September 13, 2017


Dear Friends,

After extensive delays, the Purple Line  broke ground on Monday, August 28. I am elated that this project is finally moving toward construction. Not only did the Purple Line break ground in Prince George's County, we will see the Purple Line before anyone else in the region as the light rail's test track will be built between the New Carrollton Metro station and the Glenridge Maintenance yard. 

Please continue reading this special edition of my email newsletter for information on Purple Line community outreach and notifications, job opportunities, and how to engage in the procurement & subcontractor process. Links to important upcoming events and other updates are on the right sidebar.



I have  personally worked on planning and advocating for the Purple Line for more t h a n 1 0 y ears and have dug deeply into all the details because nine of the 21 total stops will cross Council District 3. The 16.2 mile light rail line will connect Metro's Green, Orange, and Red lines. It will also connect to all three MARC lines, Amtrak, and numerous bus lines.

Many of our long-time community members participated in the extensive community o utreach that took place during the early planning stages. At the same time, we also have may new residents who haven't had the opportunity to be briefed in-depth on the long-term benefits of the Purple Line or the short-term disruptions that will take place during construction.

I have strongly encouraged the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to reach back out to our community on the project. I will continue to share information across social media on Facebook and Twitter and in this email newsletter on a regular basis, but I also encourage you to be proactive in seeking out planning and construction updates.

Construction notices and other updates will be posted regularly on www.purplelinemd.com. Click the image to the left to visit that site. Sign up here to receive construction updates directly. You can select which portion of the 16-mile route you would like to receive updates about. For specific construction questions, you can call the Purple Line Hotline at  240-424-5325. If you see or experience an emergency, always call 911.

The Maryland Transit Administration has also created  Community Advisory Teams (CATs), made up of members of the community, for each segment of the Purple Line.  These Community Advisory Teams (CATs) are intended to:
  • Promote two-way information sharing between MTA/Concessionaire and community,
  • Offer a forum for residents and other community stakeholders to engage in open dialogue with MTA/Concessionaire project staff,
  • Serve as an organized, results-oriented vehicle for identifying and addressing area-specific issues and concerns related to MTA's Purple Line, and
  • Provide accountability for follow-up actions agreed upon by MTA/Concessionaire and community.
The CATs will start to meet soon and those meetings will be additional opportunities for community outreach and communication.

We already know how vital community engagement is in this process. Thanks to strong community advocacy, as well as support from the County and State, we restored the original vision for the Riverdale Park Station. That station design will now include an open aerial bridge instead of the value-engineered design, which placed the station on top of  a solid concrete wall. 

The Purple Line is a Public Private Partnership, referred to as a P3. The private partner, also referred to as the "concessionaire" is an entity named the Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP).  PLTP is responsible for constructing the Purple Line. They also have a website with extensive information. Visit their website specifically to learn more about job opportunities including truck drivers, pipe fitters, electricians, crane operators, laborers, concrete masons, and many, many more. More than 6,300 jobs will be created during the Purple Line's construction. The job center for the entire project is located in Riverdale and PLTP is hiring now!

There are also numerous procurement and subcontractor opportunities, especiall y for state-certified Disadvantaged Business Enterpri ses. The project's DBE goals are more than twice as high as the federal government's requirements.

The Purple Line has a DBE program office to help DBEs navigate the procurement process for the project. They are also willing to assist all DBE subcontractors and suppliers in obtaining access to bonds, lines of credit, and insurance. Learn more here or contact dbeprogram@pltcllc.com for assistance .

The Purple Line Transit Partners will also participate in a County Connections event with me on Monday, September 18, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the College Park Airport Operations Building. That morning, PLTP and other private and public entities will share information about current and upcoming procurement opportunities. Click on the event flyer above to register for the County Connections event.

If you are a job-seeker or business owner, NOW is the time to engage in career and procurement opportunities. 

I am also incredibly focused on what the Purple Line means for our community in terms of employment opportunities and economic redevelopment for our neighborhood nodes. The Purple Line will be a reliable transit option for local residents as trains will arrive every 7 1/2 minutes during peak time and every 10-15 minutes during off-peak times. By 2040 more than 74,000 riders a day are projected to use the Purple Line.

Last summer I initiated a series of Workforce Development meetings in District 3 to ensure that as we see economic development like the Purple Line come to District 3 and the entire County, our unemployed and underemployed residents are prepared for and knowledgeable about job opportunities. In these meetings, leaders from the private and public sectors, along with local nonprofits, discuss and take action on workforce needs and opportunities. 

Thanks to this Workforce Development initiative, the Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization (CKAR) CDC connected with new partners for the now-open Greater Riverdale Career Empowerment Center (GRCEC), which happens to be across the parking lot from the Purple Line Transit Partners job center in Riverdale. In addition, SkillSmart partnered with PLTP to better-connect local job seekers to the Purple Line job opportunities for which they are the best match.  In these Workforce Development meetings we have recently begun to focus on Parkdale High School, to understand how to better connect our students, drop-outs, and recent graduates with job training and higher education. My 3rd Annual Parkdale College & Career Fair will take place on Thursday, October 12.

My next Workforce Development meeting will take place on Friday, September 22. Please send me an email at CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us if you would like to attend and engage in this important work.



The East Riverdale Beacon Heights Sector Plan has been drafted and is being reviewed for final adoption. The planning area includes the communities that surround two planned Purple Line stations -- East Riverdale and Beacon Heights. The plan lays out a strategic framework to evaluate and prioritize transportation and environmental enhancements to position these existing neighborhoods to capitalize on the opportunities of the new Purple Line stations for redevelopment and revitalization. 
 
I share news and updates daily on social media. If you are active on social media, too, please engage with me on  Facebook   and follow me on  Twitter

As always, don't hesitate to reach out to me or a member of my staff if we can assist you in any way. 

Together Strengthening our Community,
    
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Pathways to Purchase:
Down Payment
Assistance Available!

If you are a first-time home buyer, the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George's County may be able to assist you with up to $10,000 in down payment assistance. If you remain in the residence for 10 years, the loan is forgiven! Learn more  here.

It was a pleasure to volunteer with the Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic at the University of Maryland on September 8. The two-day clinic provided 800+ adults with free dental care.


50+ Workforce Development Forum on Sept. 27
click on the image to enlarge


PGC Workforce
Services Board
Learn more about services for job seekers, businesses and youth at the NEW Prince George's County Workforce Development Board website!


Contact Us!
301-952-3060

CouncilDistrict3
@co.pg.
md.us
 
Wanda Brooks 
Citizen Services Specialist
-- 
Alvinia Kelly
Office Manager & Scheduler
arkelly@co.pg.md.us 
-- 
Thomas Mayah
Citizen Services Assistant
tsmayah@co.pg.md.us
--
Aimee Olivo 
Chief of Staff
-- 
Alina Smith
Latino Liaison


If you have received this e-news from someone other than my office, and are interested in receiving this update directly, please email CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us or call (301) 952-3060.