District 9, which includes the Mission, will get a new representative as David Campos, a gay man who has served eight years, is termed off the Board of Supervisors. Campos has had a mixed record in office, and we haven’t always agreed with him. Candidates vying to succeed him are distinguishing themselves from his term.
Our first choice is civil rights attorney Joshua Arce, who impressed us with his platform of more affordable housing, increased support for local businesses, and improved public transportation.
Raised with Latino traditions, Arce, who speaks Spanish – along with several other languages – describes himself as a “progressive moderate,” leading some to wonder where he fits in along the city’s famously liberal spectrum. But we think Arce would be a good fit for the district.
He wants to see more housing built in the district, which hasn’t seen significant new residential development – at all levels, he said. “District 9 has been a political dynasty in many ways,” he told us. “I’m anti-establishment. Our district isn’t for sale.”
He noted the “wave of fires” that occurred in the Mission, and criticized Campos for dragging his feet on an ordinance to require sprinklers in residential buildings. “I’ve already got the ordinance written,” said Arce, adding it would be ready on Day 1.
He raised questions about Campos’ ill-fated moratorium on housing development in the Mission, saying it banned investment in affordable housing and had other problems, though he did support it on the ballot. He bemoaned the fact that there has been no long-term planning in District 9 and the missed opportunities as a result.
Arce is an ally of the LGBT community and has a trans brother-in-law. He said it’s important to appoint qualified LGBTs to the city’s numerous boards and commissions.