Richard Valle, the Alameda County supervisor who represents Hayward, Newark and Union City, has died at 73.
Valle’s fellow supervisors were the first to confirm his death on Tuesday afternoon, reflecting on his decade-long tenure representing District 2 on the county board.
No cause was provided for Valle’s death. The supervisor was known to be dealing with health issues and had missed a number of supervisors meetings and community events over the past year.
Valle was a veteran of the Vietnam War and attended Chabot College and Cal State East Bay.
The supervisor resided in his hometown, Union City. He leaves behind his wife, Barbara — whom he met when both were students at James Logan High School — and children Monica and Andrew.
Valle was first appointed to the District 2 supervisor seat in 2012 and subsequently won re-election three times, running unopposed last year and in 2018. Before that, he served as a Union City council member from 1997 to 2010.
The founder of one of the state’s largest nonprofit recycling companies, Valle advocated for environmental sustainability and affordable housing. He built strong alliances with labor unions that provided robust funding to his campaigns.
The supervisor also touted his frugal fiscal policies at the county, having served on the governing board of St. Rose Hospital in Hayward as it dealt with financial woes.
Valle’s passing marks the second death in two years of an active Alameda County supervisor. Wilma Chan, who represented Alameda, San Leandro and part of Oakland in District 3, was killed in 2021 when she was hit by a car while walking her dog.
“During his 10 years of service on the Board of Supervisors, Richard fought for safety-net services, mental health programs and was a tireless supporter of Saint Rose Hospital,” Supervisor Nate Miley, the county board chair, said in a statement.
Miley praised the supervisor’s work in helping to put on volunteer appreciation events, promoting walkable neighborhoods in Fremont’s Niles neighborhood and developing STEM programming for local youth.
Supervisor Keith Carson, in a statement, said he would miss Valle’s “perspective and thoughtful deliberations” in making decisions for the county.
“His passion for bettering our community was exemplary,” Carson said. “Richard fought for everyone who needed assistance and was a strong supporter of workers… Rest in power, my friend.”