Brian Maienschein

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Brian Maienschein
Member of the California State Assembly
Assumed office
December 3, 2012
Preceded byBrian Jones (redistricted)
Constituency77th district (2012–2022)
76th district (2022–present)
Member of San Diego City Council
from the 5th district
In office
December 2000 – December 2008
Preceded byBarbara Warden
Succeeded byCarl DeMaio
Personal details
Born (1969-05-22) May 22, 1969 (age 54)
Independence, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic (2019–present)
Other political
Republican (before 2019)[1][2]
SpouseElly Maienschein
Residence(s)San Diego, California
Alma materUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
California Western School of Law

Brian Maienschein (born May 22, 1969) is an American attorney and politician currently serving in the California State Assembly, representing the 76th district, encompassing parts of northeastern San Diego since 2012. Prior to serving in the state assembly, he was a member of the San Diego City Council, and the city's first Commissioner on Homelessness.

Early life and education[edit]

Maienschein graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1991 with a bachelor of arts degree in communications.[3] He returned to San Diego to attend California Western School of Law. He clerked for Judge Norbert Ehrenfreud focusing on the mental health calendar in San Diego.[4] Maienschein also teaches a course on Election Law at USD School of Law.[5]

Early career[edit]

After passing the bar, Maienschein worked as a business attorney in private practice and became actively engaged with the community. Maienschein helped develop San Diego's Community Youth Court, bringing together community service agencies, schools, and law enforcement to provide intervention and help first-time juvenile offenders. Maienschein served as the Community Youth Court's Executive Director and received the District Attorney's Crime Victims' Rights Award in 1999. The program has since been transitioned into the San Diego Youth Commission.[6] This program is made up of appointees aged 14 to 22 who meet to confer on issues relating to youth in San Diego County, and report their findings and recommendations to the Mayor.

At age 29, Maienschein decided to run for San Diego City Council. In preparation for his campaign, Maienschein walked each precinct of District 5 twice, knocking on doors and engaging with constituents.

San Diego City Council[edit]

Maienschein was elected to the San Diego City Council in November 2000 with 63% of the vote, the most ever received by a non-incumbent, and was re-elected without opposition in 2004.

During his two terms on the City Council, Brian secured the opening of State Route 56 and led numerous infrastructure improvements throughout the City of San Diego. He also preserved over 11,000 acres in the San Pasqual Valley from development.

In 2003 and 2007, wildfires swept through the district, devastating homes and businesses. Maienschein walked the burned-out neighborhood streets himself before constituents were allowed to return, developing a list of homes and businesses that had been destroyed.[7] In response to the fires, Maienschein created a one-stop disaster hub for victims to support and streamline rebuilding efforts, bringing together the all the government agencies and services for those impacted by fires.[8][9] The plan and programs Maienschein created are still national models for disaster response.[10]

Homelessness Commissioner[edit]

On January 5, 2009, the United Way appointed Maienschein as San Diego's first "Commissioner of the Plan to End Chronic Homelessness" (also called the Homelessness Commissioner).[11] In that role, Maienschein created Project 25, an innovative pilot program for people experiencing homelessness coupling permanent housing with intensive individualized support, including a medical home. The program's mission was to show how housing and medical care, when delivered in concert, could improve health and housing outcomes for people who are vulnerable while also reducing costs.[12]

Leading both the fundraising and coordination efforts, Maienschein worked with more than 20 organizations including the United Way, St. Vincent de Paul, the San Diego Housing Commission, the County of San Diego, the City of San Diego, and area hospitals, among others.[13]

Project 25 launched in 2011, serving 35 individuals experiencing homelessness who had been identified as the most frequent users of public services, including emergency rooms, hospitals, jails, and ambulances.[14] Before the end of the program's first year, all 35 individuals in the program were housed in their own apartments and were receiving comprehensive wrap-around services.

A 2015 study by the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University summarized the outcomes of the program. "The results are impressive … In addition to significant decreases in public costs and service utilization, Project 25 also helped people become more independent, including helping them secure their own income."

Two years after the conclusion of the pilot in 2015, all Project 25 participants were still participating in the program and were housed in their own apartments, had acquired health care insurance, and were receiving health care on an ongoing basis.

California State Assembly[edit]

In 2011, Maienschein announced he would run for the 77th District seat in the California State Assembly. He was elected on November 6, 2012, with more than 60% of the vote, and was sworn in on December 3, 2012. Maienschein served as Vice Chair of both the Health and Human Services Committees. In addition, Maienschein served on the Housing, Judiciary, and Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committees.

Maienschein was reelected in 2014, winning more than 65% in the primary election and then 70% of the vote in the general election on November 4, 2014. In 2015, Maienschein was named the Chair of the Assembly Local Government Committee – the only Republican appointed to lead a committee in the California legislature.[15] In addition to chairing the Local Government Committee, Maienschein served again as vice-chair of the Health and Human Services Committees, as well as serving on the Housing, Judiciary and Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committees. At the conclusion of the term, Maienschein had 25 bills signed into law – the most bills amongst the San Diego delegation.

In 2016, Maienschein was re-elected to his third term in the California State Assembly. During the two-year term, Maienschein served as vice-chair of the Health Committee and served on the Housing and Community Development, Judiciary, and Government Organization Committees. This year, Maienschein was the lead Republican negotiator in renewing the Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax, which helped save Medi-Cal.[16]

Maienschein was re-elected on November 6, 2018 by 607 votes. On January 24, 2019, Maienschein announced he switched his political party affiliation to the Democratic party.[17][18] Maienschein penned an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune explaining the switch.[19]

Maienschein was reelected to the California State Assembly on November 3, 2020. He was narrowly reelected in 2022. He currently serves on the Communications and Conveyance, Health, Judiciary, and Rules Committees.

The California state legislature allows members to serve a maximum of 12 years.[20] As such, Maienschein cannot run again in 2024.


Maienschein has been a strong advocate for child safety laws. In 2014, Maienschein passed AB 230, which requires youth sport leagues to disclose their background check policies to parents and whether or not they include federal and state level criminal histories.[21]

Assembly District 77 has a large Navy population, and Maienschein has made it a priority to advocate for the families of active and retired service-members. In 2013, Maienschein introduced AB 186, which made it easier for military spouses to obtain a temporary professional or vocational license, allowing them to find work and support their families while stationed in California.[22]

In 2018, Maienschein's AB 2193 was signed into law, requiring obstetric providers including OB/GYNs, family practice providers and nurse practitioners either confirm screening has occurred or screen for maternal mental health disorders at least once during the perinatal period. AB 2193 also requires health plans and health insurers to create programs to address these maternal mental health disorders.[23]

Also in 2018, Maienschein took action to expand protections against human trafficking. AB 2105 allows courts to triple any fine, add a civil penalty, or damage award regarding the purchase of sex from a minor.[24]

Maienschein addressed California's housing crisis in 2019 by authoring AB 960. This bill allows CalWORKS recipients to use housing assistance vouchers on a shared housing setting, such as staying with family and friends, rather than solely at motels and hotels.[25]

In 2019, the community of Poway was devastated by the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting, which injured 3 and killed 1. Maienschein responded to this tragedy by authoring AB 1548. This bill established a grant program for nonprofits at high risk of terrorist attacks to access funding for security.[26]

In 2020, Maienschein authored AB 856, which helps active military service-members and their families have access to a broader range of community college courses offered on military bases by waiving open course provisions.[27]

In the fall of 2021, the community of Rancho Bernardo was proposed as the placement for a sexually violent predator (SVP). In joining the community in opposition to the placement, Maienschein found various flaws in the law regarding where an SVP can be placed. In response to this, Maienschein introduced AB 1641 in 2022, which would place restrictions on where an SVP can be housed in a community.[28] However, the bill was heavily amended before passage, and the final version only required GPS monitoring of sexually violent predators until they are legally discharged.[29]

As of 2021, Maienschein has authored 107 bills into law.

Personal life[edit]

Maienschein lives in San Diego with his wife, Elly, and daughters, Taylin and Brenna. He also teaches election law at the University of San Diego School of Law.

2014 California State Assembly[edit]

California's 77th State Assembly district election, 2014
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Brian Maienschein (incumbent) 57,147 70.6
Democratic Ruben "RJ" Hernandez 23,821 29.4
Total votes 80,968 100.0
General election
Republican Brian Maienschein (incumbent) 82,987 65.8
Democratic Ruben "RJ" Hernandez 43,038 34.2
Total votes 126,025 100.0
Republican hold

2016 California State Assembly[edit]

2018 California State Assembly[edit]

California's 77th State Assembly district election, 2018
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Brian Maienschein (incumbent) 63,269 56.1
Democratic Sunday Gover 49,554 43.9
Total votes 112,823 100.0
General election
Republican Brian Maienschein (incumbent) 99,880 50.2
Democratic Sunday Gover 99,273 49.8
Total votes 199,153 100.0
Republican hold

2020 California State Assembly[edit]

2020 California's 77th State Assembly district election
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brian Maienschein (incumbent) 86,998 57.5
Republican June Yang Cutter 64,384 42.5
Total votes 151,382 100.0
General election
Democratic Brian Maienschein (incumbent) 149,367 55.8
Republican June Yang Cutter 118,396 44.2
Total votes 267,763 100.0
Democratic hold

2022 California State Assembly[edit]

2022 California's 76th State Assembly district election
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brian Maienschein (incumbent) 48,635 49.9
Republican Kristie Bruce-Lane 27,375 28.1
Republican June Cutter 21,381 22.0
Total votes 97,391 100.0
General election
Democratic Brian Maienschein (incumbent) 78,895 51.6
Republican Kristie Bruce-Lane 73,944 48.4
Total votes 152,839 100.0
Democratic hold

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Assemblyman Brian Maienschein Switches Parties, From Republican to Democrat". KNSD (NBC San Diego). January 24, 2019.
  2. ^ "California Republican Party gets even smaller: A GOP lawmaker defects to the Democrats". The Sacramento Bee. January 24, 2019.
  3. ^ Lowe, Shauntel (September 5, 2012). "Brian Maienschein, Candidate for State Assembly". Patch. Retrieved April 29, 2022.
  4. ^ "Official biography". California State Assembly. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  5. ^ "Biography". Assemblymember Brian Maienschein. June 7, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  6. ^ "OnBoard2 | City of San Diego". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  7. ^ "Homes Spared, Lost in Fires' Random Destruction". NPR. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  8. ^ "Regional fire assistance center opens". Pomerado News. October 25, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  9. ^ "Witch Creek fire five years later: Recovery, preparation efforts continue". Pomerado News. October 19, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  10. ^ "Fire survivors reunite to mark 10th anniversary". Rancho Bernardo. October 26, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  11. ^ "Maienschein starts new job helping homeless". Pomerado News. January 5, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  12. ^ "Project 25 Report: Housing Homeless Reduces Costs". CSH. June 15, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  13. ^ Green, Catherine (June 6, 2014). "Project 25 Needs a Stable Home in San Diego". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  14. ^ "SAN DIEGO: Program launched to identify, house 25 most-costly homeless people". San Diego Union-Tribune. April 21, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  15. ^ "Leadership role ahead for Maienschein". San Diego Union-Tribune. January 5, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  16. ^ Gorn, David (March 1, 2016). "State Legislature Passes New MCO Tax, Rescues Over $1 Billion for Medi-Cal". California Healthline. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  17. ^ "San Diego Republican Assemblyman Brian Maienschein switches parties and joins Democrats". Los Angeles Times. January 24, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  18. ^ "Brian Maienschein quits Republican Party, joins Democrats in surprise move". San Diego Union-Tribune. January 24, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  19. ^ "Commentary: Maienschein: Why I switched from GOP to Democratic Party". San Diego Union-Tribune. February 6, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  20. ^ "California Constitution Article IV; Legislative". California Office of Legislative Counsel. Archived from the original on February 23, 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  21. ^ "Bill Text - AB-230 Youth athletic programs: background checks". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  22. ^ "Bill Text - AB-186 Professions and vocations: military spouses: temporary licenses". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  23. ^ "Brian Maienschein - I am pleased to share that my bill regarding Maternal Mental Health disorders, AB 2193, was recently signed by the Governor. This bill ensures that pregnant mothers are screened for maternal mental health disorders during pregnancy visits and postpartum. AB 2193 is a step forward in addressing some of California's major shortcomings when it comes to Maternal Mental Health disorder screening and treatments, improving the health and well-being of women and their families. #MaternalMentalHealthNow | Facebook". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  24. ^ "Bill Text - AB-2105 Punitive damages: minors". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  25. ^ "Bill Text - AB-960 CalWORKs: homeless assistance". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  26. ^ "Assemblymember Maienschein introduces bill in response to Chabad of Poway shooting | Assemblymember Brian Maienschein". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  27. ^ "Facebook". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  28. ^ "Maienschein Introduces Legislation to Limit Community Placements of Sexually Violent Predators | Assemblymember Brian Maienschein". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  29. ^ "AB-1641 Sexually violent predators". Retrieved July 28, 2022.

External links[edit]