Bobby Olvera Jr.

  • Secretary, Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners
  • Port of Long Beach

Bobby Olvera Jr., International Vice President (Mainland) of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), is Secretary of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, elected to the post in July 2021 by his colleagues on the five-member Board that is responsible for setting policy for the Port of Long Beach and managing the Harbor Department.

Mr. Olvera, a fifth-generation longshoreman with a 30-year history in the ILWU, was first appointed to the Board in May 2020 to complete the term of a retiring commissioner, and appointed to a full six-year term in October 2021 by Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and unanimously confirmed by the City Council.

Mr. Olvera is the 71st appointee to the Board since the current Commission was established in 1925. After completing this partial term, Mr. Olvera is eligible to serve two additional full six-year terms.

The Commission provides policy direction and oversight for the Port’s capital improvement program, a plan to invest $1.6 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade Port facilities, protect the environment, increase revenue and enhance competitiveness. Projects include the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, Long Beach Container Terminal at Middle Harbor, and other roadway, waterway, dock and rail improvements to speed cargo flow and reduce traffic.

Besides serving on various Commission special purpose standing committees, Mr. Olvera also represents the Port on national and international trade missions and serves as the Board representative or alternate to a variety of Port-related leadership organizations.

Before his election to ILWU International Vice President in 2018, Mr. Olvera was elected to a variety of positions at ILWU Local 13 in Southern California, the largest ILWU local on the West Coast, which includes the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

Registered with the ILWU in 1989, he was elected by Local 13 membership to serve on their Executive Board, Political Action Committee, and as ILWU Longshore Caucus and Convention Delegate. His career as a Local 13 officer included terms as a Chief Dispatcher, Business Agent, and three terms each as Vice President and then President.

In 1991, Mr. Olvera took a leave of absence from the industry to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. After serving his initial tour of active duty he was assigned to numerous reserve units before ending his military career with an honorable discharge in 1998 as a member of MAG 46 HMM 764 at MCAS El Toro.

Besides his career at Local 13 and his military service, Mr. Olvera is an ongoing advocate for various social, political and union issues, serving for numerous years on the Board of Directors for the Miguel Contreras Advocacy Foundation, a nonprofit organization promoting social and labor justice, and since 2010 on the United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ Advisory Board for Labor Community Services. From 2011 through 2013, he was an Executive Vice President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO. In recent years he has served on working groups with the Federal Maritime Commission and with the City of Long Beach as a member of the Economic Development Commission.

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