Michela Alioto-Pier Disability rights advocate; former SF Supervisor

Michela Alioto-Pier is a San Francisco native with a long history in public service, and a deep, personal commitment to improving the lives of San Franciscans.

For seven years, Michela represented District 2 on the Board of Supervisors. Appointed in January 2004 by Mayor Gavin Newsom, Michela Alioto-Pier moved quickly to unite the medical community, the business community, and City College around legislation to attract biotech companies to San Francisco. At the time, there were two biotech companies in the City. Today, we are home to more than 70.

In her first year on the board, she succeeded in placing a good government proposal on the November ballot – Proposition I – to require an analysis of each law before it is passed to make sure it does not create hidden costs, drive away jobs, or hurt our economy.

Michela has worked hard to improve the quality of life for her constituents. During the budget cycle she was a leader in restoring funds to protect critical health services. She was the lead sponsor in securing San Francisco's endorsement of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. She worked successfully with neighbors and merchants in the Cow Hollow neighborhood to oppose the construction of a cell phone tower, and was able to persuade the Board of Supervisors to reject the permit.

Michela is a nationally known disability rights advocate. After an accident left her unable to walk in 1981, she decided fighting for her own civil rights wasn't enough. In 1984 President Ronald Reagan appointed her to the National Council on Disabilities Advisory Board at age 17. She decided on a life in public service after seeing first-hand how effective advocacy can improve the lives of people dramatically. She later worked for Vice President Al Gore, as an advisor on domestic policy matters and a liaison to the Department of Health & Human Services.

Michela graduated from the Convent of the Sacred Heart School in San Francisco, and received a degree in Anthropology from the University of California at Los Angeles. She also spent a year studying at Sophia University in Japan.

Michela Alioto-Pier has received numerous awards and honors, including seconding the nomination of Vice President Al Gore at the Democratic national convention in August of 1996. She has been named one of the top 21 up-and-coming women leaders in the country by Ms. Magazine, she is a Henry Crowne Fellow with the Aspen Institute, and she was a delegate to the Lifetime Summit on Women in 1997. Michela Alioto-Pier has been profiled in nationwide magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Time, and People. She was named one of "the ten people expected to have the greatest impact on the Bay Area in the early part of the 21st century" by the San Francisco Examiner. Michela is also a Director on the National Board of Directors at The BizWorld Foundation, which creates classroom curricula to encourage children to become financially responsible and productive members of society.

Michela lives in the Cow Hollow neighborhood with her husband Tom and their three children.