Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle, who represented District 2 including his hometown of Union City as well as part of Sunol for more than 10 years, died on Wednesday afternoon following a nearly two-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 73.
Valle, who served on the City Council in Union City for 13 years prior to earning election to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in 2012, had just earned another term in office by winning the primary election unchallenged last year.
Board President Nate Miley confirmed Valle's death on Wednesday afternoon, saying he was "devastated to learn of the passing of my colleague and friend. Richard Valle was a champion for his district, especially his hometown of Union City."
"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," Miley said. "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, whose district includes Pleasanton, added of Valle: "He was an advocate for at-risk youth, job development programs, and was a steadfast champion for organized labor. My condolences to his wife, children, grandchildren, staff and to all those lucky enough to call Richard a friend. Rest in peace Supervisor Valle."
Valle is survived by his wife Barbara, daughter Monica, son Andrew and three grandchildren. The Valles had celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary on Feb. 3.
Valle spent much of his adult life in public service, starting with enlisting in the U.S. Army as a medic and serving in Vietnam in 1970. He would go on to work in the recycling industry, including founding Tri-CED Community, which is now California's largest nonprofit recycling organization.
His career in public office began in 1997 on the City Council in Union City, a position he held through 2010. Valle ascended to the county Board of Supervisors in 2012.
"He was a champion for organized labor, environmental stewardship, lifting up at-promise youth, and providing second chances for justice-involved residents," his family said in a statement released through Miley's office.
Valle was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in July 2021, battling the disease for his final years in office including his successful bid for reelection uncontested in June 2022. Supervisorial District 2 encompasses Hayward, Union City, Newark, portions of Fremont and unincorporated areas including part of Sunol.
His family said Valle passed away peacefully at home in Union City surrounded by his wife and children at 12:41 p.m. Wednesday.
Valle is the second county supervisor to die in office in the past 15 months. Then-District 3 supervisor Wilma Chan was fatally struck by a vehicle while crossing a street with her dog in her hometown of Alameda in November 2021.