The Huge Electric Leadership of a Small California Town

By Building Its Own Microgrid, Rural Gonzales Charts a Path to the Energy Future

If California is lucky, our energy future could look like a small town in the rural Salinas Valley.

Longtime readers of this column will not be surprised to learn that the town in question is Gonzales, the California municipal version of the Little Engine That Could. Its small, working-class population of just 9,000, many of them farmworkers, has ingeniously solved tricky local government problems, from universal broadband to health care access, and from economic planning to child development.

Now Gonzales is tackling one of our state’s most stubborn challenges: how to develop …

One Small California Town’s 15-Year Fight for Universal Broadband | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

One Small California Town’s 15-Year Fight for Universal Broadband

Gonzales’ Victory Is a Lesson on Power, and How Communities Can Beat the Odds

If California is really the global tech capital it claims to be, why is it so hard for the state’s small towns to get the top-notch internet broadband service they …

‘We Put the Ultrasound Machine in the Local Pharmacy’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

We Put the Ultrasound Machine in the Local Pharmacy

Physician Assistant Luz Garcia Is Bringing a Family Practice to Where Her Community Is

If you walk into the local pharmacy in downtown Gonzales and turn to the right, you’ll see an examination room with an ultrasound machine. It represents more than just a …

The Fabulous Fable of Fabiola’s Scholarship Fund | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Fabulous Fable of Fabiola’s Scholarship Fund

While Rich Californians Paid Bribes to Get Their Kids Into College, a Struggling Sophomore Shares Her Small Windfall

This spring—as federal prosecutors announced a major college admissions scandal that had ensnared wealthy movie stars and prominent Californians, who paid millions in bribes to get their kids into elite …

The Small California Farm Town That Puts Kids First

Against All Odds, Gonzales—Population 9,000—Offers Services That Touch the Lives of All Its Young People

What if California actually decided to put the needs of its poor kids first? What would that look like?

Here’s one answer: it might look like Gonzales, a small city of …

Small and Speedy, Gonzales Is a City on the Move

With a Growing Economy, Good Schools, and a Low Crime Rate, It's Outpacing Bigger Salinas Valley Rivals

Here’s a nasty bit of conventional wisdom: California’s small, rural places are supposedly desperate and doomed, with few economic prospects in an era when state policy favors the urban coastal …