On the morning of March 1, 2017, a few thousand people received an introductory email from a new entity called Maryland Matters. It included a blend of political news and analysis in bite-sized items, kind of like Politico Playbook.
We’d assembled the list of email addresses guerilla-style, from rosters of elected and appointed officials, advocates, lobbyists, political operatives and our own contacts. To be honest, we didn’t entirely know where we were going or what we were doing at that point, but we were determined to send out interesting content every few days, when we had time to assemble it. Even in the early days, we came up with a few scoops.
Over several months, here and there, new people, without any prodding, signed up to get our emails, which became more frequent and more newsy. We took great encouragement from that slow and steady growth of our newsletter, which we’ve come to call the Maryland Matters Memo.
We’ve come a mighty long way in these four years.
Maryland Matters now has six full-time reporters and editors and a full-time business staffer, along with a smattering of part-timers, columnists, regular freelancers, news partners and other friends who bring you a full package of Maryland news and commentary every day. Our lists of readers and email subscribers have grown by leaps and bounds.
We owe it all to you.
Without your interest, your enthusiasm, your feedback and yes, your financial support, we couldn’t do what we do. It’s as simple as that.
Maryland Matters is a nonprofit, and we rely on donations from foundations and individuals — readers like you — to survive. So thank you! We are eternally grateful. We are truly humbled and honored by your support.
The world has changed a lot in four years, and we’re striving to meet the challenges. It isn’t always easy.
For fun, I consulted the American Academy of Pediatrics to see what important developmental milestones a 4-year-old should hit and how we’re measuring up. They include: Enjoys doing new things — check! Is more creative — check! Talks about what she likes and what she’s interested in — check! Knows some basic rules of grammar — check! Tells stories — double check! Understands the idea of counting — check! Knows how to use scissors — check! Hops and stands on one foot for up to two seconds — check! Catches a bounced ball most of the time — check!
So today, we’ll celebrate our fourth birthday — with a measure of pride. We’re only sorry that we can’t celebrate with you, in person.
I can’t wait to see what Maryland Matters does in Year 5. And I’m so grateful to have you all along for this journey.
— Josh Kurtz, co-founder and editor