Kristen Maahs, a fourth-generation Anaheimer and a city commissioner, has announced her candidacy for the Anaheim City Council from District 5.

“I am excited to put my hat in the ring to ask my long-time neighbors to elect me as our community’s Councilmember,” Maahs said in a statement. “Becoming the Councilmember for District 5 would allow me to further serve my hometown, a place which has deep meaning to me and generations of my family.”

District 5 is currently represented by Councilman Stephen Faessel, a life-long Anaheim resident who is leaving due to term limits. Faessel has endorsed Maahs.

“Kristen Maahs has deep roots in Anaheim and has dedicated her life to helping our community and serving people in need. Her lifelong love of our city, her career aiding others, and her proven track record of service make her the best person to represent District 5,” said Councilmember Faessel. “I enthusiastically endorse Kristen Maahs to succeed me as our City Councilmember, and I urge my fellow District 5 residents to join me in voting for her.”

Maahs built a record fo community service over many years, particularly among senior citizens. Maahs has spent the last 15 years working with the older adult community, including a decade at Alzheimer’s Orange County, where she serves caregivers and those impacted by memory loss. She is Co-Chair of the Orange County Aging Services Collaborative Senior Food Security Committee and a member of the Anaheim Human Services Active Older Adult Committee.

The Anaheim native is the Chair of the Anaheim Cultural & Heritage Commission and President of the Anaheim Historical Society, where she’s worked with Faessel to document and celebrate the people and places that have built the city. Maahs, a lover of music and art, knows that Anaheim is known for Disneyland, but she wants to make sure the stories of hidden gems and families are preserved too.

“I embrace Anaheim’s diversity because it is one of our city’s biggest strengths, and I want to assure equal opportunity for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds,” stated Maahs. “Serving in government wasn’t in my career plans, but all of my life experiences have pointed me to this step.”

Maahs is registered as a No Party Preference voter.

Maahs has volunteered at the K&A Community Holiday Brunch and Anaheim Fall Festival & Parade and was part of the approval process for the Kobe Bryant inspired Dream Court at Pearson Park. She has supported programs sponsored by Natives4Nature and was a contributing editor on the 2019 Orange County Report on Older Adults.

“I believe in a transparent government, the power of hard work, and the importance of collaboration between members of the community and those that serve them in office,” continued Maahs in a statement. “I gained these experiences and values in Anaheim, and I will take them to the City Council to honor our past and create a bright future for all Anaheim families. Ensuring the safety of all our city’s families is one of my top priorities.”

Maahs’ seven-year-old son is a student in the Anaheim Elementary School District and a fifth-generation resident of the city. As a City Councilmember, Maahs will work hard to create a more prosperous future for her son and all the other children in the city.

Her grandfather’s family moved to the area in the late 1800s. Maahs grew up in District 5 and her grandfather, a Navy veteran, would tell her stories about the orange groves, the great flood of 1938, and how he fixed the phone in Walt Disney’s office at Disneyland. Maahs was educated in Anaheim, starting as a preschool student, and graduating from a public high school in the city. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in health science with an emphasis on community health education from nearby Cal State Fullerton. She also worked at locally-owned Ganahl Lumber for several years.

Other announced candidates include Andrew Sarega – who was mayor of La Mirada until May 2 of this year, when he resigned from the La Mirada City Council. The day before he resigned from the La Mirada City Council, Sarega formed a committee to run for Anaheim City Council from District 5 and has since presumably moved into Anaheim and District 5 in the interim.

A 20-year-old named Brandon Done has also filed to run for District 5.

There has been considerable speculation that Ryan Ruelas, a teachers union activist and member of the progress-Left bloc that controls the Anaheim Elementary School District Board of Education, may also run.