2044 Franklin St Oakland
Info Time, Tuesday, July 9, 5:30 p.m.
Have questions about public banking? Want to find out more about what we’re doing to make our own East Bay bank a reality? Come to Info Time! Volunteers will be available to talk with you for the half hour before our monthly meeting (location below)
California public banking bill clears another state Senate committee as momentum generates a swell of press coverage
On July 3rd, California’s Public Banking Act, AB 857, passed the Senate Governance & Finance Committee 4 Aye’s to 3 No’s. In the extended hearing, Assemblymember David Chiu, the bill’s co-author, emphasized, “Something is truly broken with the present financial system.” The bill has one more committee – Senate Appropriations – before the Senate floor vote.
Watch the hearing video here (bill discussion starts at 1:25).
Meanwhile, publications in San Jose, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, North Bay, Marin County, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Monterey Bay each published robust articles recently detailing what a public bank could mean to their local communities. The journalistic push indicates a high-water mark for interest in public banking, and provides advocates around the country with excellent talking points to share.
People want DIVESTMENT.
The cities of Berkeley, Oakland, and Richmond (not to mention Seattle, Santa Fe, etc., etc.) have all voted for divesting from pipelines and fossil fuels, but none of them have carried through. Why not? Because there is literally no clean bank big enough to handle their deposits.
People want LOCAL REINVESTMENT.
Our cities are teeming with urban problems, almost all of them disproportionately affecting black and brown populations: homelessness, gentrification pushing out marginalized communities, desperate infrastructure needs, impoverished parks and recreation programs, struggling local businesses, lack of local jobs, and so much more. Yet we send between 7 and 15 cents out of every tax dollar out of our cities forever, and into the hands of Wall Street bank shareholders, who couldn’t care less about our streets and our schools. When those banks profit from our tax revenues, they send the money straight into their own pockets. It’s like paying sales tax on our own money to greedy corporations.
People want A PUBLIC BANK.
The Bank of North Dakota, one of two public banks currently existing in the United States, not only saves the state of North Dakota that 7 to 15 cents per dollar, but also makes money. In 2017, its return on investment was 17%! In 2008, North Dakota didn’t have a foreclosure crisis, because the Bank of North Dakota didn’t invest in risky mortgages. And if you live in North Dakota, or go to college there, the bank will buy back your student loan … and restructure it to give you a 4% interest rate.