SEIU 1021

After more than two decades of public service, SEIU 1021 staff member Ariana Casanova prepares for the next step as a candidate for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors


After the tragic passing of longtime Alameda County District 2 Supervisor Richard Valle, the Board has had a vacancy. The County needs a new champion for working families. Valle himself made his own wishes clear before his death: He wanted his successor to be long-time SEIU 1021 political organizer Ariana Casanova.

Ariana has been with SEIU 1021 for 14 years, serving as a political organizer in San Francisco and Alameda County, and as a field representative in Alameda Heath System and Contra Costa County. She says, “I grew up at SEIU 1021. My work and my career are a testament to our values and our power. I’ve always felt that SEIU 1021’s staff and members are on the same team. We’re the same people, we are part of the same communities, and that’s where our strength comes from.”

As important to her story as SEIU 1021 is her long-standing relationship with Richard Valle. She says, “I started working with Richard at a very young age. He’s always been a mentor to me, and during the Alameda Health System strike a few years ago, we began talking weekly. He was there for me, like he was for his district and for Alameda County as a whole, both personally and professionally. As he got sicker, he started to push for me to become the supervisor for District 2, and I am honored that he worked so closely for so long with me and that he chose me to be his successor.”

Ariana’s values are Alameda County’s values, SEIU 1021’s values, and Richard Valle’s values. At SEIU 1021, she’s fought for healthcare workers, led charges for budgets that work for working families, and campaigned for affordable housing, better schools and parks, and clean energy – all issues Valle worked for over his life of public service. She’s supported foster and at-risk youth and championed a vision of public safety that includes people feeling safe and having housing, jobs, and healthcare – just like Valle never gave up on people in our criminal punishment system or who struggled with substance abuse and mental health issues.

She says, “I know I can’t be Richard Valle, but I can carry on his legacy. I have worked, do work, and will continue to work with a broad spectrum of communities. I am a coalition builder and a bridge builder. The most important thing I can do is be a voice for working families.”

She’s been endorsed for appointment to the Board by:

  • Alameda County Firefighters
  • The Valle Family
  • Alameda County Central Labor Council
  • SEIU Local 1021
  • SEIU Local 2015
  • Building Trades Council
  • State Senator Aisha Wahab

The next steps are for the Board to interview the current candidates for the open position, and then to vote to appoint one of them to serve out the remainder of Valle’s term. 

Ariana says, “My greatest joy is to bring together a broad-based group of people and unify behind a common cause.”

If you can, come out to support her candidacy on Thursday, March 30, at 2 p.m. at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting at 1221 Oak St., in Oakland. You can also join by Zoom:

To find out more about Ariana or to support her in becoming Alameda County’s Supervisor for District 2, visit and watch her Ask Sandra interview.