Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
Matt Gonzalez's life could've turned out very different.
Born in McAllen, Texas, and raised there and across the river in Reynoso, Tamaulipas (Mexico), in Part 1, Matt recalls spending a lot of time camping and playing football when he was a kid. His family moved around a bit—Louisville, Baltimore, New Orleans—before returning to South Texas, where Matt finished school and played more football. The sport eventually took a back seat to debate class, and he decided to go to college at Columbia in New York City.
Matt talks about arriving wide-eyed in New York. He spent four years getting his undergrad, with summers in Maine and Minnesota leading camping expeditions. Then, he decided to come to California for law school.
Part 2 is pretty much all about San Francisco politics 20 years ago.
Matt talks about how it was that he ended up running for political office to begin with. He walks us through Tom Ammiano's write-in campaign for mayor in 1999 and Matt's eventual ascension to the Board of Supervisors the next year.
What brought him into my sphere was Matt's run for mayor in 2003 against Willie Brown heir-apparent Gavin Newsom.
Other topics discussed in the podcast include:
We end with Matt's thoughts and hopes for what comes next in San Francisco.
We recorded this podcast over Zoom in March 2021.