Our 2018 Elect Board

Meet the Elected Officials of the City of Alameda Democratic Club


Co-President Gabrielle Dolphin

 Gabrielle "Gaby" Dolphin was born in Minnesota and raised in Arizona. She received her BA in Anthropology at Pitzer College in Claremont CA, an MA in Anthropology at the University of Arizona and a Doctor of Interfaith Ministry at St. Mary's College, University of Creation Spirituality. Gabrielle spent many years abroad; she served as an Administrator at a Kenyan excavation site which unearthed 25 million year old remains, studied musicology with the Wakamba of Eastern Kenya, managed an agricultural project in Yemen, volunteered with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia and worked at the Tigoni National Primate Research Center.

In 1984 she returned stateside to begin a 34 year long career at Children's Hospital Oakland as Manager of the Division of Neonatology. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, she was instrumental in setting up a Children’s Hospital in what is now St. Petersburg, Russia. She later formed her own non-profit humanitarian aid organization, The Friends of Palekh, delivering medical and educational supplies to the little town of Palekh, Russia.

She first became involved in politics during the 2015-2016 presidential election serving as Delegate in Philadelphia for Senator Sanders and returned to Alameda where she ran for ADEM delegate, a term she is serving now.  Her experience in "third world countries" gives her a passion to help those less fortunate - not just  "over there", but in our own community.  She continues to work at Children's Hospital, writes for the Alameda Sun,  works with local activist and non-profit groups with the aim of "leveling the playing field" and helping those less fortunate.


Co-President Malia Vella

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. In 2017 she was elected to the Alameda City Council where she currently serves as Vice Mayor.

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.


Vice President of Activities: Philip James

Philip James was born and raised in Alameda. He has a BA in Computer Science from the University of California - Santa Cruz. He currently works in the tech industry.

Philip is an dedicated and active member of his community. He currently serves as the Communications Director for the East Bay Young Democrats. He is also a founding member of East Bay for Everyone, an organization that advocates for high density and affordable housing. 


Vice President of Programs: Dan Wood

Dan Wood is new to Alameda, having moved here in 1998. He co-founded BikeAlameda (now Bike Walk Alameda) in 1999. He got involved in politics as a Deaniac in 2004, and become a delegate to the California Democratic Party from 2005-2010.

He volunteered for several campaigns over the years. Reinvigorated by the Sanders campaign, he became a delegate again in 2017, and continues to be active in a number of causes. Professionally, he is a computer software engineer, with a half-empty (half full?) nest of two kids, one away in college. He is also the only politically active beekeeper in town!


Club Secretary Cheri Johansen

I chose to live in Alameda about 2 years ago, coming from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe is a historically significant mountain ‘village’ of about 75,000 souls. The residents are imaginative, creative, and engaged individuals;. I found the same spirit of Community in Alameda. I am proud to have been instrumental in amending the Santa Fe City Charter to include protections for the integrity of neighborhoods.

My three sons have given me 6 grandchildren, 5 boys and one girl. Two live in nearby Oakland, two in Santa Fe, and twin boys in San Diego. I visit as often as I can. My hobbies include writing, history, genealogy and, of course, political activism…oh, and I love to dance! I enjoy volunteering, politics, working with children, and walking the beach.


Club Treasurer Mike McMahon

Parent of three children born at Alameda Hospital and grandparent of four boys, I served on the Alameda Board of Education from 2002 to 2014. I have been the Treasurer for Alameda Democratic Club since 2002. You will find me at Corica Park during the week chasing a little white ball around the course. For more information visit Mike online.

Our 2018 Committee Chairpersons

  • Membership Chair: Cheri Johansen

  • Voter Registration Chair: Alan Pryor

  • Communications Chair: Julie Casey

  • Newsletter Chair: Michele Pryor