EL TECOLOTE (SAN FRANCISCO) -- In 1969, Gonzales was a student at San Francisco State University and a reporter for the school newspaper, The Phoenix. He was assigned small projects despite his strong experience in the field. Determined to do something more, he wrote a five-part series about a convention that led to the formation of the Mission Coalition Organization. His work ran in the school newspaper and his research established connections with activists in the Mission District. That same semester, as Gonzales was nearing graduation, a student strike resulted in the formation of La Raza Studies at SFSU. Faculty asked Gonzales to develop and teach a journalism course within the program. Through these experiences, Gonzales identified a need for a neighborhood newspaper in the Mission District.
“Historically when we look at mainstream newspapers in San Francisco and across the nation, stories are not consistently written about these [Latino] communities, unless it’s something tragic, something crime involved. But there are more stories happening in the neighborhood than just that. Those stories get lost,” said Gonzales.