Josias Gonzalez, Alternate Commissioner
Josias Gonzalez was born in California’s Central Valley to traditional Mexican immigrants. He learned the value of hard work and perseverance, working alongside his parents as field hands. Josias is the fourth of five siblings yet was the first to go to college, and once he settled in college, he helped three of his siblings also attend college. Josias received B.A. degrees in Urban and Regional Planning & Environmental Analysis and Design from the University of California at Irvine. He has worked as a Senior Planner for the County of Ventura, Associate Planner for the County of Riverside, and Assistant Planner for the City of Costa Mesa. In that capacity he managed Affordable Housing projects, Community Plans, Specific Plans, and Environmental Impact Reports.
His advocacy dates back over two decades starting in high school, where he organized field hands for United Farmworkers of America. Josias has also worked extensively on Environmental Justice issues and collaborated on research entitled: "Understanding Minority Residents' Perceptions of Neighborhood Risks and Environmental Justice" which was published in the Journal of Architectural and Planning Research.
Josias was also recognized in the Los Angeles Times for strong work ethic and overcoming adversity. LA Times article entitled: From the Fields to UCI Josias’ Long, Hard Climb.
To Josias, participating in the Redistricting Commission means that he is making a difference in his city, and that he is helping those that feel like they do not belong and have no power find their place and their voice.