"Close to 40 percent of Californian families, or 3.5 million California households, are struggling to make ends meet. When these families receive a ticket, they are faced with a false choice: Do I buy food for my family, pay my rent, or pay this ticket?"
East Bay Times
May 17, 2017
Link to full op-ed.
Organizations mentioned/involved: Insight Center for Community Economic Development (Insight Center)
This op-ed from Insight Center’s Director of Racial Equity and Strategy, Jhumpa Bhattacharya, discusses the consequences of a system that charges an exorbitant amount for traffic violations. While traffic tickets are a pain for everyone, the impact is greatest among low-income mostly Brown and Black neighborhoods, who are often unable to pay the initial ticket fee and then get charged with multiple late fees, and in some cases, license suspension.
“This has led to millions of Californians being in debt for old traffic tickets they cannot afford to pay. While there are mechanisms in place to apply for fee reprieve, the process is convoluted and complex, and varies by county… How can we expect them to pay more fees if they can’t afford the initial fine? And without their licenses, how can they get to work, pick up kids and care for their families?”
Tags: Community Economic Development