Hispanic Heritage Month

New East San Jose Community and Health Center Named After ‘La Madrina' Blanca Alvarado

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A new community and health center was unveiled Friday with the name of social activist and former San Jose Vice Mayor Blanca Alvarado. 

At 90 years young, Alvarado has quite literally been serving her community for decades. 

She’s a former mayor and first Latina on both the city council and Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. But most people refer to her as La Madrina, the godmother, of East San Jose. 

“She has created an incredible legacy when it comes to advocacy underserved that never before had a voice,” said San Jose Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco. “Blanca is angry because there is still so much that needs to be done.”

Alvarado may appear to have slowed down, but she is still fired up and ready to fight.  

Fight because for her, every decade appears to bring a new battle for social justice.

“I still am. I have a brain and I have a heart,” she said. “And as long as there is life, we have to care about one another.”

She already has a school named after her and the east side dedicated the new Santa Clara Family Health Plan: Blanca Alvarado Community Resource Center.

A place that will provide the resources she fought so hard for and a tribute to the woman who didn’t want to talk about herself, but rather about the people who still need a hand.

“I’m just a person in the community who has always cared for others and I used my god given talents in places of responsibility where I could deliver the goods for people in need,” said Alvarado.

Those who stood in her way knew they were in for a fight -- a fight they rarely won.

On Friday, a grateful community is celebrating her. La Madrina -- the treasure of East San Jose.

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