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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5:07am

Wed July 1, 2015
Around the Nation

A Father In California, Kids In El Salvador, And New Hope To Reunite

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 11:00 am

Marta Elsie Leveron, 19, (left) and her brother Freddy David Leveron, 18, have not seen their father since he left El Savador to work in California in 1999. A new U.S. program allows families to reunite if one parent is a legal U.S. resident. The girl in the middle is Liliana Beatriz Leveron, 16, a cousin of the other two. Her parents are in the U.S. and she's seeking to reunite with them as well.
Carrie Kahn NPR

Editor's Note: Unaccompanied minors surged across the U.S. southern border last year. In response, the Obama administration has introduced a program that would allow families to reunite. In this story about the divided Leveron family, NPR's Richard Gonzales reports first from California, followed by Carrie Kahn in El Salvador.

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6:21pm

Fri June 12, 2015
It's All Politics

Obama Immigrant Detention Policies Under Fire

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 5:40 pm

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

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:

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3:47am

Thu June 11, 2015
Book News & Features

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

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 3:36 pm

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

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.

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4:01pm

Mon June 8, 2015
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Rejects NRA Challenge To San Francisco Gun Rules

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.

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2:48pm

Thu May 7, 2015
Race

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

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 3:18 pm

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

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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3:38am

Fri May 1, 2015
U.S.

California Bill Could Limit Police Access To Body Camera Footage

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 12:46 pm

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

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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8:48pm

Fri April 17, 2015
The Two-Way

A Ticking Clock Threatens Obama's Immigration Plan

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 1:07 pm

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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3:51am

Thu April 16, 2015
The Salt

How Almonds Became A Scapegoat For California's Drought

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 12:17 pm

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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5:26pm

Tue April 14, 2015
Law

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

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 7:45 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.

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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12:07pm

Tue March 24, 2015
It's All Politics

Calif. Lawyer Proposes Ballot Initiative To Kill Gays And Lesbians

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 12:35 pm

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."

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