Justine Gonzalez believes in the economic power of diversity and the fair and just treatment of all people in Los Angeles. She has dedicated her career in public service and the non-profit sector to advancing Los Angeles as an inclusive, multicultural city.
In February 2017, Justine joined Equality California (EQCA) as a Program Associate. EQCA is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. She works at the local and state levels to maintain California’s comprehensive non-discrimination protections, expand those protections to other states, and improve health outcomes and reduce economic disparities for all LGBT people. She supports the operations of EQCA's Leadership Academy, and will support the organization's community mobilizing and educational initiatives, including Transform California.
Previously, Justine served a Client Advocate at the Legal Services Department of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the nation’s largest community-based provider of LGBT-related services. As a direct provider for the Center’s Anti-Violence and Transgender Economic Empowerment Projects, Justine provided legal assistance to LGBT people with a special focus on survivors of violence, undocumented immigrants, and transgender people.
Since its inception in 2016, Justine has served on the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission Transgender Advisory Council (TAC), and has served on the West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Board (TAB) since 2015. TAC advises the Human Relations Commission, Mayor, City Council and other agencies on issues important to the transgender community, and TAB provides that guidance and advocacy to West Hollywood’s City Council and Mayor.
Prior to her service on these boards, she served as an aide to then Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Mayor Eric Garcetti. She supported the coordination of the City’s first LGBT Heritage Month Celebration in 2011. In 2013, she co-chaired the LGBT Heritage Month planning committee of over 20 government offices and community organizations and lead its coordination. She also served as a liaison on behalf of the Mayor’s Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Relations, working closely with the City Council’s executive, press, and legislative deputies to support and coordinate legislative initiatives.
As Mayor Garcetti’s External Affairs Coordinator, Justine coordinated the incoming administration’s integration of the Mayor’s Offices of Legislative and Intergovernmental Relations and Neighborhood and Community Services. She supported the overall operations of the Mayor’s Office of External Affairs, providing staffing support and guidance to the office’s legislative and community agenda.
In 2016, Justine was selected as a Next Generation LGBT Leadership Fellow by the Coca-Cola Foundation. In 2015, she was selected as a Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund Empowerment Fellow. Both fellowships provided comprehensive training on public service and leadership at the local, state, and national levels.
Through her career, Justine gained critical experience working effectively with and for people of diverse races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, socio-economic backgrounds, ages, and immigration statuses.
Justine studied Political Science at California State University, Northridge, and Gender, Ethnicity, and Multicultural Studies at Pasadena City College. She has lived in Los Angeles for 12 years, and currently resides in Echo Park with her co-parent and daughter.