News

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Small Business Action Team members ask Governor Hogan to release $2 million in funding

Members of the PLCC Small Business Action Team have sent a letter to Governor Larry Hogan asking him to release $2 million in funding allocated by the state legislature to help businesses impacted by Purple Line construction.

A prolonged construction schedule, caused by multiple delays, is hurting small businesses in the corridor who were already suffering from the effects of the pandemic.

“The undersigned businesses and small business-serving organizations respectfully call upon your administration to release these funds without any further delay.”

—from the letter to Governor Hogan

The letter-writing effort is being spearheaded by the Latino Economic Development Center and CASA de Maryland, co-chairs of PLCC’s Small Business Action Team. PLCC’s Small Business Action Team works to support small and family-owned businesses along the corridor. 

Read the full text of the letter here.

Members of the PLCC Small Business Action Team invite members of the community to sign-on to the letter by completing this form.

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PLCC Welcomes Vonnette Harris as New Housing Development Coordinator

The Purple Line Corridor Coalition is excited to announce the newest addition to our team, Vonnette Harris, who joins as Housing Development Coordinator.

Vonnette will be responsible for identifying properties for affordable housing development and working with coalition partners to move those properties through the pipeline. “I look forward to assisting the HAAT in helping to push housing projects forward that benefit Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties’ most vulnerable populations,” she writes.

Vonnette has worked in the development of affordable housing for more than sixteen years. With experience in site selection and acquisition, feasibility, market analysis, financing, project and construction management, community engagement, and more, Vonnette will be a major asset to the PLCC in its mission to ensure no net loss in affordable housing along the corridor. Her work has included the creation of a new large scattered-site development, the construction of mid-rise developments for seniors and families, and the adaptive reuse of several historic structures into multifamily housing.

In addition to her skill and expertise, Vonnette brings personal commitment and dedication to the role of Housing Development Coordinator.

“Addressing housing inequality is one of my passions,” writes Vonnette. “I firmly believe that quality housing should be a fundamental right in this country and not a privilege.” 

The Housing Development Coordinator position is made possible by the generous support of the Center for Community Investment and Kaiser Permanente through Accelerating Investments in Healthy Communities.

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PLCC releases 2020 Progress Report

The Purple Line Corridor Coalition’s 2020 Progress Report, released today, details the coalition’s efforts to build a more equitable corridor amid the challenges that this year has brought, from COVID to construction problems.

“So as we socially distance and prepare for the long game, we accelerate our work. We bring new and innovative ideas and opportunities to the table. With the knowledge that there is strength in numbers, we look to build our coalition, mobilizing people and organizations in new ways. The journey to build a just, vibrant and prosperous transit corridor takes time. We know the outcome will be worth it. “

Read the full report here.

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PLCC Forges Ahead as Purple Line Construction Hits Challenges

You’ve probably seen the recent headlines. As of October, 2020, after a judge’s ruling in an ongoing dispute between the state and the private partners building the Purple Line, construction has significantly slowed. In light of these new challenges, we have been asking ourselves – do we pause? Do we change course?

Our answer is no. The PLCC has always focused on the people and places just beyond the Purple Line tracks – so, in many respects, our work has not changed. The stakes remain high. 

Real estate pressures will continue driving up housing costs, threatening to displace the corridor’s low- and moderate-income residents of color. We can’t afford to lose momentum on our goal of preserving or developing 17,000 affordable units.

The halt of construction itself poses yet another challenge for many living or doing business along the line. The Purple Line, in its incomplete form, has significantly diminished quality of neighborhood life for many corridor residents. And since construction began, local business owners have endured closed parking lots and disrupted customer access — now with no end in sight. Completion of the Purple Line is a critical step on our path to vibrant neighborhoods and flourishing small businesses. 

As we work toward a thriving labor market along the corridor, we are reminded of why so many people in the community wanted the Purple Line in the first place. The line itself can be a potent tool for racial and economic equity – creating an unprecedented east-west connection between job seekers of color, education and training opportunities, and job centers.

Therefore, getting the project to the finish line becomes part of our work in the months ahead. We remain optimistic that there is enough work completed and public and private support to bring this project to completion, even if we don’t know when. This is not the first stumbling block in the decades of advocacy that brought the Purple Line project to this point. Many successful transit projects once faced hurdles that seemed insurmountable–WMATA’s Green Line and Denver’s RTD N-line being two. Together, supporters of transit can ensure that the Purple Line is completed.  

In short, we are accelerating our commitment to development along the Purple Line Corridor that centers on racial and economic equity. We continue to believe that transit can be an important driver of equitable and sustainable growth, and that the people along the corridor deserve the greatest promise of the Purple Line. The pace we set for ourselves now paves the way for that future.

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