Joe Mosca graduated from Rhode Island College in 1995 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He then attended law school at Quinnipiac University School of Law in Hamden, Connecticut, graduating in 1999. He has been an active member of the California Bar Association since 1999.
Joe has been involved in community service and public service most of his life. His parents were very involved and taught him the value of giving back. As an adult, his involvement began in 1994 as a college intern in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Senator Pell. Additionally, for one year, between graduating from college and beginning law school, he worked as a constituent service representative and writer for the Rhode Island State Senate Majority Leader.
In 2006 and 2010, he was elected to the Sierra Madre City Council (North San Gabriel Valley, CA). He served for nearly six years on the Sierra Madre City Council before moving to London, UK for his husband’s job. While on the Sierra Madre City Council, he was appointed to and served in the positions of Vice Mayor and Mayor.
In 2015, after being relocated to Encinitas from the UK, he was appointed to the Encinitas Parks & Recreation Commission. While serving on this commission, he was a part of the Trails Subcommittee and Coastal Mobility & Livability Work Group.
In January of 2017, he was appointed to the Encinitas City Council after being chosen from a list of 15 other well qualified candidates who applied for a vacant seat on the City Council. At the end of 2017, he was unanimously appointed by his fellow City Council Members to serve in the positions of Deputy Mayor and President of the San Dieguito Water District.
In 2018, Joe was elected to Encinitas City Council to represent District 4, which includes the communities of New Encinitas and Olivenhain. He is very active regionally, representing Encinitas on the board of directors for San Diego Community Power (local community choice energy program), San Diego County Water Authority, SANDAG Transportation Committee, LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency, and several other regional public agencies.
When Joe is not making a difference through his public service, he and his husband, Matt, can be found enjoying the beaches of Encinitas with their two children Garrett (14) and Devan (10).
We caught up with the Councilmember for a quick Q-and-A about Pride, Fatherhood and the work he does for the North County of San Diego.
LET’S GET RIGHT TO IT! HAPPY PRIDE! WHAT DOES PRIDE MEAN TO YOU AND HOW WILL YOU CELEBRATE?
For me, Pride is a celebration. We are celebrating the significant progress that has been made toward justice and equality for the LGBTQ+ community over the past five decades since the Stonewall Riots. It is also an opportunity to remember those who fought hard for our progress, to take stock of where we are at in our march for civil rights, and to set a future course. Today, there are constant threats to our progress and there are too many in our community who do not have even basic rights and protections, especially those in our transgender community and our communities of color.
YOU AND I ARE TALKING A FEW DAYS BEFORE FATHERS DAY, SO HAPPY FATHERS DAY AS WELL! WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED KIDS AND HOW HAVE THEY CHANGED YOU?
Thank you! With two dads in my household, Father’s Day is a big deal and a very fun day. Both my husband and I come from large families. My husband, Matt, is one of 14 children and I have a big extended family. Family means a lot to us. We’ve always felt that we would one day have a family of our own. We truly can’t imagine our lives without our two sons, Garrett and Devan. They bring so much joy to our lives and have made the journey much richer.
KIDS REALLY DO SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS. WHAT ARE THE FUNNIEST THINGS YOUR KIDS HAVE SAID THAT YOU WON’T SOON FORGET?
There are so many funny things that they’ve said over the years, but the first one that comes to my mind is when my youngest son asked me “Does Jesus have a cell phone?”
HOW WELCOMED HAVE YOU FELT IN ENCINITAS BEING AN LGBTQ+ FAMILY?
From our very first visit to Encinitas, we knew that we wanted to make it our home. We love our community not only for the beautiful beaches and trails, but also because the people who call it home are kind, welcoming, and extremely accepting. We have always felt at home in our community and believe that it’s an amazing place to lay down roots and raise our children.
HOW DID THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AFFECT YOU AS AN ELECTED OFFICAL AND THEN ALSO AS A CITIZEN, FATHER, HUSBAND, ETC.?
The last year or so during the pandemic has been difficult for me and my family as I am sure it has been for many families throughout our nation. I’ve known friends who have become seriously sick and even died from COVID-19. I’ve also witnessed first-hand the economic disruption COVID-19 has wrecked on our communities and the increasing number of people who suffer from mental illness as a consequence of COVID-19. As a community leader, I have worked hard to make sure residents in Encinitas, and throughout the county, have the resources that they need to get through this difficult period. While my family is emerging from this pandemic stronger than before, there were plenty of ups and downs and moments of high stress, especially related to our sons’ virtual learning.
WHEN WE HEAR ABOUT THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY IN SAN DIEGO, IT FOCUSES ON HILLCREST, IN SPECIFIC, A LOT. HOW CAN THE NORTH COUNTY IN GENERAL BE MORE INCLUSIVE TOWARDS THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY?
With the help of many amazing advocates and community leaders, we are witnessing a transition and much progress throughout North County. Community groups, such as North County LGBTQ+ Resource Center, Encinitas 4 Equality, and many more, are helping to raise awareness, marshal resources, and mobilize people to create the changes that we want to see throughout the region.
WHAT’S THE PLAN AFTER YOUR CURRENT TERM IS UP?
I have enjoyed every moment of my service on the Encinitas City Council. I deeply believe that my community has given me an amazing opportunity to give back in a way that is making a difference for my family and the people of my community. For me, public service is all about helping people. I want to continue to be in a position where I can help people and leave my community a little bit better off.
WHERE IS YOUR HAPPY PLACE?
A coffee shop with a good book.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE JANUARY 6, 2021 ATTACK ON OUR NATION’S CAPITOL?
When I think back on the last four years and the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, I am stunned that we had a president who could foment so much anger and shocked that not more Congressional leaders had the fortitude to do the right thing. It highlights for me that our democracy is fragile and that it takes people of courage and great moral character to serve in positions of trust.
WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST CONCERNS AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH THROUGH YOUR PUBLIC SERVICE CAREER?
I hope that it can be said that, through my public service, I helped people and that I left my community in a better place than when I found it. More specifically, I believe that climate change is the biggest challenge facing our communities and the communities around the world. I am committed to acting locally to reduce the devastating impacts of a changing climate. For instance, I am extremely proud of my leadership role in creating San Diego Community Power (SDCP), a community choice energy program for the cities of Encinitas, San Diego, La Mesa, Imperial Beach, and Chula Vista, whose focus is on moving us forward to 100% renewable energy by 2035, or sooner – 10 years ahead of the state. SDCP is quite literally a game changer for our region and state.