About Us


To ensure the Purple Line light rail supports racially and economically equitable growth, with inclusive benefits for those who live, work and invest in the corridor through a commitment to increasing access via public transportation to housing choices, job and small business opportunities, and communities that are vibrant and sustainable.

What We Do

The Purple Line Corridor Coalition (PLCC), formed in 2013, is a multi-sector collaborative led and administered by the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) in partnership with a coalition of community organizations, state and local governments, nonprofits, philanthropies, and businesses. PLCC led the creation of the Community Development Agreement for the Purple Line Corridor which articulates a collective vision for vibrant economic and community development along the 16-mile corridor.



PLCC brings together a unique set of partners to leverage skills and perspectives. Through a collective action strategy, partner and collaborating organizations are aligning their work plans for coordinated action among government, businesses, philanthropy, nonprofit, and civic organizations.


We use the Community Development Agreement to stimulate innovative collaboration, focus community investment, and plan beyond the tracks to ensure that investments in the Purple Line light rail corridor benefit all who live, work and invest in the corridor.

Research & Educate

We research best practices and lessons learned from corridor approaches and create informative maps and tools to provide a new look at what’s in the corridor, where things are going, potential impacts and opportunities.

Provide Technical Assistance

Our partners bring expertise in development, financing, civic engagement, data analysis, and more. We develop tools to inform, catalyze and support conversations around transit development and the communities impacted.

Our Team

Gerrit Knaap

Director, NCSG & Chair, PLCC
Sheila Somashekhar

Sheila Somashekhar

Director of the Purple Line Corridor Coalition

Kimberly Ross

Project Director, PLCC

Nicholas Finio

Associate Director, NCSG

Willow Lung-Amam

Assistant Professor School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation

Ronit Eisenbach

Associate Professor School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation

Vonnette Harris

Housing Development Coordinator

Steve Brigham

Engagement Consultant

Manuel Ochoa

Small Business Consultant

Steering Committee

The work of the PLCC would not be possible without our partners who serve on the PLCC Steering Committee, which serves as the leadership group for PLCC.

National Center for Smart Growth at University of Maryland (co-chair, PLCC lead)

Enterprise Community Partners (co-chair, Housing)

Montgomery County Executive’s office

Prince George’s County Executive’s office

Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Prince George’s 

Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery 

CASA (co-chair, Small Business)

Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization CDC

Montgomery Housing Partnership (co-chair, Housing)

Housing Initiative Partnership (co-chair, Housing)

Latino Economic Development Center (co-chair, Small Business)

Purple Line NOW

Kaiser Permanente (co-chair, Housing)

Montgomery County Councilmember Evan Glass