Gertrude "Trudi" McGowan, a longtime community activist and volunteer in Annapolis, announced her candidacy yesterday to represent the city's 4th Ward.
A native Annapolitan and graduate of the old Wiley H. Bates High School, Ms. McGowan, 65, is running as a Democrat to replace Alderman Ruth Gray, a Republican who is relinquishing her seat on the council.
Ms. Gray decided to step down after nearly three years of a long-distance commuter marriage to her husband, Sykesville Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr. The couple decided to give up their seats for a more conventional life in Westminster.
Ms. McGowan said yesterday that she wants to focus on education issues, getting more college scholarships for high school graduates, and finding more ways to increase the city's stock of affordable housing.
"I'm a people person," said Ms. McGowan, who lives on Gemini Drive and is widely known in Annapolis for her volunteer work and involvement in committees such as the city's Human Relations Commission, where she is in her second term.
She has political experience, campaigning for former U.S. Rep. Parren J. Mitchell, the state's first black congressman, who fought to open the University of Maryland to minorities, and working for state Del. Howard P. Rawlings, a Baltimore 9Democrat.
Ms. McGowan raised six children while holding down a variety of jobs, including working as an executive secretary for Baltimore government and as a housing and community relations specialist at the Annapolis Housing Authority.
She now works as a hospice nursing assistant at Anne Arundel Medical Center and volunteers in her spare time at the Helping Hand shelter for the homeless on Clay Street. Ms. McGowan represents the 4th Ward for the Democratic Central Committee. "I've been involved in politics ever since Congressman Mitchell first ran," she said.