Rene Gonzalez is the Portland City Commissioner of Public Safety. In that capacity, he oversees the Portland Fire Bureau, the Bureau of Emergency Communications, and the Bureau of Emergency Management.
Commissioner Gonzalez was elected to the Portland City Council in November 2022 with a focus on restoring our city’s safety and livability. He believes that Portland should be a city that works for all, no exceptions. His office is committed to confronting our toughest challenges while working to build a positive, unifying vision for the future, and to a thoughtful, data-driven approach to solving local problems.
Prior to entering public service, Commissioner Gonzalez worked as an attorney, opened his own law firm, and owned a software business – all right here in Portland. He has also been recognized for his education and community activism, leading the successful effort to safely reopen Portland schools in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
Commissioner Gonzalez was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He is deeply proud of heritage and is the son of a one-time migrant worker from Mexico who worked his way up to become a federal prosecutor and then a trial judge. On his mother’s side, Commissioner Gonzalez’s Oregon roots run back into the early 20th century – he is the great-grandson of prominent Portland architect Ellis Lawrence, who was the founder and first dean of the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts.
In 1993, Commissioner Gonzalez first moved to Oregon to attend Willamette University in Salem, where he received both his undergraduate and law degrees. It was there he met his wife, Angie. Together they are raising three children here in Portland.
In his free time, Commissioner Gonzalez enjoys spending time with his family, playing futsal and soccer, and everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer, whether it’s via bike, on the road, or in his neighborhood.