Six years ago, Philando Castile was killed by a police officer during a routine traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn. His senseless death and the failure of our justice system to hold his killer accountable will continue to echo both in Minnesota and across the country for decades to come.
Shortly after Philando’s death, I created the Lights On program at MicroGrants, which allows police officers to issue repair vouchers up to $250 instead of tickets to replace broken lights. To date, Lights On has been implemented in more that 125 cities across the country, including Saint Paul, Minneapolis, Nashville, and San Diego. The program has also been overwhelmingly endorsed by Philando’s mom, Valerie Castile, to help prevent such a tragic event from ever happening again. When I am elected to Congress, I will continue to advocate for programs such as Lights On, which help to bridge the community-police divide that has become so prevalent across our nation in recent years.
Though we continue to mourn the loss of Philando, we must also take time to remember the positive legacy he leaves behind—which we can do by supporting the Philando Castile Relief Foundation which pays school lunch debts for our most vulnerable students as well as the Philando Castile Memorial Scholarship Fund that helps provide much needed funds to students furthering their post-secondary education.