Margarita Ortega indizhinkaaz. My name is Margarita, my spirit name is Eastern Thunderbird Woman and I am Bear Clan from the Red Lake Nation.
I am an American Indian and Latina grassroots organizer. I was born and raised in South Minneapolis, the Phillips neighborhood and Little Earth are home to my two little girls, my partner Lance, my mother, and I. Over the past years, I have worked shoulder-to-shoulder with State Representative Karen Clark to craft environmental justice policies from the bottom-up to protect our diverse communities. I am thankful for the many years of service that Representative Clark has given our residents, this is how I know the importance of electing a woman who can fight boldly for our families at the State Capitol.
I'm running for Minnesota House District 62A because I am a tested leader with a powerful voice who has a strong track-record of achieving the change our communities are demanding. I have experienced and overcome the struggles of poverty and homelessness. As a descendant of the Red Lake Nation, I have also overcome historical and generational trauma to stand up for our communities. The stories of struggles like mine are far too common in our district and this is why we need a brave representative. We need a deeply-rooted legislator who has overcome the daily challenges our neighbors face. We need a leader who reflects the growing diversity of our changing neighborhoods, including the largest urban concentration of American Indian families in the nation.
I am that representative and I will fight tirelessly to meet the demands of our communities.
Currently, I 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 to help more than 71,000 African American and Latinx low-wage workers. I also worked with our local government, residents, and nonprofit leaders to establish Green Zones for the most low-income, high-pollution areas of our city. I am a volunteer with Natives Against Heroin and spend many nights ensuring we return trafficked youth to their rightful homes and support my Powderhorn and Phillips neighbors to combat the opioid abuse. I cherish local involvement and the role neighborhood associations play in engaging people to make change. This is why I ran and was elected to serve as Vice Chair of the East Phillips Improvement Coalition, this is the kind of grassroots engagement I will continue with as your next State Representative for 62A.
I look forward to getting to know more about the issues you want me to champion at the State Capitol and to earning your support for our campaign.