Meet Malia Vella

Experienced Leadership for California

Malia Vella, Vice Mayor of Alameda, was first elected to the city council in November 2016.  She was re-elected in November 2020 with the most votes ever received by any candidate for council.  Malia broke barriers upon her election – she was the first Filipina elected to the Alameda City Council and the only pregnant councilmember in the history of the city.  On Council, Malia has prioritized equity in policy decisions, addressing housing insecurity and ensuring a just economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A former District Director for Assemblymember Bill Quirk, Malia has a policy and constituent services background.  Since 2013, she has worked as a policy director and attorney focusing on labor and employment law.  Malia is also an adjunct professor of practice at Mills College’s Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy.  She teaches ethical policy-making and an introductory class on economics and policy-making.

Active in the community, Malia serves on the Spectrum Community Services Board.  She previously served on Alameda’s Historical Advisory Board, the Alameda Family Services Board and the Alameda Family Services League.   Before assuming office, Malia also volunteered with the Philippine Independence Day Committee and Alameda’s Sister City Association.

Malia is a true product of the 18th Assembly District. She was born at Alameda Hospital and grew up in Alameda and San Leandro. Malia grew up enjoying Alameda’s parks and beaches with her family, spent her summers swimming with the San Leandro Drowning Darryls for a decade, and rowed on the estuary for the Oakland Strokes while attending high school in Oakland.  Her family came to Alameda in the 1960s when her grandfather was stationed at the Alameda Naval Air Station.  Now, Malia, and her husband Jon, are excited to pass along these traditions as they raise their two young children, Theo and Kealia in Alameda.

Malia is a graduate of Wellesley College, where she earned a B.A. in Architecture and Political Science.  She earned her J.D. with a special certificate in Public Interest and Social Justice at Santa Clara University School of Law.  Malia is a licensed attorney admitted to practice in California and the United States Supreme Court.

Malia is a member of the following organizations:

  • Alameda County Lead Abatement JPA
  • League of California Cities Housing and Economic Development Committee
  • Elected ADEM Delegate for AD18 (top vote-getter) and elected E-Board Representative for the district
  • California Democratic Party Fil-Am Caucus, Vice Chair
  • California Democratic Party API Caucus
  • California Democratic Party Labor Caucus
  • City of Alameda Democratic Club
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Association
  • Filipina Women’s Network
  • Filipino Bar Association of Northern California
  • California Employment Lawyers Association
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