Josie Ahrens

2015-08-02 047Placement: San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency – Capital Financial Analysis & Planning

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

My Education: Macalester College ’14 Saint Paul, MN: B.A. in Geography and Urban Studies

Selected Honors: Macalester College’s Presidential Leadership Award, Prize for Community Service, and Prize for Excellent Writing in the Social Sciences; Gamma Theta Upsilon International Geography Honor Society Member

Selected Activities and Community Involvement: AmeriCorps VISTA at a non-profit affordable housing developer in Minneapolis, MN; Grant Committee Member at Headwaters Foundation for Justice in Minneapolis, MN; Program Assistant Macalester College’s Civic Engagement Center in Saint Paul, MN; Community Organizer with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) and Occupy Homes MN in Minneapolis, MN; Organizer with Clergy and Laity United for Justice (CLUE) and UNITE HERE! Local 11 in Los Angeles, CA.

Why San Francisco is important to me: Diego Rivera’s The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City at the San Francisco Art Institute epitomizes many things about my life—my union family background, my passion for the arts, and my desire to build equitable cities. Seeing this enormous mural made me realize that building a city is an artistic process, which takes heart and brains, creativity and concrete skills. There are thousands of men and women working today in San Francisco who will never be depicted or memorialized for their labor even though their low-wage work makes the city run. With my social justice work, I want to shed light on their stories so the whole city can know of them. The working people that are the backbone of San Francisco deserve a city government working in alliance with grassroots organizing to provide good jobs with living wages. The same could be said for other union cities, like Minneapolis or Chicago, or my hometown of Los Angeles, but I want to live in San Francisco and work for its people because the city feels like home to me.

Something unique about me:  I have a hearty and contagious laugh. Also, I was a gymnast for 11 years and can still walk on my hands!