By Heather Knight

In a city of many neighborhoods, does it matter if your supervisor comes from yours? Joshua Arce, a candidate in District Nine, says it does and that if he wins, he’d be the first supervisor from the Mission in nearly 40 years.

District Nine includes the Mission, as well as St. Mary’s Park, Bernal Heights and the Portola. Arce’s main competitor, Hillary Ronen, lives in the Portola. The district’s current supervisor, David Campos, lives in Bernal Heights. Campos’ predecessor, Tom Ammiano, is also a Bernal resident.

Supervisors were previously elected citywide rather than by district. Arce said his staff investigated the home addresses of every recent supervisor and could find none who came from the Mission since Carol Ruth Silver was elected in the previous go-round of district elections in 1977. (She was elected alongside Harvey Milk in a shift toward a more liberal, diverse board, but the city ditched district elections shortly after Milk’s assassination in 1978.)

A query to the clerk of the Board of Supervisors to confirm Arce’s research wasn’t returned. We do know Supervisor Chris Daly represented District Six from 2001-2011 and lived near Stevenson and McCoppin Streets, which most would call the Inner Mission, but Arce says it is in SoMa.

This week, Silver endorsed Arce, calling him “a young man who is strong and firm in his views who has stepped up to defend the least among us.” However, she can’t vote for him; redrawn district lines now place her in District Eight, Supervisor Scott Wiener’s home turf.

Arce lives on 24th Street in the heart of the Mission, which has faced numerous challenges in recent years including evictions and tent encampments.

“The supervisor who’s living here in the neighborhood, raising a family in the neighborhood, is in a better position to not only understand the impact of what’s going on here on all of us, but to resolve these issues and get us through this crisis,” he said.

P.S. Arce also just picked up the endorsement of civil rights icon Dolores Huerta. But she can’t vote for him either, as she lives in Bakersfield.

— Heather Knight

Email: hknight@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @hknightSF

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