ANTIOCH -- City leaders are mourning the death of Reggie Moore, Antioch's first African-American city councilman.
"Reggie was a great man who loved and served his community and took great pride in doing so. You are going to be truly missed my friend," said Antioch City Councilman Tony Tiscareno via Facebook after learning that Moore died from cancer early Monday morning while in hospice care.
"We developed a friendship over the years. It was more personal than political. He enjoyed life. He liked to be with his family and friends," said Tiscareno, who first met Moore in the early 1990s. "He just lived for the city and wanted to do what he could."
Moore also lived for labor and improving the lives of workers. From 2003 to 2007, he served as president of the Oakland-based Local 444 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Moore, 56, worked as a meter reader for East Bay Municipal Utility District until a couple years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer.
"His life was centered around his family, and his work with labor and being active on the political scene," said Gerald Hunter, first vice president of Local 444.
Moore first ran for a council seat in 2002, narrowly losing to incumbent Jim Conley.
Four years later, Moore was elected, unseating Conley. Moore served through 2010 but failed to win re-election to a second term. He also served as a planning commissioner from 1999 to 2003, during which time he advocated for limiting major housing growth in southeast Antioch.
While on the council, Moore supported a curfew ordinance for teens and a sales tax measure that ultimately was defeated by voters in 2010. He also initiated events in Antioch that celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
"Reggie Moore's place in Antioch history is cemented as the first elected African-American councilman. His election was a watershed event and an acknowledgment that Antioch was changing and City Hall needed to reflect that change. ... His loyalty to the working men and women of Antioch was no secret, but he always acted in a way that he thought would benefit the entire city and all of its residents," Supervisor Federal Glover said in statement.
Jim Davis is a former Antioch mayor and councilman who served with Moore.
"He really cared about the city of Antioch. His heart was really into what he was doing for the betterment of our community," Davis said.
While Moore tended to be politically liberal and Davis had more conservative leanings, that didn't stop them from getting along.
"You could say we sat on different sides of the aisle," Davis said. "He and I could disagree publicly on issues and policies, but behind the scenes we were good friends."
"He was a real fighter for issues and he was very strong in his opinions," said Councilwoman Mary Rocha, who also served with Moore. After he became sick, "he wanted to come back and run for a position again and be involved in city manners because he loved City Council stuff and the city of Antioch. We're going to miss him."
A memorial service is pending. Moore is survived by his wife, Dishon, their four children, Rachel, Brandon, Quentin and Pierce, and grandchildren.
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her at Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.