Feature: Olivia Alvarez
Agency: City of Brentwood
When it comes to parks and recreation, the city of Brentwood has a dedicated team. One of those team members is Olivia Alvarez, who has worked for the city for two decades, overseeing the operations of the Brentwood Senior Activity Center, among other things.
“I also oversee the collaborations, operations and program services; that’s all my responsibility,” said Alvarez. “I’m also in charge of overseeing the selection for the Starry Night Concert Series bands, so I manage the band selection and contracts and all that stuff, and I’m part of our department’s committee to put on special events community-wide.”
Alvarez spends part of her time directly working with the city’s senior population, and the other part overseeing operations behind the scenes. She said she works hard to make the senior center the “one-stop shop” it is for all types of activities and services. Since COVID-19 shut things down in early 2020, the senior center was closed, then used by the county as a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site. Those services recently moved elsewhere, and Alvarez is now working on reopening the senior center to its specific audience.
“That’s been my main focus right now, just reestablishing all the connections to all the service providers and trying to get everything back in line,” she said. “One of our main focuses at the senior center moving forward will be to provide services in an equitable manner. I want to bring more diversity and equity to our center. By translating a lot of our information, I’m hoping to reach populations who have been disenfranchised because of language, cultural and socioeconomic barriers.”
Alvarez is from San Francisco. During college, she studied abroad in Mexico City for three years and graduated from San Francisco State University with a major in health sciences and a minor in community organizing. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, traveling, swimming and dancing.