A new Alameda County supervisor was sworn in Tuesday morning and took her seat on the dais following the death of her predecessor in February.

Elisa Marquez was a Hayward City Council member before being chosen to replace the late District 2 Supervisor Richard Valle.

Marquez was chosen from among three other candidates who were interviewed by the board’s four other members March 28. Marquez was selected over Ariana Casanova, who was Valle’s choice to succeed him.

“I’m excited” about the work, Marquez said in a brief interview Monday.

Tuesday morning after her swearing in, she said she wants to carry on Valle’s work.

She will continue as chair of the board of directors for East Bay Community Energy, which provides clean energy to several cities and rural areas in Alameda County and in Tracy. Marquez said she wanted to remain as chair before the Board of Supervisors interviewed her last week.

Board of Supervisors president Nate Miley said he will be appointing Marquez to the county’s Public Protection Committee and among others, its Ad Hoc Committee on Reparations.

Marquez will replace Supervisor David Haubert as the county’s representative with the Association of Bay Area Governments.

A steep learning curve

Miley said Tuesday that his first choice was Casanova. He chose Marquez and Casanova in the first round of voting Thursday.

Miley thinks Marquez may have a steeper learning curve in some respects than Casanova would have because of her work with county workers.

Casanova is a political coordinator and field representative for Service Employees International Union Local 1021. She has held that position since 2009.

“She is going to be a tremendous asset to our board.”

Supervisor Lena Tam

Miley said Marquez’s work ethic is admirable. She did a good job preparing for Thursday’s interview, he said. Miley was very interested in having another woman on the board and a woman of color.

“I’m happy that we made a decision,” Miley said in an interview Monday.

Marquez will fill Valle’s seat until next year’s election when the winner could unseat her. She said during her interview Thursday that she is planning to run in that election.

Casanova said last week that she will be running, too. Casanova was not immediately available to say whether the choice of Marquez last week has affected her decision to run.

Whoever is elected will have to run again in two years to stay on the board. Term limits do not apply to Alameda County supervisors.

Based on everything she has heard, Supervisor Lena Tam said of Marquez, “She is going to be a tremendous asset to our board.”

Keith Burbank, Bay City News

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.