Hollywood City Commission candidate Rick Valdez doesn't want your money. He just wants you to vote. He also wants you to kick it at his hip-hop party on Wednesday night.
"I was given a space where I could have a fundraiser or something," Valdez tells New Times. "So I went with the 'something.'"
Valdez, who is running for commissioner of District 1 in Hollywood, says he doesn't want to be perceived as your typical politician. So when given the opportunity to host an event for his candidacy, he decided to throw a party instead.
"We are not your father's politicians," he says. "We are the next generation, and we're reaching out to voters in new ways."
Valdez is particularly interested in getting young people to vote and make their voices heard.
"Young people can get involved," he says enthusiastically. "One email can make a difference. Just one."
And you gotta love a politician who has hip-hop connections.
This is the first time Valdez has ever run for public office. He says he was inspired to do so after property taxes in Hollywood skyrocketed following a referendum that passed by a mere 600 votes.
"That lit a fire in me," he says. "Property tax has gone up 23 percent in the last two years after that referendum. I want to change that."
Valdez is also a pro-labor candidate who says the pendulum has swung too far toward anti-labor. He's also very keen on turning Hollywood into the next Silicon Valley, wanting more tech companies to plant their flags in Hollywood.
Valdez hopes to draw no more than 500 people at the shin dig Wednesday night. Between performances, he'll be handed a mic by the artists so he can tell people about himself. But for the most part, Valdez says, it's a party.
"I'll stand at the door and introduce myself," he says. "But I just want people to get involved."
"One email can make a difference," he says again.
Rick Valdez's hip-hop party, featuring Monty $$, Reesy Wright, Black Elvis, and other hip-hop artists, will be held this Wednesday at SAS Lounge (1814 Harrison St. in downtown Hollywood) starting at 10 p.m. The event is free.