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An active member of the community, Malia previously served on the City's Historical Advisory Board and continues to serve on the Alameda Family Services Board, Spectrum Community Services Board, and Alameda Family Services League. Before assuming office she also volunteered with the Philippine Independence Day Committee and Alameda's Sister City Association for several years.
A former staffer for members of the California Senate and Assembly from the East Bay, Malia has a background in policy and constituent services. Since 2013 she has worked as a policy director and attorney focusing on labor and employment law. She is also an adjunct professor of practice at Mills College's Lokey School of Business and Public Policy, teaching ethical policy making and an introductory class on economics and policy-making.
Malia was born at Alameda Hospital. She grew up enjoying Alameda's parks and beaches and has fond memories of rowing the estuary with Oakland Strokes as a teenager. Her family came to Alameda in the 1960's when her grandfather was stationed at the Alameda Naval Air Station.
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 U.S. Supreme Court.