My name is Margarita Ortega. I am an American Indian and Latina grassroots organizer. Over the years, I have worked shoulder-to-shoulder with State Representative Karen Clark to craft environmental justice policies from the bottom-up to protect our Phillips community. I am thankful for the many years of service that Karen has given our residents and I have seen first hand the importance of electing a woman who can fight boldly for our families at the State Capitol. This is why I am announcing my candidacy for Minnesota House District 62A. I love South Minneapolis, it is home to my two daughters, my partner, my mother, and me. As the district with the highest concentration of American Indian families living in the urban core in the entire nation and one of the most diverse and dense communities in our region, I am the grounded and strong advocate that our neighborhoods need to win at the legislature.

Being born and raised in South Minneapolis, I have experienced and overcome the struggles of poverty and homelessness. As a descendent of the Redlake Nation, I have also overcome historical and generational trauma to stand up for our communities. Overcoming these challenges have made me a tested leader and a resilient voice for change. Stories of struggles like mine are far too common in our district. I believe we need a representative in the legislature who truly understands what it is to face hardship and to come through on the other side. I am an advocate who understands first-hand the needs of our neighbors and who will fight tirelessly to meet the demands of our families.

I am that representative and I will fight tirelessly to meet the demands of our communities.

I currently serve as a Policy Aide for City Council Member Alondra Cano, where I was able to help secure a city-wide $15 an hour minimum wage and help to establish Green Zones for the most low-income, high-pollution areas of our city. I am also a volunteer with Natives Against Heroin and spend many nights ensuring we return trafficked youth to their rightful homes and support my Little Earth neighbors to combat the opioid abuse. I have served as Vice Chair of the East Phillips Improvement Coalition and have been a part of local neighborhood actions for change that inform how I will do policy making. Over the next weeks, I will be working hard to introduce myself to you, talk about the issues most important to you, and seek to earn your support for House District 62A. I want to work together with you to ensure we build a movement for the families that are not heard and to deepen and grow the progressive legacy Karen Clark has established.