Change can seem a long time in coming, but it does happen. This Memorial Day weekend I am reflecting on the sacrifices of so many people and the work remaining for those of us dedicated to building a better world. I am already planning—if I am re-elected—for next session and working on initiatives to move us ever closer towards justice.
Purple Line Updates
The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is holding a number of community meetings as full construction on the Purple Line resumes. At these meetings, attendees will hear updates, meet the project’s new contractor, and provide input on the light rail line. You can find the dates and locations of these meetings here.
Already more than 4.5 years behind schedule, the new contractor on the project, Maryland Transit Solutions (MTS), estimates the Purple Line will officially open in October of 2026. I want to see this project completed as soon as possible, as it is an important piece of the transit network we need across Maryland.
However, the project must be completed in a way that honors promises to the community and to labor. I am working to ensure the new contractors negotiate a Project Labor Agreement with Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) for this project, as the previous contract had included and as MDOT committed to at the Board of Public Works meeting in December.
I will also continue my advocacy to lessen the impact of the construction on our neighborhoods. I have helped get roads, like Wayne Avenue, repaved ahead of schedule and made sure the State Highway Authority promptly addresses safety concerns at intersections. It is crucial that we continue to move forward with the construction of the Purple Line while simultaneously addressing the issues that come with it.
More Trees Along the Purple Line
I am also working with local groups along the Purple Line to ensure full shade trees are replanted near the areas where they were removed for Purple Line construction. Many of these areas already suffer from a “heat island” effect and poor air quality and I see replacing trees as an issue of environmental justice. Last year I wrote and passed the MDOT Urban Tree Program legislation, to provide the needed resources for replacing trees in areas close to where they were cut down to make way for transportation projects.
Long Branch Parks - Your Voice Matters!
This past legislative session, the District 20 team brought back over $2.5 million for Montgomery County’s Long Branch Parks Initiative. This initiative aims to take a comprehensive look and renovate Long Branch Parks to best serve their local communities. Montgomery Parks is now seeking input from community members to help decide what improvements to make. You can learn more about the initiative and fill out their survey here.
I’m also pleased that the Long Branch Recreation Center has been officially reopened after serving as an emergency shelter for the past two years. Many local groups helped to joyfully celebrate the grand reopening last week. I look forward to seeing the numerous ways our community’s health and wellness will be supported by the Center.
Strengthening Our Local Food System
Throughout the pandemic, many local organizations have done extraordinary work ensuring food security for individuals who are struggling. One such group is the Rainbow Community Development Center (RCDC). Among other sources of food, Rainbow distributes rescued donated food from large retailers. This approach reduces food waste and helps alleviate food insecurity. Too often, though, substantial donations are available, but local organizations don’t have the cold storage space available to accept the donations. The District 20 team recently secured a bond bill so RCDC and the East County Food Hub can expand their cold storage capabilities to provide more food to more people.
This gap in infrastructure is one of a range of policies I am working on to create a more resilient local food system. These efforts are crucial as we contend with rising food costs and disruptions to our supply chains. If you or someone you know needs help right now, please check out my website for community resources. No one in our community should go hungry.
This week I was honored to have been endorsed by the Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO, Our Revolution Maryland, and Progressive Neighbors. For a full list of endorsements, you can check out my website.
“Spring Into Action” Fundraiser
Thank you to everyone who made my “Spring Into Action” fundraiser so successful! I greatly appreciate the support of everyone who attended and donated, as well as the efforts of my campaign staff in planning the event.
As summer approaches, so does Maryland’s Primary Election! Election Day is July 19 and early voting is from July 7 through July 14. You can prepare to vote by reviewing information about the election on my website.
Looking for an easy way to support my campaign? Fill out this form to have a free “Re-elect Lorig Charkoudian” sign delivered to you.
Stay in Touch
If you or anyone you know needs assistance, please contact my office at email@example.com or leave us a message at (410)-841-3423.
Maryland General Assembly (District 20)