Your Year End Giving Makes a Difference!
December 17, 2014
As 2014 comes to a close, NARP President Jim Mathews reflects back on the work done by NARP members to build a modern, customer-focused passenger rail system that Americans want.
As 2014 comes to a close, I am truly inspired by the generosity of NARP donors and their continued commitment to supporting the preservation and expansion of our nation’s passenger rail service. Your gifts and willingness to volunteer help fuel our efforts. During my short-term as NARP President, we have already seen major changes and important victories. I believe with your continued dedication, we can finally realize some of the advocacy goals we’ve all shared for nearly 50 years.
NARP is classified as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by the IRS. Dues and contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law*. Make sure to donate before midnight on December 31 to ensure you are able to claim your deductible on your 2014 tax return.
Thousands of our members give above and beyond their annual dues, allowing NARP to build the tools passengers need to be effective advocates. Your contributions allowed NARP to create a new website so members can communicate their desire for better service to local, state, and congressional delegates. NARP also developed an online tool that gave a voice to passengers hurt by growing train delays, which generated thousands of messages in just a few days.
Your generosity made it possible for us to submit an effective brief to the Supreme Court in the case of U.S. Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads. This brief presented the view of America’s train riders, giving us a say in the Court’s deliberations in whether Amtrak can legally ensure minimum standards of performance for its trains. If the court rules in favor of U.S. DOT, then Amtrak will regain a critical tool in forcing host railroads to honor passenger trains’ priority already granted by the law.
NARP has begun developing a national Millennial Outreach Campaign. The pilot effort is being conducted with the Texas Central Railway High Speed Rail project between Dallas and Houston. NARP has been able to recruit seven university student governments in Texas to pass resolutions in support of Texas High Speed Rail. NARP has plans in 2015 to expand the Millennial Outreach campaign to other parts of the country and other services, engaging a whole new generation of rail advocates.
NARP has constructed new outreach capabilities that have boosted membership to record highs. For the first year ever, NARP was accepted into the Combined Federal Campaign and participated in events across the country. Your donations were pivotal in engaging new affiliates and corporations to aid in the mission to connect more communities by rail.
And finally, your stories, letters, and calls have been the driving force of encouragement to transmit letters such as the one I composed to the Surface Transportation Board containing scores of delay stories from across the country to emphasize the national scope of this On-Time Performance issue. Soon after my letter, STB Chairman Dan Elliott asked host railroad Norfolk Southern (NS) to provide an explanation of severe delays and detail solutions. Days later, the travelling public saw improvements in on time performance.
These are steps in the right direction, but they are the first steps. With your continued support, we can build on this. Of the 250 members of Congress NARP was able to rally against an amendment to kill the long-distance trains, 218 will be returning following the midterm elections. These elected officials need our help to build a better rail system. And there are over 60 incoming members who will need to be educated about the economic and social benefits of passenger trains.
Thank you for supporting our country’s first—and most valuable—transportation system. Your generous contributions of time, money, and talent are the foundation of NARP’s ability to become a voice for the American passenger.
I’m enthusiastic about the future of NARP and look forward to working side by side with all of you for many years to come.
President & CEO
*Your gift is deductible as a charitable contribution with two exceptions: the only goods or services provided in exchange for this generous gift were Amtrak Guest Rewards points which, for tax purposes, are valued at 2.5 cents per point; the NARP jacket, which is valued at $19.99, again as a taxable value; and All Aboard, which is valued at $15.75.