Letter: Cathy Munoz ‘genuinely cares’ about people

As a friend and retired former staff member of Cathy Muñoz, I have personally watched her fight for the rights of countless victims and sought remedies for hundreds of people who have come to her for help when none other was found.

In my 30 years of legislative experience, I found that Cathy had a unique approach. In most offices, legislators work to help their constituents, but Cathy’s approach is to help all that call whether they be from Hoonah or Wrangell or anywhere else in Southeast Alaska. She genuinely cares in a very real way about people. It is that quality that I admire most. Her compassion and kindness inspired me as I watched how she treated people, truly listened, and then took action to help.

There were instances where Cathy demonstrated that caring by doing all she could to help rescue a kidnapped child who was in an abusive environment; when she gave funds from her own checkbook to help a struggling grandmother who was desperate to care for her grandchildren; when she worked with local organizations to see that young children living at St. Vincent De Paul could have an outdoor summer experience, since the only outdoor space was a parking lot where they were not allowed to play because of safety issues. She donated swim and bus passes so the parents could take them to the pool, and organized local groups to donate time at their camps such as Echo Ranch, 4H and others. In one case, she worked with the State Department when a young mother was separated from her children because of immigration issues. She has helped many people in the Filipino community to be reunited with families. Cathy’s tireless efforts on behalf of those in need are significant.

Cathy co-sponsored HB 44, Erin’s Law, which puts curriculum in all schools for sexual violence prevention and she put money in the budget for domestic violence funding. Her record of caring for and serving those who are victims is a strong one.

Like Cathy, my prayer is that the victims receive the counseling and healing that they desperately need. I hope that they are with people who truly love and care for them and that their lives get better every day.

Bonnie Gruening