What families are up against:

Everyday life in America is centered around the automobile. A safe, reliable vehicle is a necessity in many parts of our country. Our cities and towns have evolved in such a way that most families must drive in order to go earn a living, go to school, and buy food. The basic transportation that many of us take for granted can become an issue of concern for parents who want to grow their families. Traditional simply sedans aren't practical for families with more than three children, especially when the children require car seats. Yet upgrading to a larger vehicle, such as a minivan, can be cost prohibitive for many families. 

Data points:

According to a study conducted by the autos website CarGurus.com, 21% of  with multiple children say their cars do not sufficient meet their needs, as opposed to just 7% of SUV and minivan owners with children.  62% of sedan-driving parents who are dissatisfied with current vehicle said it’s because their autos are just too small. citation

A Solution: 

Minnesota could create a state grant program that would offer families with three or more children 5000 to buy a vehicle that seats six or more people. The funds could also be used to help low income families maintain their existing vehicles. Doing so would raise the family by alleviating the stress and hardship that is often associated with sustaining adequate transportation, a basic need.  

Policy details and legislative strategy: 

Legislation that helps growing families meet their transportation needs could be crafted in any number of ways. One approach would be to create a new grants program that would provide families with 3 or more children a $5,000 grant if they buy a car that seats at least 6 people.

Another approach would be to expand upon an existing Minnesota program. In 2001, the Minnesota Legislature created the "Getting to Work Project". The Getting to Work Project is designed for nonprofit organizations to establish and operate programs that provide, repair or maintain motor vehicles to assist eligible individuals (economically disadvantaged individuals 22 years of age and over) to obtain or maintain employment. The program was funded with an appropriation of $250,000 each year for two years. Families First Project advocates could lobby the legislature to make this program even more family friendly expand the definition of "eligible individuals" to include families with 3 or more children. You can view, download, or print the bill that created the Getting to Work Project here: Bill Language

Do you agree that a "Minivan Grants" would make life easier for growing families in Minnesota? Here's the status of this proposal and what you can do to help bring it into law:

Status: This policy proposal needs a legislative champion!

Action: Connect with your State Senator and State Representative to ask them to introduce this policy as a bill in the legislative session.  You can get the tools you need to schedule meetings with your legislators on the Take Action page.