My name is Enrique Murguia and I grew up in a working-class family on the Southside of Milwaukee; my life has not always been easy, but it has shaped me into the man, the activist, and politician I am today. My father immigrated to the United States when he was 8 years old and worked in a machine shop to support me and my three siblings, while my mother stayed home with us. I grew up in the Milwaukee Public School district, attending Spanish Immersion school, attending Thomas Moore for two years on scholarship, and finally graduating from a public school.
My time at Thomas Moore, a private school, opened my eyes to the disparities my community faces and I began to understand the consequences of systemic racism. I saw the unique challenges families in lower socio-economic brackets are forced to confront on a regular basis. My parents did everything possible to provide a better life for us, but we nonetheless suffered from the systemic social and economic inequality that countless other minority families face alongside us.
In the wake of hardship, I turned to the United Community Center, a long standing pillar in my district. Playing sports at the UCC, building relationships with community members, and having somewhere productive to put my energy kept me on a straight path and off the streets. I am so grateful I had the UCC growing up and am steadfastly committed to making sure the youth in our district have the opportunity to benefit from the UCC as I did. The UCC was more than just a community center to me- it is a place of inspiration, it gave me a vision of the path I want my life to take and made me realize I want my work to give back to the community.
In 2014, I founded my screen printing business, utilizing the art skills I honed in college. My decision to start my own business was inspired by the struggles I watched my family go through. My father got laid off when I was young and I saw him struggle to find a job, even after going back to school. I realized that I needed to be self-sustainable; I started my own business so I could be in control of my destiny and build wealth in my community. This business endeavor also allowed me the opportunity to spread positive messages in a unique way.
While art will always be a passion of mine, my professional experience extends far beyond my screen printing business. In 2015, I spent two years at Urban Underground as a Public Ally developing skills in grassroots organizing and community mobilization. Here, I created a program that taught at-risk youth how to use unique and innovative ideas to organize in order to better their community. I taught them the workforce development skills necessary to start a business, so they too could build wealth and grow to be self-sufficient. In 2017, I worked at ArtWorks for Milwaukee, using art as a catalyst to teach Milwaukee’s youth. These small, but meaningful ways of giving back to my community built the foundation for the political activism I am so dedicated to today.
In 2018, my political career officially began. I began working for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin as an organizer in my district. I am proud to have increased voter turnout in a district that historically has one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the state. During this time, I continued to mentor youth from Urban Underground and taught them about civic engagement and the importance of voting and registering voters of color to vote. In 2020, I began working for the Host Committee, the non-partisan arm of the Democratic National Convention Committee, as the Director of Community Engagement to the Latinx Community. Here, I started the first Latinx leadership committee in the history of national, political conventions to give a voice to those who far too often go unheard. These experiences have been incredibly valuable and the lessons I learned will stay with me indefinitely.
Now, educated by a wealth of professional experience and experience with the community I intend to serve, I am ready to serve as State Representative for Wisconsin’s 8th Assembly District and put my experience, my drive, and my passion to work.