Supervisor Valle's November 2022 Newsletter

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Release Date: November 21, 2022

Supervisor's Message

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The holiday season is upon us. As we enter a third holiday season since the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we are continuing to learn to live with this virus. With the concerns that this could be a bad flu season along with the spread of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), media outlets are calling it a tripledemic. It’s important to continue precautions to keep yourself and others healthy. Get the COVID vaccination or booster, flu vaccination, regularly wash your hands, and stay home when feeling sick. More information on COVID-19 and health safety tips can be found at Alameda County Public Health Department’s website.

On October 17, 2022 Governor Gavin Newsome announced California will end the COVID-19 State of Emergency on February 28, 2023. The state of emergency grants the governor broad emergency powers to issue mask and vaccination mandates, stay-at-home orders, and other measures included in 74 executive orders issued since March of 2020. Read more about the details of the announcement, provisions that remain in effect, and plan moving forward here. Locally, Alameda County’s Public Health Officer announced during the Board of Supervisors' meeting on November 1, 2022 that the County intends to lift the local health emergency order, as local conditions allow, on February 28, 2023 to align with the State of California. There remains a concern that there may be a winter surge in COVID-19 cases which will be assessed with appropriate actions taken as needed.

These developments along with ongoing monitoring of cases and severity of illness appear to show that the worst is behind us. The lifting of the local health emergency order will signal an end of the county-wide eviction moratorium 60 days after the termination of the local health emergency. The County’s eviction moratorium has been an important tool to protect the most vulnerable tenants from severe outcomes with COVID-19 economic and health impacts being further exacerbated by the loss of housing and homelessness. More information on the eviction moratorium can be found on the Alameda County Housing Secure's website or by visiting Centro Legal.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!


Richard Valle

Raising the Profile: Marcus Dawal, Chief of Probation

Chief of Probation Marcus Dawal

Raising Leaders, a key District 2 initiative since 2018, is a workshop and internship model giving at-promise youth an opportunity to learn from leaders within our community and gain hands-on paid work experience. District 2 is beginning a new newsletter series taking a deeper look into the Raising Leaders program through interviews with its students, partners, and worksites. In this issue of the newsletter, we are featuring Marcus Dawal, Chief of the Alameda County Probation Department.

District 2: How long have you been a member of the Alameda County Probation Department and what inspired you to work in this field?

Chief Dawal: I started working for the Alameda County Probation Department July of 1998, so I’ve been with the department for 24yrs. What inspired me to work in the field was growing up, I was involved in sports and some of my coaches and relatives worked in public service. I was always intrigued by their jobs and looked up to them, so I knew I wanted to do a job in public service and ultimately help people and work in a team environment.

D2: What’s the most rewarding part of being a member of the Alameda County Probation Department?

MD: My answer now is probably different then if you would have interviewed me 10 years ago or when I first started. I would say right now the most rewarding part that I do in my current capacity would be a decision maker that can provide programming and opportunities for our youth and adult clients to be successful.

D2: How do you define success in your career?

MD: I define my success by the support and working relationships I have been able to establish. Not just internally with my colleagues and peers in the Probation Department. Also, external stake holders whether that be other county agency employees or people outside of Alameda County that work in the field. I have been able to establish a wide network of working relationships and I think that has ultimately helped me throughout my career and has helped me develop. Including the Board of Supervisors and their staff. In my capacity as Chief and even prior to that I have been exposed to board staff and been able to work directly with staff. That has enhanced the professional network that I have. That has really helped me be successful in my career.

D2: What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter your field?

MD: First thing I would tell them is we are in a people business and when entering this field, they need to know that and understand that. Since it’s a people business it is challenging but also very rewarding. As I mentioned we work with people, and everyone is unique and have their own individual circumstances. A good sound advice you need to remember is to treat people as you would like to be treated and that will help you in this field.

D2: What’s one thing either industry-related or not you learned in the last month?

MD: While I attended a Narcotics Task Force meeting, I had a briefing about fentanyl and the trends. I had an awareness but one thing I learned is how much it has impacted youth down even to middle school and, in some cases, elementary schools.

People that are manufacturing are enticing the young kids to take start taking those dangerous pills. It was very eye-opening how they are enticing the youth by adding scents and making them colorful. This is something very significant that I learned about this month.

D2: What are you most proud of in your career so far?

MD: Looking back certainly my career has been long as I mentioned 24 years. Looking back, I started as a part time employee. What I’m proud of is I have been able to work in several positions in the department. I’m proud I was able to do it in the County I was born and raised in

D2: From your perspective, what element(s) are important for successful juvenile justice prevention programs? In other words, what would you like to see youth get out of programs that Probation supports.

MD: I strongly believe that youth need to be put in a position to succeed and elements of programming that is offered to youth must be strength based, trauma informed and provide opportunities for family support. I think that last part is critical and not everyone has a traditional family. We must make sure that when we offer programming to youth that it touches those elements. We also need to see how it’s going to support those people that surround the youth and family. While they are under our care or supervision it is important to not just look at the youth but also the family.

D2: What are the best tools and skills to equip the youth and adult clients to lead successful, crime free lives?

MD: I think it’s important to provide youth and the adult clients with educational and vocational opportunities. Prosocial skills meaning skills that are positive and are going to build them up and are going to have positive impact on themselves and others. We must make sure they have support and provide them with healthy coping mechanisms.

D2: As Chief of the Alameda County Probation Department what is your vision to continue achieving positive outcomes for justice-involved individuals?

MD: As chief I endeavor, and this is something I am steadfast in working on is guiding and supporting staff to provide accountability, opportunity, and care for clients. While assisting them with programing and services focused on client success. I want to make sure staff is clear on my vision

D2: In your leadership position how will you continue to position the Alameda County Probation department as a nationwide leader in Community Corrections?

MD: I will continue to position the Alameda County Probation Department to be an industry leader by using research, data, incorporating evidence-based practices, professional development, and our stakeholder partnerships to achieve positive client outcomes while prioritizing public safety.

D2: What is your favorite hobby?

MD: It has changed as I’ve gotten older. It used to be playing sports and now it’s watching them. Also, working on my yard. I’m kind of fixated right now on my lawn and keeping it green and looking good. It has become a hobby.

D2: What is the last book you read?

MD: The last book I read was Dangerous Prayers.

Spotlight: Ruey Lin Syrop

Arts Leadership Awardee Ruey Lin Syrop

From left to right: Rachel Osajima, Ruey Lin Syrop, Supervisor Richard Valle

In this issue of the newsletter, District 2 would like to spotlight our 2022 Arts Leadership Award Recipient, Ruey Lin Syrop. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors celebrated October as National Arts and Humanities Month and recognized this year's Arts Leadership Award Recipients during the Board of Supervisors' meeting on Tuesday, October 4. 

Ruey Lin Syrop is an Artist, the Curator for the Hayward Arts Council's John O'Lague Galleria at Hayward City Hall, and a Board Member of the Hayward Arts Council. She is a Member of A.R.T., Inc. in Castro Valley, the Sun Gallery in Hayward, and the Oriental Art Association in San Francisco. Ruey joined the Hayward Arts Council in 1994 and in 2021 she became the Curator of the John O'Lague Galleria. She was instrumental in helping both organizations A.R.T., Inc, and the Hayward Arts Council make the transition to online exhibitions and meetings during the pandemic, keeping people connected and continuing to provide opportunities for artists to show their work. She has been helping artists connect with local businesses to show their art in both Hayward and Castro Valley. Ruey has a BA in Fine Arts from the National Taiwan Normal University. When Ruey is not spending time volunteering, she is focused on making an impact with her own art, which deals with environmental and social issues. Ruey continually reaches out and connects with community members who hail from diverse backgrounds and age groups. Ruey Lin Syrop lives in Hayward.

Each year the Members of the Alameda County Arts Commission review nominations submitted by the public for the Arts Leadership Award program and then select the award recipients. During the Arts Commission's selection process, there was a tie-vote. This resulted in awarding two individuals for District Three with a total of six individuals receiving the 2022 Arts Leadership Award.

To learn more about the program and the award recipients, please see the press release

Raising Leaders' Thanksgiving Drive

Raising Leaders Thanksgiving Drive

District 2 would like to thank Ms. Davida Scott, Raising Leader founder, and her team for the phenomenal work they’re doing in the community. Yesterday they hosted a Thanksgiving drive for over 200 families. Each family received $100 worth of household essential items from Costco. With the help of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, the Raising Leaders team dropped off all the items to over 20 schools across Alameda County. A job well done! Many thanks to Ms. Davida Scott and the team, for all that they do! They are truly making a difference so that families all over Alameda County can have their essentials going into the Thanksgiving week.

Community Input for Three-Year Mental Health Services Act Plan

Alameda County Behavioral Health Logo

Alameda County Health Care Services Agency’s Behavioral Health Care Services (ACBH) team encourages Alameda County residents to take a community input survey to shape the local delivery of mental health services and treatment. 

"It’s important for us to hear from people of all ages with mental health challenges, their family members, and community service providers,” says Dr. Karyn L. Tribble, Director of Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services. “We value their input in preparing a plan that best meets community needs.”  

The data collected from the online survey, along with a variety of community engagement events will help guide Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) services and programming for the next three years. MHSA, funded through statewide Proposition 63, was passed in 2004 to transform the mental health system, increase services and improve the quality of life for Californians living with mental illness. 

As many as 1-in-10 adults in Alameda County have likely experienced severe psychological distress, a rising trend as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt. Alameda County uses MHSA funding to support a comprehensive approach to community-based mental health for residents through a broad continuum of services and supports, including prevention, early intervention, and innovation. Last fiscal year, MHSA funding provided outreach, services and supports to over 140,000 people experiencing mental illness in Alameda County. MHSA also funds infrastructure, technology, and training elements to effectively support an enhanced mental health system.  

The survey is available at in English, Spanish and Traditional Chinese through January 31, 2023. People and peers with lived experience and their families are key partners in the MHSA development process and are strongly encouraged to participate. 

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Food bank staff sorting oranges

For many of us, this season is a joyful time with holiday parties and family time often centered around good food and gifts. Yet, for many others food insecurity makes this a much less festive time. Help is available for residents facing food insecurity. If you know anyone facing food insecurity this holiday season, please direct them to the Alameda County Food Bank.

Contact Alameda County Community Food Bank Helpline at (510) 635-3663 or visit

Visit for food banks in your area

Light Up the Season Event in Hayward

Light Up the Season

The City of Hayward, Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, Hayward Chamber of Commerce and Eden Area Interfaith Council are teaming with Hayward public schools and local performers to present a special version of the annual Light Up the Season event from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at City Hall Plaza.  

Song, dance and musical performances by school and other groups and seasonal displays provided by the City of Hayward, Chamber of Commerce and Interfaith Council will celebrate the winter-time traditions of our diverse Hayward communities. 

There will be family fun, games and activities presented by Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD), a backpack giveaway by Raising Leaders, appearances by Curbie, the Hayward Public Library bookmobile, an antique Hayward fire engine and other apparatus, and much more. 

A toy drive will be led by the Hayward Police and Fire Departments.  Attendees who donate an unwrapped new toy will receive one raffle ticket for each toy donated for chances to win Together for Hayward e-gift cards, which can be used at participating Hayward restaurants, shops and other local businesses. 

Capping off the festivities will be a tree and decoration lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on City Hall Plaza and inside the City Hall Rotunda—followed by opportunities for photo-taking to capture and share the displays and memories for years to come.

Snacks with Santa in Union City

Santa and Friends

Santa is making an early stop in Union City for cookies and hot cocoa from 10am - 12pm on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Ruggieri Senior Center, located at 33997 Alvarado-Niles Rd. Join him for a special visit and photo; he may have something special for you to take home!

This event is open to children 12 years and younger with accompanying adult. A maximum of 2 adults may accompany each child. Space is limited, and advance registration is required. Register for the event hereNo tickets will be available at the door.

For more information, please call 510.675.5642 or email

Alameda County Agricultural Resiliency Project stakeholder meeting

Come help us shape the future of agriculture in Alameda County! 

Alameda County LAFCo (Alameda LAFCO) and Alameda County Resource Conservation District (ACRCD) are working in partnership to complete a Sustainable Agricultural Land Conservation Planning Grant (SALC) awarded by the Department of Conservation and California Strategic Growth Council. The project, titled Alameda County Agricultural Resiliency Project (ACARP)has three objectives:

  1. To identify opportunities for protection of agricultural land or open space across Alameda County.
  2. To identify opportunities for the addition of urban agriculture and community gardens across Alameda County. 
  3. To suggest policies that incentivize agricultural land protection and reinforce the urban growth boundary, support the addition of urban agriculture and community gardens, and increase consistency of agricultural policy across jurisdictions while recognizing the unique nature of Alameda County’s communities. 

To date, the team has completed a preliminary analysis of existing agricultural, land use, climate action, and related policies, including initial outreach to jurisdictions within the County. This invitation initiates a new phase of outreach and stakeholder participation. The project will result in a completed policy report and map(s) related to above objectives by spring 2023. 

Please join us for one of three stakeholder meetings to discuss the current status of and future vision for agricultural policy and preservation in Alameda County:

  • Tuesday Nov. 29th, 2-4pm on Zoom
  • Wednesday Nov. 30th, 5-7pm in-person at the Martinelli Center in Livermore, California
  • Monday Dec. 5th, 5-7pm in-person at the Brower Center in Berkeley, California

In light of COVID-19, please take any precautions you need to feel safe, and we encourage everyone to respect each other’s choices around masking and social distancing. If you feel unwell or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and join us for our online stakeholder meeting if you can.

Please RSVP to Courtney Coon ( to let us know which meeting you will be attending, and we will follow up with details including a more specific agenda. We look forward to seeing you then.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

Volunteer Tax Prep Program

Are you interested in learning a new skill, making a difference in your community, and meeting new friends? Join the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program hosted by the Social Services Agency. Volunteer registration for tax preparers is now open for the 2022-2023 season! Choose from four sites: North Oakland, East Oakland (Enterprise Way), Hayward, and San Lorenzo. We need volunteers during the program’s operational hours: February 8, 2023 – April 17, 2023, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 5:30 – 8:30 pm and Saturdays 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. (Schedule subject to change.)

Last year, thanks to the incredible work of 93 talented volunteers (47 of whom were first-time volunteers), we prepared tax returns for over 2,100 low-income families. Our four sites collectively obtained over $5 million in federal and state tax refunds! The average adjusted gross income for families that use our services is about $30,000, while recent studies show that the actual cost of living for a family of four (two adults, one preschooler and one school-aged child) is $106,866 a year in the Bay Area.

Studies also show that in the absence of no-cost tax assistance for filers who cannot afford expensive tax preparers, EITC and other benefits go unclaimed and “left on the table.” But when you come to the table, VITA can serve more individuals and families and return more hard-earned benefits to our community.

Anyone can volunteer. Refer a friend or family member. No prior experience is necessary. All that is needed is a desire and willingness to help others. We will provide IRS Advanced Tax Law certification training to all volunteers. You can choose the three-day in-person instruction or the self-paced online training. Register here to sign up for training and to volunteer. Returning volunteer classes begin November 15. Training sessions for new volunteers will begin on December 6. Sign up early to choose your desired training dates.

If you have any questions, please contact the VITA team at

Boards and Commissions

Boards and Commissions

Boards and Commissions  - District 2 Openings for Residents of Hayward (incorporated), Union City, Newark and portions of Fremont.

To qualify, you must either live or work in District 2.

For Further Information, contact Ginny DeMartini, and/or 510.670.6150. Please send a resume and request an application.

Read about the Commissions –

1. Human Relations Commission:

  • Objective:Create an environment in which each person may realize the highest potential unhampered by any discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, immigrant status, gender, age actual or perceived sexual orientation and mental or physical feasibilities protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Established: Feb 4, 1964
  • Location: Eden Area Multi-Service Center, 24100 Amador St, 3rd floor, Hayward 94544
  • Term: 3 years
  • Meetings: 4th Wednesday of each month at 6:00PM
  • Qualifications: District 2 residents interested in social justice. 2 openings

2. Public Health Commission:

  • Objective:To review and assess emerging health needs; initiate and improve health and disease prevention programs and policies; make recommendation s regarding opportunities for building community capacity as related to public health priorities; and advocate for adequate resources and increased County action to improve community health.
  • Agency: Health Care Services Agency
  • Location:1000 Broadway, Suite 500 Oakland CA 94607 
  • Term: 2 years
  • Meetings: Commission meetings shall be held monthly for a total of 12 monthly meetings per calendar year. Contact staff for meeting dates, time and location.
  • Qualifications: The PHC membership is open to all Alameda County residents who are supportive of the improvement of the health and well-being of residents living in Alameda County. New members shall be recruited through an extensive outreach process, taking into consideration PHC's strong commitment to ethnic and geographic diversity. One opening available to District 2 residents.

3. Alameda County Advisory Commission on Aging: 

  • Objective: To act as an independent advocate for older persons as mandated by the Older Americans Act, and the Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act by taking positions on matters pertaining to federal, state and local policies, programs and procedures, and any legislation affecting older persons.
  • Agency: Social Services Agency
  • Terms:4 years, and not to exceed 2 four-year terms
  • Meetings:Monthly, 2nd Monday, 9:30 a.m., 6955 Foothill Blvd #300, Oakland
  • Qualifications: Members shall be older individuals who are participants or who are eligible to participate in programs assisted under this Act, representatives of older individuals, local elected officials, and the general public, to advise continuously the area agency on all matters relating to the development of the area plan, the administration of the plan and operations conducted under the plan. One opening available to district 2 residents