DJ Alex—Music and Self-Advocacy are in My Blood

by | May 3, 2024 | All, Content Types, Employment, News

My name is Alex Reyes, and I am a Councilmember with the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD).Photo of Alex Reyes standing with arms crossed and smiling. I’d like to share a bit about my journey.

I’ve always been an advocate. I first began advocating for myself. 

Over time, I wanted to do more. I started going to Disability Capitol Action Day (DCAD) in Sacramento. I’m a DJ and collaborated with others on the DCAD Communications Team. I worked with my local independent living vendor, Community Resources for Independent Living (CRIL), promoted DCAD across media outlets, and helped get media at the event.

I first got to know the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) through the State Council’s Bay Area Office. I have my own DJ business, and some events I worked on included self-advocacy events and advocacy awards celebrations. That really opened my eyes to other work I could do, and I thought I should get more involved. I wanted to continue being an advocate, and I also wanted to support and represent people who didn’t have a voice. I wanted to be a part of something special. “I said to myself—I should apply to serve on the Council. Whatever happens, it is worth a shot.” It was quite the process. When I was appointed, I was so excited and so proud of myself. I was jumping up and down in joy!

As a Councilmember, part of my job is to advocate for others, support the community, and work on policy that ensures that everyone is respected, and their voice is heard. I speak to a lot of people in the community. I tell them about SCDD, what we do, and what the State Council offices do. I give people the website and email addresses of the State Council offices so they know how to get help for themselves and their family members.

Councilmember Alex Reyes smiling and sitting down in front of a microphone attending a Council meeting.As a Councilmember, I love following all the legislative bills that make a difference for Californians with disabilities. AB 248 Dignity for All (Mathis) was one bill I was very excited to support. This bill was a big deal. The bill changes language in California law and California code sections—it removes the R-word and changes it to intellectual or developmental disabilities or IDD.

Times have changed over the decades. We have to change the language too, right? I don’t tolerate people using outdated, offensive language like the R-word. I have been called that word before in my life, and I do not tolerate the use of offensive language like that. If someone uses that language, then they’re out of my life. When AB 248 was going through the legislative process, I thought, ‘I need to start talking about this.’ We need to break the chain and turn the page in history. People need to talk about it and talk to their kids about the importance of language. When the bill passed in 2023, it felt like an important day in history. I support that 1000%.

I also serve on the Statewide Self-Advocacy Network (SSAN). SSAN is a network that the Council supports. As a rep, we work on advocacy skills, make connections, and share resources with other self-advocates across the state. We lead workshops and train other self-advocates to grow the self-advocacy movement here in California. One of the Council’s committees is the Self-Advocacy Advisory Committee (SAAC). We meet before the Council meetings to talk about our work as Councilmembers and what we can improve together. We talk about the Council meeting packet and review any bills we might be discussing in the Council meeting. We also talk about inclusive practices, which means ways we want to include everyone and make sure everyone’s experiences are heard.

When not advocating in my roles with SCDD, there are lots of other responsibilities I have: I work for the Fremont Unified School District as a Substitute Campus Supervisor. I’ve been on the job since 2015. I am a proud member of SEIU Local 1021. I’m a big union advocate, and I attend union meetings. We talk about what we need in our schools for students and workers, and we talk about our contract. My primary responsibilities are to maintain the safety of the campus—to make sure everyone is safe.

As a DJ, I am the owner of DJ Alex Reyes Entertainment. I am licensed and insured. I’ve been running my DJ business for 23DJ Alex providing his services during an outdoor event. years. My company focuses on mobile DJ bookings, sound reinforcement, and uplights. I’ve done it all—DCAD events in Sacramento, Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society, private parties, weddings, quinceañeras, school district events, and self-advocacy events. I like to bring the positivity, period. I like to promote happiness. I have a really good ear, and I use that to my advantage. I was inspired to start my business by my dad. He was in radio. He was one of the best on-air people in the industry, and he taught me a lot about the business. If it weren’t for my dad, I wouldn’t be the man I am today. I told my dad, before he passed that I would continue his legacy. I have to. I miss my dad so much. Music is in my blood. 

All of the roles I have today are where I can be a positive role model to the community and make a difference. Where I can make sure everyone is heard. Everyone’s advocacy journey is different, and there is room for us all in the work.

If you would like to book Alex for an upcoming event, visit his website here: