New Play about Heroes of Mission District Features Alum Juan Gonzales

Thursday, October 07, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- Flores, who will play Gonzales in his production, will focus on El Tecolote’s 1977 investigation into the lack of medical interpreters at San Francisco General Hospital after a pregnant woman tried to get care and ended up losing her baby when no one understood what she was saying. Their coverage resulted in hospital officials creating a bilingual unit with 26 interpreters, according to Acción Latina.

“There were a lot of issues at that time, a lot of things going on in the neighborhood, that weren’t being written about by the major papers, and there was very little neighborhood-based media at that time,” recalled Gonzales, who started the newspaper as a project while studying at San Francisco State University.

Gonzales, who now chairs the journalism department at City College of San Francisco, said El Tecolote’s coverage also helped establish the modern Mission District’s identity by profiling artists, community members and cultural institutions that helped create a sense of pride among its residents.