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.

Pages

The Two-Way
6:03 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Border Patrol Urged To Crack Down On Corruption In Its Own Ranks

U.S. agents compare notes as they patrol along the Mexico border near McAllen, Texas. A draft report by outside experts calls for steps to confront any claims of corruption in the Border Patrol.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 7:17 pm

A new government report recommends that the U.S. Border Patrol double its internal affairs investigators to focus on corruption and the alleged mistreatment of migrants along the Mexican border.

The interim report, written at the request of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, focuses on three themes: rooting out corruption within the agency; reining in the unauthorized use of force by Border Patrol agents; and improving departmental transparency.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:21 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Obama Immigrant Detention Policies Under Fire

Detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center, a temporary home for immigrant women and children detained at the border.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 3:40 pm

The Obama administration is under growing pressure to change its policies governing the detention of thousands of migrants who came to the United States illegally.

Maybe it is a coincidence, but consider what has happened this past week:

Read more
Book News & Features
1:47 am
Thu June 11, 2015

At 96, Poet And Beat Publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti Isn't Done Yet

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, pictured here in 2004, was the principal publisher of the writers and poets known as the Beat Generation.
Gezett ullstein bild via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 1:36 pm

Lawrence Ferlinghetti lives in a modest second-story walk-up in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. Hanging on his walls are his doctorate from the Sorbonne, an unframed Paul Gaugin print and posters of celebrated poetry readings dating back to the days when he personified a hip, literate and rebellious San Francisco. Not that he's nostalgic.

"Everything was better than it is when you're old," he says.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

Supreme Court Rejects NRA Challenge To San Francisco Gun Rules

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 2:01 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to block two San Francisco gun control measures that were fiercely opposed by the National Rifle Association. At least one veteran court observer says the high court's decision raises questions about how the justices interpret the Second Amendment.

First, the basics: A 2007 San Francisco ordinance requires residents to keep handguns under lock and key or to use trigger locks when they are not carrying their weapons. Another law, dating to 1994, bans the sale of ammunition that expands on impact, or hollow-point bullets.

Read more
U.S.
1:38 am
Fri May 1, 2015

California Bill Could Limit Police Access To Body Camera Footage

Oakland police officers, wearing body cameras, form a line during demonstrations against recent incidents of alleged police brutality nationwide.
Elijah Nouvelage Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 10:46 am

The unrest in Baltimore and other cities regarding alleged police misconduct has prompted new calls for law enforcement officers to wear body cameras. Such recordings could provide accountability and transparency in potentially controversial circumstances.

At least, that's the idea.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:48 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

A Ticking Clock Threatens Obama's Immigration Plan

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 11:07 am

A federal appeals court in New Orleans heard oral arguments in a case that could determine the viability of President Obama's plan to temporarily shield more than 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and issue them work permits.

At stake is whether the president will get to implement his plan before his term expires.

Read more
The Salt
1:51 am
Thu April 16, 2015

How Almonds Became A Scapegoat For California's Drought

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 10:17 am

You may have heard by now that it takes one gallon of water to produce just one almond. And those are considered fighting words in drought-stricken California, which produces 80 percent of the world's supply of the tasty and nutritious nut.

So when almond grower Daniel Bays hears that, he just shakes his head.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:37 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Amid Drought, Central Valley Residents Face Rising Water Prices

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 5:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
It's All Politics
10:35 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Calif. Lawyer Proposes Ballot Initiative To Kill Gays And Lesbians

Rainbow flags fly in front of San Francisco City Hall in 2013 after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California.
Noah Berger AP

California's system of direct democracy — the voter initiative process — has produced landmark laws reducing property taxes, banning affirmative action and legalizing medical marijuana.

Now there's a bid to declare that "the people of California wisely command" that gays and lesbians can be killed.

You read that right.

The "Sodomite Suppression Act," as proposed, calls sodomy "a monstrous evil" that should be punishable "by bullets to the head or any other convenient method."

Read more
Business
3:02 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Blue Shield Of California Loses Its Tax-Exempt Status

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 4:03 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
6:02 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

More San Francisco Police Officers Accused Of Sending Racist Texts

In a rapidly unfolding scandal, San Francisco law enforcement officials are pledging to review the case work of four city police officers who are accused of sending a series of racist and homophobic text messages.

A published report says the San Francisco Police Department is also investigating at least 10 other officers in connection with the sharing of offensive text messages.

Read more
U.S.
2:21 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Immigration Courts 'Operating In Crisis Mode,' Judges Say

People in Miami protest the Texas district judge who on Tuesday temporarily blocked the implementation of President Obama's executive actions on immigration.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 11:54 am

As Congress debates the fate of President Obama's immigration policies, the nation's immigration court system is bogged down in delays exacerbated by the flood of unaccompanied minors who crossed the southern border last summer.

The administration made it a priority for those cases to be heard immediately. As a result, hundreds of thousands of other cases have been delayed until as late as 2019.

Read more
U.S.
3:10 pm
Sat February 21, 2015

Texas Court Ruling Leaves Undocumented Immigrants In Legal Limbo

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 4:54 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Read more
Politics
4:18 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Harris Opens Bid For Boxer's Senate Seat, But Others May Follow

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 4:53 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Employers Help Legal Immigrants On Path To Citizenship

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 1:34 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
Race
2:55 am
Thu December 11, 2014

First The Protest, Then The Storm: Bay Area's 5 Straight Nights Of Clashes

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:45 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
9:23 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Democratic Mayors Back Obama's Immigration Plan, Citing Economic Benefits

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is hosting mayors from across the country to support President Obama's executive actions on immigration.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 12:50 pm

Short on the heels of a nonbinding House vote to block President Obama's executive action on immigration, some 20 Democratic U.S. mayors are meeting today in New York City to send a different message:

They want to help implement the president's plan.

Read more
Politics
5:21 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Immigrants Scramble To Figure Their Status Under Obama's Plan

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 11:26 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Around the Nation
3:09 pm
Sat November 8, 2014

Killings By Mexican National Exposes Holes In Border Security

Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 4:33 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

Read more
The Two-Way
7:06 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Chevron Spends Big, And Loses Big, In A City Council Race

Chevron Corp. supported several candidates in Richmond, Calif., where the company has been hoping to modernize a large oil refinery, seen here in 2010. None of the Chevron-backed candidates were elected.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 1:08 pm

Tuesday's elections weren't just bad news for Democrats. Oil giant Chevron Corp. got clobbered in a hot local election in Richmond, Calif., that was widely seen as a referendum on the company itself.

The San Francisco Bay Area community of 107,000 people attracted national attention to its race for City Council. Richmond is home to one of Chevron's two West Coast refineries. The city has long been known as a company town: Chevron is Richmond's largest employer and taxpayer.

Read more
Sports
3:10 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Giants Fans Rejoice After Third World Series Title In 5 Years

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 4:27 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
Sports
2:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Giants Fans Prepare For World Series To Hit City By The Bay

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 5:03 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Men In America
3:53 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Making Fatherhood An Insider's Game: Becoming A Dad, Again, At 49

Dale Conour with his son Quinn, 2. Conour's two children from a previous marriage were already young men when Quinn was born.
Rosanne Sax Courtesy of Dale Conour

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 7:12 am

Meet Dale Conour, a strapping, athletic man of 52. At midday, he's at home eating lunch with his son, Quinn, who is 2 1/2. Half of the living room of their San Francisco apartment is clearly Quinn's territory, filled with building blocks, a tepee and a train set.

Conour, a brand strategist and former magazine editor, is currently between jobs — which frees him up for afternoons like this with Quinn.

Read more
Law
3:11 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Court Rules For FedEx Drivers In Suit Over Job Classification

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 5:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Around the Nation
2:06 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Wine Country Quake Leaves Behind Bottles In Shards

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 5:53 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The USGS estimates the damage from the earthquake at more than a billion dollars. In Napa, emergency managers are making their initial assessments. Napa City Manager, Mike Parness, explains the process.

Read more
Law
2:14 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Strapped And Stretched, Non-Profits Struggle To Defend Immigrant Minors

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 6:51 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

A Top Immigration Judge Calls For Shift On 'Fast-Tracking'

Immigrants board a bus after being released from U.S. Border Patrol detention in Texas last month. An immigration judge says the Obama administration's "fast-tracking" effort means many people go into court without an attorney, opening a door to future problems.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 5:27 pm

As the Obama administration says the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the Southwest border is declining, the White House is being urged to stop fast-tracking their deportation hearings. That call is coming from an unusual source: one of the nation's top immigration judges.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:31 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Killing Of Four Latino Men Sparks Protests In Salinas, Calif.

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 9:22 am

After police in Salinas, Calif., shot and killed four Latino men since March, local authorities are rejecting demands for a federal investigation. Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin told NPR member station KQED that even though his department "has nothing to hide," a federal review would be premature since internal investigations of the shootings are still pending.

Read more
Politics
2:20 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Senate's Immigration Reform Bill Is Declared Dead At One Year Old

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A year-long effort to push a comprehensive immigration reform bill through the House was officially declared dead yesterday. Prospects for the bill were always dicey and the debate became more complicated by the recent wave of unaccompanied children seeking entry into the United States. NPR's Richard Gonzales has more.

Read more
Arts & Life
3:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Never Tell Them The Odds: Cities Vie To Host 'Star Wars' Collection

While cities are still competing for the not yet built Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, parts of the collection are already on display. The "Star Wars Identities" traveling exhibition, currently at the Cite du Cinema in Saint-Denis, France, features 200 objects from George Lucas' collection — including the costumes of Chewbacca, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

A short time ago, in a city not far away, Star Wars creator George Lucas decided to build a museum to house his movie memorabilia and his art collection.

There's just one looming question: Where should it go?

Lucas says he'll spend $300 million of his own money to build the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum and will provide a $400 million endowment after his death. In addition to holding Skywalker artifacts galore, the museum would also host Lucas' private art collection, featuring works by Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth, among others.

Read more

Pages