesta Key's civic organization in 2003. By the time she left the board in 2011, she had served as president for 5 years. Among her accomplishments are:
Successfully fought Sarasota County from adopting new codes that would justify their illegal permitting of duplexes on lots zoned for single family homes. Lourdes used her own personal finances to pay for Siesta Key's civic organizations' legal fight against adding substantial density.
Reduced illegal rentals by ensuring those who violate the codes were reported to Sarasota Tax collector as well as closed loopholes that allowed certain illegal rentals to exist.
Ensured Siesta Key's zoning was protected when the county revamped the zoning code in 2003
After retiring from SKA, Lourdes continued to protect the quality of life. In 2011, after hearing the Florida legislature would allow short term, nightly rentals in residential single family neighborhoods, Lourdes worked with Sarasota County Commission to ensure Siesta Key's and Sarasota's prohibitions were unaffected by the new law.
Lourdes was a candidate for Sarasota County Commission in 2014. Although she was not elected in her first bid for public office, she is determined to continue serving the community by continuing her advocacy for environmental, neighborhood and fiscal responsibility of our government.
Lourdes in the News
August 5, 2014
'Jon Thaxton recalled when he was a county commissioner and Ramirez started showing up at meetings. She was learning issues very quickly, he said, and “you could tell she was not in it for her sake.”
“Lourdes would come to the table having better knowledge of the documents than almost anyone in the room. I mean, she would find typos embedded deep into the minutiae of the paperwork,” Thaxton said.'
Sarasota Herald Tribune
'Until she stepped down from the SKA board in March 2011, she said, “I think (density) was my No. 1 issue … I don’t believe you can squeeze (development) into every inch of a barrier island … I understand, because I lived in New York City. I didn’t move to Siesta Key to live in the same kind of environment'
Background and Awards
League of Women Voter's of Sarasota County, currently:
Chair, Speaker's Bureau
Chair, Programs Committee
Chair, Fundraising Committee
Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations
Board Member 2010-2015
Chair, Zoning Committee, 2010-2015
Citizen of the Year
April 12, 2006
'Those who know Lourdes Ramirez, who was elected at the association's annual breakfast last month, know she is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to zoning and her favorite barrier island. It's not so much her style but her knowledge.'
Sarasota Herald Tribune