JD Drakulich is a newcomer to the Reno political scene, but has been a visible candidate over the last couple months appearing at campaign events and small public gatherings. Drakulich is running for Reno City Council Ward 1 which is currently represented by two-term city councilwoman Jenny Brekhus, who has held the seat since 2012.
Drakulich is a local Realtor and involved in several community organizations, and prides himself on his work ethic and his family roots. He’s been married to wife Dulce for 11 years and they have one child together.
“I was raised here in Reno, fourth generation Nevadan, grew up in Mogul to the age five, and then moved essentially into this ward that I’m running for, and been here for essentially 30 years. So, deeply rooted in the community there.
“My dad is the oldest of nine and at one point had 23 direct cousins, and almost all of them have lived in that ward and my Grandpa’s been on West Plumb Lane since 1947. So we’ve been in here for a while.”
If we don’t make the right decisions today, in 10 to 15 years [Reno] may not be the same.”
Along with his work as a Realtor, Drakulich is the president of the board for Eddy House, a resource center and drop-in facility for at risk youth, including those who are homeless, runaways or in foster care.
I had a chance to speak with Drakulich in November and then again in late January. I got to her him tell his story, discuss his current enterprises and his background, and learn more about why he’s running for office.
When we first met, Drakulich shared his perspective on Reno’s growth trend and his experience in real estate along with why he’s running for Reno City Council.
“I work with just regular buyers, sellers, normal people. No developers, no big corporations or anything. Normal folks, you know, family and friends referring us. They want to buy a home, I want to get my dream home, I am just going to get my first home, or I’m selling my investment property so I can work towards retirement. So we’re very much on the front line of Reno’s growth.”
When I asked him, “Why should I vote for you?” Drakulich recalled his early years in Reno.
“I want to create a Reno or I want to be a part of a Reno that was like the one [in which] I grew up and provide it for my six-year-old little boy. Somewhere that’s beautiful, affordable, safe, and continue that culture, which I think we have. But if we don’t make the right decisions today, in 10 to 15 years it may not be the same.
“I want him to graduate from high school here. He may or may not attend college here, but I want him to come back. Knowing that it’s still a beautiful place he grew up with and that I grew up with, it’s affordable, and it’s a great place to raise your family. So that’s the goal. The one to 20-year vision is, how do I get my son to still love this city, to afford being here with the job he has? And so that when he has kids, I’m around my grandbabies.”
When I caught up with Drakulich in January I wanted to see where how his campaign was progressing.
“I’m enjoying the many conversations I’m having with people at their door, coffee with people in the neighborhood, telling them about myself in there, the third piece of my life that may or may not be fully out there. But I was just elected to my second term for the presidency at the Eddy House. And tomorrow, we are officially doing 24-7, which is a huge milestone to our organization. And honestly, I’ve been working just as hard on that over the past year as my campaign, and we are going to be reaping the rewards of all the hard work by taking kids in overnight tomorrow.”