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Former Annapolis City Council candidate to launch Eastport nonprofit group to tackle community projects

A former Democratic Annapolis City Council candidate is launching a nonprofit organization to undertake community projects in Eastport.

Kati George, who ran for alderwoman in Ward 8 earlier this year, is establishing Eastport Together! to “provide a platform for supporting, promoting and celebrating the diversity and all that is positive for all of Eastport,” she said.

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George is in the process of obtaining nonprofit status for the charitable organization and setting up a website. Groups that obtain 501(c)(3) status are exempt from federal income tax.

In the coming months, George plans to announce a steering committee made up of residents from wards 6 and 8 who will be responsible for identifying viable community projects.

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The group will take on around four big community projects each year, such as establishing community gardens in places like Nautilus Point, the apartment complex where George lives, and youth-centered activities during the summer. It will also feature information regarding small businesses, nonprofits, public and private schools, faith leaders, volunteers, the arts, community events and opportunities to serve.

The idea for the group came from supporters and residents George met during her unsuccessful campaign to unseat incumbent Alderman Ross Arnett in the Democratic primary. Arnett went on to claim a fifth term on the council by defeating Rock Toews, a Republican, in the general election.

“The people that I met and the people I worked with during the course of the campaign really communicated that they want to continue to have their voice heard and that was my driving force in running for office in the first place,” George said. “So I just figured just because I don’t have councilwoman after my name doesn’t mean I can’t still do those things.”

George, who was appointed to the Annapolis Audit Committee in December 2020, campaigned on improving transportation, ensuring environmental protection, increasing minority- and women-owned businesses, and expanding affordable housing.

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“We will provide straightforward information and advocate for things that matter to the wider population of our neighborhood. We will not be a forum for complaining, criticizing or fearmongering,” she said. “There are already several other forums on Facebook if that is one’s preferred means of communication.”

Kati George, who ran unsuccessfully against Alderman Ross Arnett in the Democratic Ward 8 primary earlier this year, has now announced plans to start a nonprofit in Eastport to undertake several community projects a year.
Kati George, who ran unsuccessfully against Alderman Ross Arnett in the Democratic Ward 8 primary earlier this year, has now announced plans to start a nonprofit in Eastport to undertake several community projects a year. (Paul W. Gillespie/Capital Gazette)

Her goal is to bring wards 6 and 8 together and break down geographic barriers that exist between Eastport residents. The group will be nonpartisan — anyone from any political party is welcome to participate — and will focus on diversity and inclusion, George said.

“There’s a whole lot of boundary-defining conversation that goes on about who’s in real Eastport, and my thinking is that if you’re truly about Eastport together, if you believe you live in Eastport then you live in Eastport and we need to stop all of this Upper Eastport or Lower Eastport or the peninsula or HACA. I just think that whole labeling is not productive.”

George moved to Annapolis from Dallas in 2017. She has 30 years of experience as a consultant in financial services addressing budgets, compliance, process improvement, audit and governance.

She plans to continue serving on the Audit Committee. Her term expires in June 2023. George also served as the chair of the feasibility subcommittee on the city’s Housing Affordability Task Force.

Anyone interested in working with George on the nonprofit can reach her at kati4w8@gmail.com.

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