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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Alameda City CouncilCandidate for City Council

Photo of Malia "Mary" Vella

Malia "Mary" Vella

13,856 votes (24.31%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Alleviate traffic with real solutions including expanding ferry and bus service, and exploring options for an island-wide shuttle and a West End bridge.
  • Decrease displacement of long-time residents and increase available housing options for Alamedans at all income levels.
  • Maintain accessibility and proactively engage with the public to ensure public input is included in Council decisions.



Profession:Adjunct Professor at Mills College Lokey School of Business &Public Policy & a labor and employment attorney
Attorney, Teamster Local 856 (2014–current)
Adjunct Professor, Mills College Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy (2015–current)
Chair, City of Alameda Historical Advisory Board — Appointed position (2014–current)
Board Member, Alameda Family Services — Appointed position (2015–current)
Founding member, Dumaguete Sister Cities — Appointed position (2014–current)
Board Member, Spectrum Community Services — Appointed position (2016–current)
Member, Alameda Family Services League — Appointed position (2014–current)


Santa Clara University Juris Doctorate , Certificate in Public Interest and Social Justice Law (2011)
Wellesley College Bachelor of Arts, Architecture & Political Science (2006)

Community Activities

Co-Chair, Annual Alameda Family Services Holiday Home Tour Tea, Alameda Family Services League (2014–current)
Committee Member, Alameda Philippine Independance Day Committee (2013–current)


Born in Alameda Hospital, Malia returned to Alameda as a young professional after finishing law school at Santa Clara University, where she earned a special certificate in Public Interest and Social Justice Law.

Since 2013, Malia has served as a member and the Chair of the Historical Advisory Board (HAB), ensuring that the City’s commitment to the preservation of its distinctive historical districts and buildings is maintained as we progress and grow. A co-chair of the Annual Holiday Tea with her mother Toni Garlit, Malia has assisted in the annual Holiday Tour benefiting Alameda Children & Family Services for a number of years. Malia also serves on the board of both Alameda Family Services and Spectrum Community Services. She is a member of the Alameda Family Services League, the Alameda Philippine Independence Day Committee, Alameda Sister Cities Association, and a founding member of the Dumaguete Sister Cities Committee. 

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) - District Council 16
  • Libby Schaaf

Organizations (18)

  • Sprinkler Fitters Local 483
  • Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555
  • Carpenters Local 713
  • Operating Engineers Local 3
  • Teamsters Joint Council 7
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 595
  • Alameda Police Officers Association
  • Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Alameda Firefighters Union, IAFF Local 689
  • Alameda County Building Trades Council
  • The East Bay Women's Political Caucus
  • The East Bay Young Democrats
  • Laborer's International Union of North American Workers
  • Sierra Club
  • City of Alameda Democratic Club
  • Alameda County Democratic Party
  • California Democratic Party

Elected Officials (23)

  • Matt Haney, President, San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education
  • Jane Kim, San Francisco Board Supervisor, District 6
  • Jesse Arreguín, Berkeley City Council Member
  • Lori Droste, Berkeley City Council Member
  • Ray Buenaventura, Daly City City Council Member
  • Wendy Bloom, R.N., Elected E-Board Member & Delegate, California Democratic Party, Assembly District 15
  • Deborah Cox, San Leandro City Council Member
  • Mark Williams, AC Transit Board Director, Ward 4
  • Solana Henneberry, President, Alameda Unified Board of Education
  • Benny Lee, San Leandro City Council Member
  • Jim Prola, San Leandro City Council Member
  • Gabriel Quinto, El Cerrito City Council Member
  • Tony Thurmond, California State Assembly Member (AD-15)
  • Nate Miley, Alameda County Board Supervisor, District 4
  • Alejandro Soto-Vigil, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Member
  • Rob Bonta, California State Assembly Member (AD-18) & Alameda Resident
  • Dianne Martinez
  • Jim Navarro, Union City City Council Member
  • Bob Wieckowski, California State Senator (SD-10)
  • Betty T. Yee, California State Controller & Alameda Resident
  • Fiona Ma, California State Board of Equalization Member, District 2
  • Wilma Chan, Alameda County Board Supervisor, District 3 & Alameda Resident
  • Jim Oddie, Alameda City Council Member

Individuals (35)

  • California Nurses' Association
  • Mark Sorensen, Executive Director, Alameda Chamber of Commerce
  • Johan Klehs, President, Johan Klehs & Company, Inc., former California State Assembly Member (AD-14, AD-18), & former Sa
  • Gordon Galvan, President, Board of Directors, Davis Street Family Resource Center
  • Aria Dominguez
  • Kathleen “Kathie” C. Woulfe, Alameda Education Foundation Board Member
  • Teresita “Tita” Valeriano, Filipino Community Leader & Pastor
  • Sandré Swanson, former California State Assembly Member (AD-16)
  • Nancy Skinner, former California State Assembly Member (AD-14, AD-15), former East Bay Regional Park Board Director, & f
  • Claire Sharifi, librarian
  • John Piziali, Alameda Historical Advisory Board Member
  • Dennis Owens, Chair, Historical Advisory Board Member
  • Kathy Moehring, Director of Community Affairs & Education, AEC Living
  • David Mitchell, Alameda Planning Board Member
  • Heather Little, M.Ed, Operations Lead, First 5 Association of California
  • Phong La, former Chair, California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs
  • Audrey Hyman, Member, Social Services Human Relations Board & Alameda Teacher
  • Philip Hu, Board Member, Alameda Unified Board of Education
  • Angela Hockabout, founder, Alameda Renters Coalition
  • Mike Henneberry, Communications & Political Director, UFCW Local 5
  • Jordana Hemberg, Research Associate & Alameda Resident
  • Gray Harris, Board Member, Alameda Unified Board of Education
  • Marty Frates, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Locals 70
  • April Frates
  • Maria Dominguez, program manager
  • Nick Cabral
  • Christopher Burrows, technical artist
  • Mialisa Bonta
  • Doug Biggs, Executive Director, Alameda Point Collaborative (for identification purposes)
  • Justin & Krystel Archer
  • Becca Perata, founder, Vox Populi PR
  • John Knox White, President, City of Alameda Planning Board
  • Vicky Smith, West End Community Leader & activist
  • Marie Gilmore, former Mayor of Alameda
  • David Burton, Alameda Planning Board Member

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

My priorities


We need city hall to get back to the basics.  I promise to be accessible and proactive in engaging with the community.

Repair our streets and sidewalks citywide and continue work to alleviate traffic including: adding a bike/pedestrian bridge to Oakland on the West End, expanding our ferry service, extending AC Transit buses to all ferry terminals, and increasing collaboration amongst all transit agencies to ensure public transit meet our needs.

Decrease displacement of long-time residents and increase available housing options for Alamedans at all income levels.

Open and transparent decision-making that involves everyone in the community.

• Preserve our island charm and keep our
neighborhoods distinct and diverse and help
businesses thrive with improved neighborhood
shopping areas.

• Maintain our parks, restore our shoreline and build
planned parks at Alameda Point, and continue
our collaboration with East Bay Regional Parks to
improve existing parks and wildlife habitats.

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