Not many towns have celebrated their anniversaries quite like the All-America City of Dublin, California. From hosting a “Ruby Affair” gala to producing a video about the history of the town, complete with interviews of residents and past officials, Dublin knows how to party!
Dublin is a town of 72,000+ residents located in the east bay area of Northern California. It was founded in 1982 by long-time residents from the area, who made up its initial population of 225. “It was to say it ourselves, not to have it said for us,” said former Councilwoman Valerie Barnes, who passed away earlier this year.
Dublin is a diverse community, with Asian-Americans making up the second largest population after whites, and many Blacks and Latinos as well. Adding to their services for different populations, the city opened the first park in the region with a “playground for all-abilities” last year. “There are so many people that want to live here so that they can experience that rich culture of diversity,” said Mayor Melissa Hernandez, who has served as mayor since 2020.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the city hosted a gala called the Ruby Affair, after the gemstone that signifies a 40th anniversary, with over 150 residents in attendance. The city also worked with local nonprofit organizations and residents to create a 51-minute documentary:
Dublin was recognized as an All-America City in 2011 based on an application that was spearheaded by former City Manager Joni Pattillo, who subsequently spent several years on the League’s Board of Directors. Joni spent over five years as Dublin’s City Manager, capping a career that spanned 30 years in local government. In a 2020 webinar for the League, Joni shared that, as a manager, her concern was “not about too much civic engagement in my community, but too much apathy.” She continued, “this is a moment in our history that seems a bit unsettled, but people are engaged, and that’s a good thing.”
And Valerie Barnes’ thoughts on the anniversary? “It definitely fills me with joy to think of where we’ve come.”