Born and raised in Sioux City, IA, Alejandro “Ale” Murguia-Ortiz is the son of immigrant meatpacking workers. Ale has been politically active for nearly their entire life, attending their first protest for Immigrants’ Rights at 8 years old. In response to Covid-19 outbreaks in the meatpacking industry, Alejandro has spent the last 2 years organizing full-time around immigrant and worker rights across Iowa.

While Alejandro has always been a good student, college wasn’t easy. He found himself isolating and struggling with depression. Near the end of that experience; however, Ale found and developed an interest more specifically in political action. While his beliefs have evolved since then, he was able to find spaces where he could learn how to build community with others while also becoming self-sufficient. In that time he also became interested in the functions of the media under capitalism. 


While engaged in the 2016 elections, Ale saw how communities across the political spectrum became disillusioned with media outlets and how smaller publications struggled if they didn’t play to the sensationalized version of our realities.


This interest continued post-college. Alejandro worked as the Development and Communications Director for a political research organization in Des Moines, Vote Smart. Unable to keep up with the demands of capitalism, the nonprofit was unable to pay a living wage so Alejandro found himself looking for a higher-paying private-sector job. 


In March of 2020, as we were learning how dangerous COVID-19 truly was, Alejandro began talking to his parents about the conditions in the plant. From there he began talking to workers all over the state hearing first-hand accounts from workers about the lack of safety that has long plagued the industry was manifesting itself during this outbreak.


As we saw states, even countries completely shut down, plant leadership was telling workers not to talk about the virus or any positive cases that they heard about; meanwhile, that same leadership was placing bets over how many workers would get sick. This work has continued to this day.


A few months later, Alejandro found himself kettled and violently arrested by DMPD in downtown Des Moines during a march for Black Liberation.


He continued to see how leadership at all levels was intentionally ignoring the calls from Iowa’s most marginalized communities and has dedicated much of his effort to helping address those needs.


This work won’t stop during or after the campaign. Ale believes that the only effective way to address the needs of the people is by continuing to be an organizer, by being out here with his constituents, and by bringing people together on the issues they wish to address.