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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Surprising findings on poverty in the Tri-Valley

Uploaded: Oct 12, 2023
If you are poor in the Tri-Valley, you have an even more uphill battle than those with similar income living on the Bay side.
The assumption here, in schools, is that parents can afford the supplies required for classes. Many can, some cannot.
The Tri-Valley Anti-Poverty Collaborative, operating under the umbrella of the Tri-Valley Non-Profit Alliance, released an update on its deep dive into poverty here last week. There were some surprising findings.
The poor people in the Tri-Valley suffered mightily and their numbers grew significantly because of the pandemic and the shutdown. The number of people on public assistance grew from 21,500 to 42,720 from 2017-2021. That’s one in five here in the Tri-Valley.
The majority of those are in Livermore at 26,824, while there are 21,082 in Pleasanton and 16,455 in Dublin.
The number of people who are rent burdened—spending more than 30% of gross pay on rent—hit 56%. The rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Alameda County is $2,460. The income in the county needed to meet basic needs for a family of four is $123,615, according to the United States Census Bureau. That’s a stunning commentary on the under-supply of housing and its impact on the cost of living. A six-figure income in most of the United States means a comfortable middle class standard of living.
The valley’s shift to a multi-ethnic community continued to accelerate over the last few years. Now 39% of households speak at language other than English at home—that’s 54% in Dublin.
The Livermore Valley traditional has had a small Latino population (around 10%) with the vast majority white. No longer. Pleasanton is almost equally split between Asians and Whites, Livermore still is majority White, while the valley, thanks to Dublin, has 190,000 Asians and 149,000 whites.
Dublin has the highest household income, a surprise, but it reflects the people moving into the new housing on the east side.
Two important findings about education: the number of students saying they felt depressed ranged from 24% in Pleasanton to a high of 29% in Dublin. That reflects the negative impact of the pandemic lockdown plus the terrible impact of social media on students.
Blacks make up a tiny percentage of the population, less than 2% in two cities and 4% in the other, but the students’ rate of chronic absenteeism is around 30%. For Hispanic students, it’s at 30% in one community and 22-23% in the other two. Major red flag—that’s an accurate predictor of future incarceration rates.
To read the full report, please see
The Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group followed its pattern of promoting a leader from its staff ranks when it announced its new CEO. When founder Dale Kaye was walking up on retirement, she recruited Lynn Naylor to join her team as No. 2. When Dale stepped aside, Lynn took over to run the organization for six years.
Now as Lynn has moved on to her exciting new assignment, Katie Marcel has been named the CEO. Katie was recruited from her successful role as managing director of Shakespeare’s Associates that produced the Bard’s plays in Livermore. The press release noted that the search team conducted a wide search before concluding they had the best person in house.
It was a good season for the innovation group because its newly seated chair, Stephanie Beasly of Sandia National Laboratory, was named one of the San Francisco Business Times influential women. Lawrence Livermore National Lab Director Kim Budil also was recognized.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Oct 12, 2023 at 5:23 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Alameda County Probation Department has 5100 adults and 440 youth under "supervision". The Alameda County jail has 4000 inmates.

Related: Hundreds, maybe more, of Alameda County residents are wards of the State. Alameda County HHIS - aging services - have those numbers.

Posted by Jeff Nibert, a resident of Stoneridge,
on Oct 12, 2023 at 6:44 pm

Jeff Nibert is a registered user.

1 of 2
The numbers presented in the Tri-Valley Anti-Poverty Collaborative (TVAPC) report are truly sobering and deeply concerning. People should download the report and read the whole thing. It's only 18 pages of large text and a lot of graphics. It covers poverty, housing, education, child care, food insecurity, health and the negative effect of ending pandemic-era benefits. We must care about the safety and security of all of our residents. Everyone who needs help should receive help. So life-giving public services always need to be made widely available.

The published work of the Alameda County Social Services Agency (ACSSA) informed the TVAPC. The Agency and the TVAPC both perform valuable and consequential work for our residents, including the most vulnerable of our neighbors.

On a particular note, the above assertion that one-fourth of the people in Pleasanton (21,082) are on public assistance caught my attention. Does that sound right? If one dives into the Tri-Valley Anti-Poverty Collaborative (TVAPC) report and its cited sources, then it seems that the TVAPC report counts Medicare as a part of public assistance in one instance, and later it does not.


The blog above says, "The number of people on public assistance grew from 21,500 to 42,720 from 2017-2021."

The 2023 TVAPC report (p 8) says, "The number of Tri-Valley (residents) receiving MediCal, CalFresh, CalWorks and General Assistance increased" from 27,566 to 42,720 from 2019-2023. (This matches the data from the ACSSA April 2023 report, page 11.)

So "public assistance" here refers to MediCal, CalFresh, CalWorks and General Assistance.

The blog above goes on to say, "The majority of (people on public assistance) are in Livermore at 26,824, while there are 21,082 in Pleasanton and 16,455 in Dublin." That's over 64,000, a lot more than 42,720.


Posted by Jeff Nibert, a resident of Stoneridge,
on Oct 12, 2023 at 6:45 pm

Jeff Nibert is a registered user.

2 of 2
However, the 2023 TVAPC report says, "Pleasanton has the highest number of people accessing public assistance at 31,082" (which is 10,000 higher, apparently a typo in the blog). So that's over 74,000 in the Tri-Valley, even more than 42,720.

The 42,720 number is from the ACSSA primary source, which shows the individual numbers as 19,949 in Livermore, 11,148 in Pleasanton, and 11,623 in Dublin, referring to MediCal, CalFresh, CalWorks and General Assistance.

How can it be, according to the TYAPC, that 31,000 people in Pleasanton are on public assistance? A clue is on page 8 of the TVAPC report, where it states, "Public Benefits: Over one in five people (53,667) in the Tri-Valley utilize a public health insurance option such as MediCal/Medicaid or Medicare." (The TVAPC report offers no footnoted source for this statement.)

Medicare? Yes, Medicare is actually a public health insurance option. After all, every U.S. citizen over 65 is eligible. But do people consider Medicare to be a form of public assistance on par with MediCal, CalFresh, CalWorks and General Assistance? No.

Having said that, we should not lose sight of what the TVAPC report concludes: "While the Tri-Valley is likely to continue to experience growth in housing and population over the next several years, the community's low-income families and individuals will continue to struggle. Housing affordability, child care costs, reliable transportation, and access to mental health and healthcare are key concerns. The ending of pandemic related emergency aid will likely see poverty rates increase, especially for vulnerable populations such as children and seniors, without a concentrated effort to address key affordability issues."

Posted by Justine Longazo, a resident of another community,
on Oct 14, 2023 at 8:53 am

Justine Longazo is a registered user.

If the Tri-Valley figures reflect that poorly in regards to poverty, then something must be done to alleviate the situation including:

(1) The issuance of additional Section 8 rent vouchers to offset the escalating costs of rental housing + more affordable housing developments.
(2) An increase in SNAP benefits for all qualified individuals; $300.00/monthly person.
(3) Subsidized discounts on all utilities.
(4) Public assistance towards purchasing an EV (or a gasoline subsidy) + an Obamacare-style program to keep their vehicles properly insured along with a waiver in CA DMV fees.
(5) An all-inclusive ESL program to cover any/all student language difficiencies in public schools regardless of one's ethnicity or cultural background.
(6) More community involvement and support from the white residents of Tri-Valley.

Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Ironwood,
on Oct 17, 2023 at 1:41 pm

Doug Miller is a registered user.

Justine Longazo writes above that she wants to see "More community involvement and support from the white residents of Tri-Valley." I would like her to explain what she means. Why is she singling out one race? Based on what?

Posted by Cassandra Miller, a resident of San Ramon,
on Oct 18, 2023 at 1:34 pm

Cassandra Miller is a registered user.

@Doug Miller...I suspect that Ms. Longazo is addressing white affluence and the pervasive racism that still exists in America.

Posted by Tim Hunt, a blogger,
on Oct 18, 2023 at 4:30 pm

Tim Hunt is a registered user.

Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Ironwood,
on Oct 19, 2023 at 6:40 pm

Doug Miller is a registered user.

Let's let Ms Longazo speak for herself and defend her comment. Until she does, this is a troubling comment.

And is there some relationship being suggested between "white affluence and pervasive racism"? Please explain.

Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Oct 19, 2023 at 7:06 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

A couple of old native American proverbs:

"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right."

"I am living in poverty, but in peace."

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