Ernesto Olivares

City Council
Title: Council Member
Phone: 707-975-0023
Ernesto Olivares

Mailing Address
City Hall
100 Santa Rosa Avenue
Room 10
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Fax: 707-543-3030

City Council & Regional Committees

  • Downtown Subcommittee
  • Homeless Policy Committee
  • Medical Cannabis Subcommittee
  • Violence Prevention Partnership
  • Sonoma County Health Action Committee
  • Joint City/County Roseland Annexation Committee
  • League of California Cities Public Policy Committee North Bay Division Representative
Ernesto is a graduate of California State University of Long Beach. He is a 1997 graduate of Leadership Santa Rosa Class XIII and the 2005 Press Democrat Leadership Forum. Ernesto is also a graduate of the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training Supervisory Leadership Institute and the Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training Executive Development Course. In 2001, Ernesto completed the Southwestern Law Enforcement Institute Cultural Diversity Program in Texas and the Intercultural Communication Institute's Negotiating and Mediating Intercultural Conflict Program in Washington. Ernesto has conducted numerous community presentations on youth and gang violence, cultural diversity, leadership skills, and hate crime prevention and response.

Ernesto currently serves as the Executive Director of the California Cities Violence Prevention Network. This statewide nonprofit organization works to foster the development and implementation of comprehensive citywide violence prevention plans that blend prevention, intervention, enforcement, and reentry; to educate state and federal policy makers about such comprehensive prevention plans; and to serve as California's resource for the development and implementation of such comprehensive citywide plans, with the twin objectives of reducing violence and helping build healthy communities that don't produce violence.


Prior to his election to the Santa Rosa City Council, Ernesto served for 32 years as a law enforcement professional with nearly 30 years of service with the Santa Rosa Police Department.

Community Involvement

Ernesto has served as Chair of the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights, board member of the Sonoma County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Service in Sonoma County, United Way of the Wine Country, the Redwood Empire Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America, the St. Joseph Health System Community Benefit Committee, and the Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, the Leadership Santa Rosa Steering Committee, and the North Bay Division of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Advisory Board.

Ernesto currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, the Boys and Girls Club of Central Sonoma County Advisory Board, the Life Works of Sonoma County Advisory Board, the GOALS Foundation Advisory Board, the Elsie Allen High School Foundation, and the Santa Rosa Homeless Collective

As a law enforcement professional, Ernesto was honored by the Optimist Club of Santa Rosa in 1991 for outstanding service to the community and received a Silver Meritorious Award for the Santa Rosa Police Department for his service. In 2006 he received the Sonoma County Red Cross Real Heroes Law Enforcement for his work in the community. In 2007 he was honored by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce for Leadership Excellence in the field of Law Enforcement and the same year he received a Lifetime Achievement and Community Service Award from the San Francisco County Chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association.


Ernesto was born in Mexico in 1957. His parents, Jose Concepcíon and Maria Luz Olivares brought their family to the United States when Ernesto was 3-years old and eventually settled in Colusa, California, where the family of 10 worked as migrant farm workers. Ernesto left farm work to pursue a law enforcement career beginning in Live Oak, California. In 1979 he moved to Santa Rosa to join the Santa Rosa Police Department. Ernesto was the first in his family to obtain a college degree.

Ernesto and his wife, Rita, have three daughters; Mandy, Cassie and Desiree; and are the proud grandparents of James and Norah Hilliard. 

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