February 2012 Bar Bulletin
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Profile / Justice Steven Gonzalez

An American Tale

By David A. Perez


The call from the governor came on a Sunday afternoon. After hanging up, Steven Gonzalez walked down to the basement where his two sons were spending the afternoon.

"I just got off the phone with Governor Gregoire," Gonzalez said. "She wants to appoint me to the State Supreme Court."

His son, Isaac, looked up at him with a big grin. "I'm going to go tell the neighbors!"

"Not so fast," Gonzalez told him. "The governor wants to make the announcement on Tuesday, so we have to keep this to ourselves until then."

"Well ... can I at least tell my friends that I get to meet the governor?"

Humble Beginnings

Steven Gonzalez grew up in Claremont, California, with his sister, his brother and his mom. Gonzalez recalls that he first learned justice from her knee "or some other joint," as he tells it. During high school, Gonzalez cleaned park bathrooms to earn cash to buy clothes and save for college. "I had a lot of time to reflect on what might lie ahead of me," Gonzalez recalls. "And I think the restrooms were a very good reason for me to want to go to college."

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