Union City and the 2nd District of Alameda County have lost a major figure in the community.
Richard Valle, Union City resident and 2nd District Supervisor, has died at the age of 73, according to a statement issued by 4th District Supervisor Nate Miley on Wednesday afternoon.
“I am devastated to learn of the passing of my colleague and friend,” Miley said in the statement. “Richard Valle was a champion for his District, especially his hometown of Union City.”
Valle represented the 2nd District, which includes Hayward, Union City, Newark and portions of Fremont, for the past 10 years, but was active in the community long before that, helping form Centro de Servicios in 1974 to “provide social services and legal aid to low-income communities” and Tri-CED Community Recycling in 1980.
Cities, organizations and officials from across the district issued statements expressing grief at Valle’s passing, remembering him as a devoted public servant and an advocate for environmental and social justice causes.
Miley remembered how Valle “fought for safety-net services, mental health programs and was a tireless supporter of Saint Rose Hospital.”
“He uplifted community volunteers through a highly successful annual volunteer appreciation event, promoted walkable neighborhoods through the Niles Canyon Stroll and Roll and educated the community about STEM programming through Science in the Park,” Miley wrote. “He was an advocate for at-risk youth, job development programs, and was a steadfast champion for organized labor.”
Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods posted on Twitter that Valle helped create the county’s “immigration removal defense unit and was a supporter of all things Public Defense.”
“Rest in Power my friend,” he wrote.
State Senator Aisha Wahab wrote that she was deeply saddened by Valle’s death in a Facebook post. She wrote how she had known him for the past decade, working with him as an appointee to the Alameda County Human Relations Commission, a member of the Hayward City Council and most recently as a state senator.
“He was wise and prudent in how he shepherded changes; he was always on the side of those seeking progressive policy advances in Alameda County,” Wahab wrote.
The city of Newark announced it will fly all flags at city facilities at half-staff for the remainder of the week as a show of respect to Valle.
“Our county and our state have lost an incredible public servant,” Assemblymember Alex Lee posted on Twitter. “Richard Valle dedicated his career to helping others, and I’m devastated by his passing.”