After being appointed in 1994, Blanca was elected to the Board of Supervisors in March 1996 and served three terms as County Supervisor. Supervisor Alvarado represented over 350,000 residents living in East and Central San José, as well as the Downtown and Willow Glen areas of San José. Prior to serving on the Board of Supervisors, Blanca began her work in public service in 1980 as the first San José City Council representative of District 5, East San José.
Domestic Violence has long been a concern of Supervisor Alvarado. In 1997, as Chair of the Board’s Children and Families Committee, Blanca initiated the County Domestic Violence Response Team (C-DVRT). C-DVRT was launched on July 1, 1997 by the Office of the Sheriff and the Social Services Agency to address domestic violence issues such as emergency shelter, restraining orders, and substance abuse. Blanca also took the lead in exploring ways to provide services to county children who witness domestic violence and secured funding for the training of health professionals to ensure that County health services are delivered in a manner that is sensitive to domestic violence victims. From 1997-2001, Blanca worked with community partners, through the HomeSafe transitional housing project to secure funds to assess the need for and begin to build transitional housing for victims of domestic violence and their children.
Supervisor Alvarado Chaired the Public Safety and Justice Committee and was Vice Chair of the Health and Hospital Committee where she continued to champion the rights and needs of victims of Domestic Violence and their children. She was the leader of the Juvenile Detention Reform effort in Santa Clara County and, understanding that “violence begets violence,” Blanca is particularly sensitive to children and youth who have experienced harsh and abusive treatment.