Alex taught for 22 years in the Compton and Los Angeles school districts, most of those at Crenshaw High School, before being elected UTLA president in 2014. He has been honored with LA Academic English Mastery Program, UCLA Social Justice, and UTLA Bilingual Education Committee awards for his classroom teaching.
During his teaching, Alex was also deeply involved in community organizing, helping build the work of the Labor/Community Strategy Center and Bus Riders Union, as well as helping to found Coalition for Educational Justice, the Crenshaw Cougar Coalition, and the Extended Learning Cultural Model, a Community Schools approach. In 2006, Alex was administratively transferred from Crenshaw High School by the superintendent in retaliation for his teaching and organizing, and was reinstated to Crenshaw shortly thereafter when parents, youth, and educators protested.
In his time as UTLA president since 2014, Alex is proud of many accomplishments that have been collectively achieved. These include moving UTLA to a fighting, social movement union model; empowering educators and school sites through Contract Action Teams and other structures; forming Reclaim Our Schools LA with parents, youth, and community organizations; overwhelmingly passing the Build the Future Fund the Fight initiative within the membership for UTLA to become financially solvent and a merged AFT/NEA local; UTLA playing a key role in the national Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools; and leading the Red for Ed movement with the UTLA strike in January of 2019.
Alex earned a BA in Political Science at Brown University and an MA in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA. He has written for many publications, guest lectured on labor and community organizing at various Los Angeles area universities, and is active in CFT, CTA, AFT, and NEA, including being on the AFT Executive Council.