Gilda Gonzales

Beginning in 1987, she was selected as a California State Assembly Fellow working in the California State Legislature. Following her fellowship program, she worked on numerous state and national political campaigns then returned to the State Assembly as a Legislative Aide. In 1991, she began her career in Oakland City Hall serving as Policy Analyst to former Mayor Elihu Harris. During her fourteen year career in Oakland City Hall, she gained a vast knowledge in municipal financing and budgeting, public policy, economic development and government relations respectfully. She served in several capacities from budget analyst, Special Assistant to the Finance Agency Director, Intergovernmental Affairs Director, and Chief of Staff to former City Manager Robert Bobb and Mayor Jerry Brown.

In the fall of 2004, Ms. Gonzales was named the Chief Executive Officer for the Unity Council. She leads a forty-five year old organization comprised of 245 employees with an $18M annual budget and $75M in assets. The Unity Council is a non-profit community development corporation committed to enriching the quality of life of families and individuals primarily in the Fruitvale District of Oakland. Its mission is to help individuals and families build wealth and assets by implementing and managing comprehensive programs addressing economic, social, and neighborhood development.

Currently she serves on the Port of Oakland Commission, Alameda County First Five Commission, State Farm Bank National CRA Advisory Board, Bay Area Council Economic Institute Board of Trustees, and the Oakland Central City East Redevelopment Project Area Committee.

Originally from the Central Valley (Atwater), she attended and received a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Psychology from St. Mary's College (Moraga, CA), and a Master's of Public Administration from California State University at Hayward. She and her husband, Ken Wysocki, Ph.D., reside in Oakland.

Her father, Genovevo Gonzales, and her mother, Delia Gonzales, were both born in Texas and grew up picking fruit and cotton throughout the West and Southwest regions. Genovevo joined the U.S. Air Force at 19 years of age and acquired the skills of a sheet metal craftsman. He remained in the Air Force as a civil servant sheet metal worker till his retirement. At 24, Genovevo met Delia Dominguez who was age 19 and they wed. Over the course of ten years, they bore five children. In early 1966, Genovevo transferred from Roswell, New Mexico to Castle Air Force Base located in Atwater, California. Delia, who didn't acquire her high school degree till age 42, constantly emphasized the importance of education and her commitment to financially support any of her children as long as they were acquiring further education. Among the five children, one son has a Ph.D. in Education; one daughter has a Master's degree, and another daughter who began a Master's program in Education this year.


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