This week, we decided to ask candidates for District 9 supervisor to talk about their backgrounds, particularly in regards to housing.

We received a series of questions from a reader interested in finding out whether candidates had experiences with evictions and owning property, and how long the candidates have lived in the district they hope to represent.

Respuestas en español aquí.

How long have you lived in District 9?

Melissa San Miguel: I am the only candidate born and raised in District 9. I grew up in the Mission and I have lived in District 9 my entire life — for thirty years.

Joshua Arce: I have lived in District 9 since 2009.

Iswari España: I have lived in District 9 for over 15 years. 

Hillary Ronen: Nine years total. And I’ve worked in the District for over 14 years.

In which neighborhood do you live?

San Miguel: I now live in the Portola neighborhood, which is a wonderful family-friendly community. My brother and his family live in this community and my parents and sister are still in the Mission.

Arce: I live in the Mission at 24th and Harrison.

España: I currently reside in the Mission District where I live with my family on 24th Street. My family has deep roots here in District 9 for over 30 years.

Ronen: I currently live with my family in the beautiful Portola District off of San Bruno Ave. But over the past nine years I’m lucky to have lived in all three of District 9’s neighborhoods. For years I lived in one of my favorite apartments on Mirabel street in Bernal Heights. And during my time as a civil rights attorney when I worked at La Raza Centro Legal, I lived in the heart of the Mission on 23rd Street.

Do you rent or own?

San Miguel: I rent an apartment.

Arce: We rent a rent-controlled apartment.

España: We are renters.

Ronen: I’m a lifelong renter, but I hope to own a home one day.

If you own property, what are your full holdings?

San Miguel: n/a

Arce: None.

España: [unanswered]

Ronen: n/a

Are you a landlord?

San Miguel: No, I am not.

Arce: No.

España: [unanswered]

Ronen: No.

Have you ever been evicted? If so, for what?

San Miguel: No.

Arce: I have never been evicted, but I was displaced by a fire in 2005. We also organized to prepare for possible eviction in 2015 when our apartment building was advertised for sale as a “great TIC [tenants-in-common] opportunity.”

España: We have faced eviction harassment for the last 4 years. Our landlords wanted to increase our rent 400 percent, and we continue to fight them everyday. We and our neighbors constantly live under uncertainty. We are fortunate to have the help and guidance of Causa Justa/Just Cause.

Ronen: I have never been evicted.

Have you ever evicted anyone for any reason?

San Miguel: No.

Arce: Never.

España: [unanswered]

Ronen: No.

43 Questions is a weekly series — started 43 weeks before Election Day — to question the candidates running for District 9 supervisor. Send us questions to and let us know in comments or in an email if you think candidates have answered as asked.

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Joe Rivano BarrosSenior Editor

Senior Editor. Joe was born in Sweden and spent his early childhood in Chile, before moving to Oakland when he was eight. He attended Stanford University for political science and worked at Mission Local as a reporter after graduating, before spending time as a partner for the strategic communications firm The Worker Agency. He rejoined Mission Local as an editor in 2023.

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  1. Espana needs to be pressed on why he didn’t answer the questions he a landlord?, 2.does he own property? 3.has he evicted somone? Why would he not answer these questions? He’s definitely hiding something…..

      1. Why didn’t you answer the questions then? Are you willing to show 10 years of tax returns?

        1. I didn’t intentionally leave questions Unanswered, even though it seems that way. I assumed I was answering everything when I wrote my answer and did not expect my answer to be broken down as it was. Ricardo I have no problem sharing my taxes…. And I hope that other candidates are willing to do the same. I think we should also disclose who is contributing to each campaign (that should be public information.) For instance; my competitors take contributions from lobbyists, developers, and landlords that violently displace and evict our neighbors.