David Valdez was born and raised in East Los Angeles –the youngest of seven children in an immigrant family. David is a proud product of LAUSD public schools, having attending Ford Boulevard Elementary, Griffith Junior High, and Garfield High School. After graduation, David moved on to Yale University, where he earned a degree in Theater Studies and then to the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, where he earned a Masters in Fine Arts degree. Los Angeles is where David’s roots of service and community are planted, and he returned in 2005 to be closer to his family and begin his journey to serve the communities that helped shape his life.
David began his career of service as a volunteer for multiple non-profit agencies and community-based organizations focused on youth leadership development. David’s early volunteerism started as a community liaison presenting workshops in civic engagement, arts & culture, and public speaking with the Violence Intervention Program, Peace Over Violence, and the Amazing Grace Conservatory. David played a key role in launching a platform of programs focused on building healthy relationship skills for teenagers and young adults to combat and prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, and bullying. Following the success of these programs, David expanded his commitment to community and youth education as Director of Youth Development with the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA. Here, David launched the Youth Institute, a digital media program that established a technology media center for middle and high school students in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights to equip them with the tools and skills they need to engage and thrive in a technologically based world — from digital and social media to film production, with the goal to increase academic outcomes.
David’s passion has always centered around youth development and the arts, with a constant focus on serving the community and nurturing its future leaders. David has remained a staunch supporter and volunteer with community and youth organizations, including the East Los Angeles Women’s Center, and Jovenes, Inc., which provides transitional housing and workforce development to homeless youth ages 18-25. David frequently volunteers his time to a host of other Los Angeles based community organizations, lending his time, energy and skills to building better communities, most recently with the Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities, and United Way LA.
In 2015, David was appointed to the Los Angeles County Arts Commission by Supervisor Hilda Solis. As Arts Commissioner, David is a strong advocate in the Cultural Equity & Inclusion Initiative (which seeks to increase diversity in arts programs & services across LA County) and participates in the Civic Art, Arts Internships, and Ad Hoc Grant Guidelines committees. David is also a member of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council and serves with the Board of Directors for Jovenes, Inc.
David’s mantra is From Community, For Community, and he strives to embody his mission every day by leading through action and example — volunteering and dedicating himself to youth and making sure the schools of LAUSD Board District 5 are equipping Los Angeles’s next generation of leaders with the skills and knowledge they need to move our city forward.