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Founder of an Annapolis-based events company is running as a Democrat for Ward 2 City Council seat

The founder of an Annapolis-based events company is running for the Ward 2 Annapolis City Council seat.

Karma O’Neill, the 50-year-old founder of KO Events, has filed to run as a Democrat for the seat held by Alderman Fred Paone, the lone Republican on the council.

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Paone said Tuesday he has not yet decided whether he is running for another term and will decide in the coming weeks. He’s held the seat since 2007.

O’Neill’s priorities will include increasing access to and education about city services, improving walkability and building community, she said in an interview on Tuesday.

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“I’ve always been a person that if I saw something that needed to be done. I jumped in and did it,” said O’Neill, who has lived in Ward 2′s Admiral Heights neighborhood since 2004 with her husband Sean, and two kids. “I feel that our ward could get a boost. I think that there’s a lot of things that could be improved upon.”

She has been thinking about running for City Council since right before the pandemic struck in March, O’Neill said. When the coronavirus revealed inequities in her community, such as some children not having direct access to WiFi or families suddenly in dire need of food services, she decided she wanted to find a way to help out.

While her children, ages 14 and 18, adapted well to virtual learning, others haven’t, she said.

“There’s kids sitting in cars in parking lots to try to do their work. To me, that’s crazy in this day and age and in our country,” she said, adding, “There are lots of people that are haves. There are some have nots. And how can we meet that in the middle?”

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O’Neill came to Annapolis by way of Colorado and Vermont in 1993. She previously lived in Eastport and downtown before settling in Ward 2 about 16 years ago. She founded her events company in 2009.

The filing deadline for city candidates is July 26. The city’s primary election is on Sept. 21.

More information about the 2021 city elections can be found on the city’s website: https://www.annapolis.gov/1702/2021-Elections-Information.

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