Joshua Arce is a civil rights attorney, labor representative, affordable housing advocate, and the first Latino President of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment. Joshua and his wife Lisa, an immigrant rights lawyer, are raising two sons in a rent-controlled apartment on 24th Street in the heart of the Mission.
Joshua provides pro bono legal support to low-income District 9 tenants and business owners, and served as the Community Liaison for the 5,000 members of his union, Laborers Local 261.
In 2005, Joshua founded civil rights and environmental justice nonprofit Brightline Defense, where he led ten years of successful campaigns to shut down dirty power plants, created solar incentive programs, fought for rent control instead of evictions, and developed the country’s most successful local hiring law for construction jobs.
He became the first Latino President of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment and crafted policies to promote solar power, advance energy efficiency, and prohibit the export of fossil fuels, such as coal at the Port of San Francisco.
Joshua is an officer of the board of Mission Housing Development Corporation, where he is building District 9’s first new affordable housing in ten years—165 units of union-built 100% affordable housing in the Mission—and providing much-needed shelter to homeless community members.
As a member of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee, he authored and co-sponsored resolutions to support gun control, increase affordable housing, reaffirm the importance of the City’s Sanctuary City policy amid increasing attacks against immigrant families, demonstrate support for community-based policing and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, craft a framework that delivers on San Francisco’s promise of zero cases of HIV and AIDS, embrace open source voting, express unanimous condemnation for the anti-union Freidrich’s case which was ultimately quashed by the Supreme Court, and promote sustainable communities through living-wage union jobs, local hiring, affordable housing, environmental benefits, and transit-oriented development.
Joshua served as delegate to the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades and Labor Councils, alternate commissioner on the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and member of the Sierra Club San Francisco executive committee.
He is a proud graduate of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and earned an undergraduate degree in political science at the University of California at Los Angeles.