Press Kit

For press inquiries, email Becca Bijoch at press@microgrants.net or call 612-200-8174.

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Pioneer Press, Black drivers nearly 4 times more likely to be pulled over than white drivers

  • In St. Paul, Black drivers are 4 times more likely to be pulled over by police than white drivers
  • In 2020, Black citizens made up 43% of drivers pulled over, but only 13% of St. Paul’s population

The Atlantic, Should States Charge Low-Income Residents Less for Traffic Tickets?

  • 17% of Californian’s adults had suspended licenses because they could not pay citation fines and fees

Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Cities Target Low-Income, People of Color With Fines and Fees, Humphrey School Researcher Says

  • A simple ticket can turn into additional fees, court appearances and jail if they cannot afford to pay the original ticket. This criminal justice practice disproportionately affect low-income residents and people of color and make it more difficult to build assets and rise out of poverty.
  • Philando Castile, a Black man shot by police in Minnesota, had been cited 82 times over 15 years for not having auto insurance and driving without a license. He owed $7,000 in overdue fines and had no license due to failing to pay those fines.
  • “By putting people in perpetual debt, we’ve taken away any chance they have for social mobility. It affects people’s ability to live with dignity and security” “And that has an impact on police-community relations and police killings. When you are constantly pulling people over for financial reasons, you’re increasing the chances that something will go bad.” – Joe Soss, Cowles Professor for the Study of Public Service at the Humphrey School of Public Affair

Vox, The tyranny of a traffic ticket

  • “A minor traffic stop for a low-level offense turned into a death sentence.” This is the story of Philando Castile and many other Black citizens.
  • A routine stop or arrest for a low-level offense went horribly wrong, leaving someone dead after they were accused of a misdemeanor or crime that typically doesn’t even involve prison time. This is the story of Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland and too many others.
  • It begins with one ticket or a traffic stop. But if someone can’t afford to pay that fine, police might try to stop or arrest him or her again to get the person to pay up.

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100 North Sixth St, Suite 626B
Minneapolis, MN 55403

612-200-8174

MicroGrants is the parent organization of Lights On! Our mission is to give a boost to motivated people on their journey to economic self-sufficiency. By providing cash, not loans, we meet the immediate needs of low-income individuals on their quest to start a business, finish their education, or acquire transportation for their job.

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