Richard Gonzales

Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.

Gonzales joined NPR in May 1986. He covered the U.S. State Department during the Iran-Contra Affair and the fall of apartheid in South Africa. Four years later, he assumed the post of White House Correspondent and reported on the prelude to the Gulf War and President George W. Bush's unsuccessful re-election bid. Gonzales covered the U.S. Congress for NPR from 1993-94, focusing on NAFTA and immigration and welfare reform.

In September 1995, Gonzales moved to his current position after spending a year as a John S. Knight Fellow Journalism at Stanford University.

In 2009, Gonzales won the Broadcast Journalism Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He also received the PASS Award in 2004 and 2005 from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency for reports on California's juvenile and adult criminal justice systems.

Prior to NPR, Gonzales was a freelance producer at public television station KQED in San Francisco. From 1979 to 1985, he held positions as a reporter, producer, and later, public affairs director at KPFA, a radio station in Berkeley, CA.

Gonzales graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in psychology and social relations. He is a co-founder of Familias Unidas, a bi-lingual social services program in his hometown of Richmond, California.

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Around the Nation
5:28 am
Tue April 2, 2013

In Bankruptcy, Stockton Must Decide Pension Issue

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 6:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A federal judge has ruled that Stockton, California, may enter into bankruptcy proceedings. That opens the way for Stockton to become America's largest bankrupt city. The population there is 300,000, bigger than Cincinnati, Newark, New Jersey or St. Paul, Minnesota. NPR's Richard Gonzalez reports that others cities share Stockton's problems.

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Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
3:16 am
Wed March 20, 2013

How To Be The Good Guy With A Gun At School

Stockton Unified School District Police Officer Myra Franco and Chief Jim West patrol 50 schools in California's Central Valley region. One of the campuses was the site of a 1989 shooting massacre.
Richard Gonzales NPR

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:30 am

Ever since the Newtown, Ct., school shooting, there's been a raging debate over how to keep America's schoolchildren safe. National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre proposed stationing an armed guard in every school in the country. Critics said that idea was impractical and would be too expensive to carry out.

But many schools and school districts already have armed police officers. Since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, about one-third of the schools in the U.S. have added some kind of armed security, according to federal data.

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Around the Nation
5:07 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Oakland To Issue IDs That Double As Debit Cards

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan (center) and former Oakland Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente are registered for the Oakland City ID Prepaid MasterCard program by Jaime Suriano (left) Feb. 1 in Oakland, Calif.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 9:11 am

The city of Oakland, Calif., is taking a major step toward helping to bring many of its residents, especially illegal immigrants, out of the shadows.

It will issue a municipal identification card to anyone who can prove residency.

Oakland isn't the only city to issue such ID cards to illegal immigrants. New Haven, Conn., and San Francisco already do that.

The Oakland card, however, has a unique feature — it doubles as a debit card.

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Around the Nation
5:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Oakland Officials Confounded By Surge In Violent Crime

Oakland, Calif., is among the U.S. cities that's seen an increase in violence over the last year. The uptick in crime comes as the police department is also under pressure from a federal court to reform its ways.

Around the Nation
4:57 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

After Years Of Huge Deficits, California Starts To See A Fiscal Turnaround

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:10 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Here's something we haven't bee able to report for a while: State budgets are looking better. Thanks to an improving economy, spending cuts and some tax increases, more than 33 states and the District of Columbia report their financial condition is stabilizing. Even California, the poster child for the budget mess, is looking OK, at least in the short run.

Here's NPR's Richard Gonzales.

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Around the Nation
5:21 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Demand High At San Francisco Firearms Show As Nation Mulls Gun Control

Concerns about new gun control measures has many weapons flying off the shelves. At one recent gun show in San Francisco, assault rifles were in short supply even though their prices had skyrocketed.

Education
5:25 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

New Logo At University Of California Causes Uproar

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The University of California is no stranger to protests over wars, tuition hikes, budget cuts, you name it. But the 10-campus system is seeing a different kind of revolt this week.

As NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, it is a resounding rejection of the university's new logo.

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U.S.
4:24 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

School District Owes $1 Billion On $100 Million Loan

Students leave Miramonte Elementary, in the Clovis Unified School District in Los Angeles. School districts across California have taken out loans requiring payments that far exceed the original loan amounts.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:10 pm

More than 200 school districts across California are taking a second look at the high price of the debt they've taken on using risky financial arrangements. Collectively, the districts have borrowed billions in loans that defer payments for years — leaving many districts owing far more than they borrowed.

In 2010, officials at the West Contra Costa School District, just east of San Francisco, were in a bind. The district needed $2.5 million to help secure a federally subsidized $25 million loan to build a badly needed elementary school.

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Around the Nation
5:27 am
Mon November 19, 2012

California Learns From Hurricane Sandy In Northeast

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 10:38 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Emergency managers around the nation have been paying close attention to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. From California, NPR's Richard Gonzales a look at what lessons disaster planners there say they've learned.

RICHARD GONZALES, BYLINE: Superstorm Sandy didn't sneak up on anybody.

CHRISTOPHER GODLEY: They had days of warning before it made landfall, before the damage really started to occur, so people could prepare themselves, their families, their neighborhoods.

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U.S.
11:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

BBQ Support: Feeding Fellow Americans After Sandy

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Twelve days after Hurricane Sandy smacked the eastern seaboard and beyond, tens of thousands of people still lack basic necessities - food, water, even shelter. NPR's Richard Gonzales sent us this postcard about three men from Chicago who took it upon themselves to bring some comfort to Sandy's victims.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHATTER)

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Around the Nation
5:51 am
Thu November 8, 2012

New York's Financial Center Hard Hit By Sandy

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The nor'easter also affected New York City where many residential and commercial buildings are still crippled from Sandy. Some flooded on the lower floors and many more lost power, forcing many residents and businesses to find temporary new homes.

NPR's Richard Gonzales reports.

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House & Senate Races
5:17 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Race For Redrawn Calif. District Is Tight And Pricey

Democrat Ami Bera is challenging Lungren. Bera ran against Lungren in 2004 and lost, but since the district was redrawn, the race has become competitive.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 am

Dan Lungren has been in and out of public office since 1979. The Republican represented a Southern California district in the '80s, served as the state's attorney general for eight years, and then returned to Congress to represent the Sacramento area in 2004.

These days, he's still the same pro-business, limited-government conservative he's always been, Lungren told a friendly audience in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova.

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U.S.
7:05 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Calif. Death Penalty Opposition Focuses On Economy

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 9:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Here in California, voters will soon decide the fate of hundreds of condemned killers sitting on Death Row.

INSKEEP: A ballot measure would abolish the death penalty in favor of life sentences without parole.

MONTAGNE: California has a long and complicated history with the death penalty. It overturned by the state supreme court 40 years ago.

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Sports
5:41 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Giants Fever Spreads Ahead Of World Series

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:18 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Baseball fans are celebrating in San Francisco today. Their beloved Giants won the pennant.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's my honor to present the Warren C. Giles Trophy to the National League champion, San Francisco Giants.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Giants destroyed the St. Louis Cardinals last night, 9-0. They now move on to the World Series to face the Detroit Tigers.

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Business
4:31 am
Wed October 10, 2012

California's Gas Prices Begin To Stabilize

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:48 am

Motorists should be seeing some relief from the recent record spike in gas prices. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded hit $4.67, according to AAA. That price hike sent elected officials scrambling. Some are calling for a federal investigation, while others are taking emergency steps to increase supply.

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