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Purple Line NOW News - December 18, 2019

In this, our last Purple Line NOW News edition for 2019, we want to take a moment to wish each of you a safe and happy holiday season! Purple Line NOW News will resume its production schedule after the New Year.

In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:

  • The First Purple Line Train Ride
  • Welcome to Gary Witherspoon
  • Welcome to Greg Slater

The First Purple Line Train Ride

We hope you saw our email last week announcing that ---- a donor has come forward with a matching grant challenge and has offered a way to help us raise the funds necessary to get us over the finish line!! This matching grant will double any donation you make to Purple Line NOW (up to $5,000).

This matching challenge is being done as a tribute to those who worked so hard in those early years to make this project a reality, some of whom are no longer with us and sadly won’t be able to take the first ride they dreamed of with us. We have already received some very poignant donations in honor of extraordinary folks who have worked hard to make our Purple Line dreams come true. We'll be highlighting those tributes in an upcoming newsletter.

To get the ball rolling, we started with three folks whose names are synonymous with the Purple Line, namely Harry Sanders, Barbara Steckel, and Keith Haller. You can read all about these amazing folks and details about the challenge grant in our recent blast.  

We are grateful to everyone who has taken a moment to remember Purple Line NOW in your holiday giving these past few weeks. (Please note: all donations that came in since November WILL count toward the matching grant challenge!)

As we mentioned in our previous newsletter, we are at a difficult crossroads ---- our mission is clear, but we must find more funding to bridge us up to ribbon-cutting day. Our benefactor wants to stress that donors are welcome to honor anyone who may have inspired them to activism, tributes to early volunteers, civil servants, and/or boosters who may have had to step back. They are all in our thoughts as we make this appeal to you.

And, there’s even more to this outreach of generosity!

This is not a one-time matching grant ---- our anonymous donor will match three-year pledges, as well as one-time donations. With your help, this will provide the financial support Purple Line NOW needs for advocacy work until the first ride when our group will disband, having achieved its goal!

If you let us know who you are thinking of as you donate, we’ll make sure to list them and a little bit about their service on our website. 

With Harry, Barbara, and Keith in mind, and countless others, we ask you to make a donation to Purple Line NOW and, if possible, consider extending that donation over three years. So, for example, you might make a $300 total pledge at $100 per year for the next three years. Our matching donor will double that each year! We appreciate all levels of donations. Every dollar helps us get to opening day.

Purple Line NOW needs, on average, about $20,000 a year to accomplish its work, producing a bi-weekly newsletter, hosting free educational events, team meetings, and helping the community get answers to its construction-related questions. We rarely hold special events to raise money as we have always been funded by the generosity of donors who step up when the need arises.

We have three years to go and hope you’ll join us on the final leg of our journey! All Aboard!


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Please feel free to share this newsletter - no permission from us needed! You can always find a link to our newsletter on our Purple Line NOW website which makes it easy to share with your friends, neighbors, constituents, customers, and employees.



Welcome Greg Slater

Earlier this month, Governor Hogan appointed Greg Slater as Secretary of Transportation for Maryland, pending Senate confirmation. Once confirmed, Mr. Slater will assume his role on January 10, 2020. He succeeds Pete Rahn who has held that post since 2015.

A native of Maryland (and a graduate of Towson University), Mr. Slater has been serving as Administrator of the State Highway Administration since 2017. He has spent 20 years working within Maryland's Department of Transportation with a focus on planning and engineering. We look forward to working with Mr. Slater as the project moves toward its first ride.

Welcome to Gary Witherspoon

Gary Witherspoon is the Purple Line's new Deputy Project Director, overseeing outreach on the project for the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA). He joined the Purple Line in July 2018, as Assistant Director of Communications & Outreach, after serving more than two years as Senior Writer & Public Affairs Manager in the office of MDOT Secretary Pete Rahn. He is a Baltimore native and graduate of Dartmouth College, with a certificate in Multicultural Management from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. A trained facilitator, he is a former award-winning journalist who during a 30-year career either wrote or edited for Newsday (Long Island, NY), The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, The Boston Herald, The New Bedford Standard-Times (Massachusetts), and the Southbridge (Massachusetts) News.

Gary has been a familiar face at many (if not all) of Purple Line NOW's forums. We welcome him and look forward to working with him and his team in the coming years.



  • Next Purple Line NOW Forum: Stay tuned for an announcement of the next Purple Line NOW forum happening late winter 2020!


Can You Help Purple Line NOW Continue Its Work?

If you haven't already given this year, would you consider a donation to Purple Line NOW? Right now, we will double your donation (thanks to a generous donor who has offered a matching grant for every single donation, up to $5,000!) See above for details on how to donate. Thank you!

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