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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Law
3:18 am
Tue May 26, 2015

U.S. Citizen Stranded In Yemen Sues State Department

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 1:47 pm

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Law
3:14 am
Mon May 11, 2015

U.S. Judge To Rule On Asylum Challenge Involving Families From Central America

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 6:27 pm

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Law
2:34 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

San Francisco Police Texting Scandal Could Compromise Thousands Of Cases

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 8:38 pm

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Race
12:48 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

China, India Surpass Mexico As Leading Sources Of New Immigrants To U.S.

Children attend their oath of U.S. citizenship ceremony at the Birmingham Public Library in Alabama onAug. 14, 2014.
Tamika Moore AL.com/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 1:18 pm

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate a change in the flow of immigrants arriving in the U.S. from around the world and offer a look at what the nation will look like in the future.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Law
3:38 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Immigrant-Rights Activists In Seattle Claim Victory In Child Deportation Case

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 5:45 pm

A federal judge in Seattle has given immigrant advocates a victory. He is allowing a challenge to move forward dealing with the Obama Administration's effort to fast-track deportation hearings for immigrant children.

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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

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Around the Nation
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

California Plastic Bag Referendum Could Spark Environmental Showdown

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

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It's All Politics
9:49 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

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 10:35 am

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."

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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

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The Two-Way
5:29 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

More San Francisco Police Officers Accused Of Sending Racist Texts

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 6:02 pm

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.

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Race
3:55 am
Tue March 17, 2015

A Chinese Immigrant Gets His California Law License, 125 Years Later

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:56 pm

The state Supreme Court in California has posthumously admitted a Chinese immigrant to the state bar, 125 years after his application was denied. The law license application was rejected back in 1890.

Hong Yen Chang was sent to United States from China in 1872 to be groomed as a diplomat, a bridge between East and West. His training took him through Andover, Yale and Columbia Law School.

"So he really was about as integrated as one can be in the establishment at the time," says Gabriel Chin, a professor at the University of California at Davis School of Law.

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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.

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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

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Law
3:40 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Judge's Decision Complicates Matters For Unauthorized Immigrants

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 5:24 am

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Law
6:42 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Should Shared Ancestry Force A Judge's Recusal?

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 10:00 am

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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

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Around the Nation
3:03 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Activists Call 2014 'A Super Banner Year' For Same-Sex Marriage

Kimmy Denny and her partner, Barb Lawrence of Palm Harbor, Fla., wait outside a court hearing on gay marriage in Miami in July. On Jan. 6, same-sex marriages will be allowed in the Sunshine State.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 2:17 pm

A year ago, same-sex marriage was legal in 18 states and Washington, D.C. Now that number is up to 35 states, and there's a strong possibility that remaining bans will go before the Supreme Court in the year ahead.

While activists in the legal and political battle over same-sex marriage called 2013 a banner year for their cause, they're calling 2014 a "super banner year."

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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

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Around the Nation
2:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Heavy Rains In California Turn Roads Into Rivers

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 4:39 pm

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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

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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.

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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

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Politics
5:35 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Immigrants Wait To See How Obama Will Act On Immigration

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 1:24 pm

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We don't know just when President Obama will act, nor do we know precisely what he will do.

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But if President Obama acts on his own to change immigration policy, we do know millions of lives will be affected.

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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

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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.

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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

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History
5:57 am
Sun October 5, 2014

Berkeley's Fight For Free Speech Fired Up Student Protest Movement

Mario Savio, leader of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, is restrained by police as he walks to the platform at the University of California's Greek Theater in Berkeley on Dec. 7, 1964.
Robert W. Klein AP

Originally published on Sun October 5, 2014 11:51 am

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley. That movement launched the massive sit-ins and protests that would help define a generation of student activism across the country.

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