A New Website, a Looming Decision, a Petition to Sign, and a Special Request for WMAL Listeners
Thanks to the support of a range of friends, funders, and volunteers, Purple Line NOW has been busy fighting to keep the project alive. Prior to the alleged May decision, we took the Governor on a virtual tour of the proposed Purple Line route and were noticed by the press and his spokesman. After his decision was delayed again, PLN joined a rally outside the Silver Spring Library (a future Purple Line stop) to protest an indefinite delay that risked driving away concessionaires. Since then, we have kept the pressure up by reaching out to the press. If you missed it, be sure to read Robert McCartney's Sunday June 14th piece in the Washington Post that describes the depth and breadth of support in the local business community.
We've Rolled Out a New Website So That We're Ready for Whatever the Governor Decides
The Governor has said he'll make a decision in June. This date looks likely to stick, but we've been surprised before. Because we're in this for the long fight, we've taken advantage of past delays to launch a brand new website to make it easier to stay connected to you! This one has been built from the ground up to be mobile phone friendly and to make it easy to share content on social media. This transition, as well as our recent range of actions, was only possible thanks to the dedicated work of our Executive Director Christine Scott, her supportive family, and the generous response we received to our April fundraising drive. The location hasn't changed: www.PurpleLineNow.com. Please check it out and let us know what you think!
So, What's Next?
The Governor continues to talk only about the project's costs and he gets those numbers wrong in two big ways: by pretending that Maryland could use money already spent and by ignoring the fact that the Federal New Starts grant and the TIFIA loan to the concessionaire cannot be transferred to other projects. County Executives Leggett and Baker were able to get a meeting with Governor Hogan last month and finally make sure he heard the benefits of the Purple Line in person, but he has shown no interest in touring the route or hearing directly from the business community about how the line could bring a projected 27,000 new jobs to our state and pay for itself. His own Secretary of Transportation is recommending that the line go forward, albeit with significant cuts and the shifting of the vast majority of the most unreimbursed upfront costs to the counties.
Governor Hogan Can Show True Leadership by Ending Delays and Avoiding Cuts that Require New Studies
Governor Hogan ran for office last year saying that he would make decisions based on whether the proposal would bring jobs and new families to Maryland and reinforced this in his inaugural address when he promised to uphold Maryland's moderate tradition. The results are in, and the Purple Line passes that test with flying colors! If the Governor tries to escape that result, through indefinite delay or through cuts that restart the multiyear study process, then we will highlight his abandonment of his responsibilities and his promises of pragmatic governance.
Reaching Out in Venues Where the Governor is Listening
Governor Hogan did accede to meet with the County Executives of Montgomery and Prince George's counties, but has rejected all other coalition invitations and business community requests relating to the Purple Line. However, we do know he pays attention to his base and monitors conservative talk radio. If you listen to WMAL's "Mornings on the Mall" or Chris Plante, we could use your help in organizing phone calls to the station during those shows to voice your support. WMAL has reported the news about Sec. Rahn's recommendation and the message we need to get out is simple -- the Purple Line has the backing of business leaders, Geico, Verizon, and Capital One, because it will bring growth, jobs, and revenue without raising taxes one dime. If you personally can recommend any other connections to try, we'll gladly work with you.
If you don't listen to talk radio or belong to the chief of staff's bowling league, don't worry! We'll keep you posted in the coming weeks of ways you can make sure our collective message is heard: "Build the Purple Line, NOW!" In the meantime, take a moment and sign our petition by clicking here. When Purple Line NOW reaches 100 signatures on the petition, we'll send it ASAP to the Governor. And, if you have a second moment, write a personal message to the Governor at his own email address: http://governor.maryland.gov/mail/default.asp and ask him to build the Purple Line NOW!
We appreciate all of our donors - your financial support helped us create a more vivid presence through our website and through social media. You can donate by clicking here:
Purple Line NOW!
P.O. Box 7074
Silver Spring, MD 20907-7074
Because Purple Line NOW! is a social welfare organization, and not a charitable organization, contributions are not deductible for federal income tax purposes as charitable contributions..