Public Banking Institute News: Apr 4, 2019
Los Angeles City Council throws its support behind state-level municipal public bank bill AB 857
On Friday March 29, Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz introduced a motion to support AB 857, state legislation facilitating the establishment of public banks by cities and counties. The state bill was introduced March 19 by Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago and David Chiu and is sponsored by California Public Banking Alliance.
Strong support from a city with the influence of Los Angeles is a significant step in building momentum to pass the state bill. Public bank winds are building quickly in California, and it’s said that “where California goes, the country follows.” California’s success could set the stage for public banking to sweep across the rest country.
Activists head to Sacramento April 8 for a public banking lobby day
The California Public Banking Alliance is organizing a public banking lobby day in Sacramento on April 8 in support of AB 857. You can register for this action here.
Advocates from San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Santa Rosa, San Diego and Los Angeles will talk to lawmakers and staff face-to-face about public banking. A bus from Los Angeles to Sacramento will be available.
Details from Public Bank LA: Join us for an action-packed day of citizens’ lobbying as we make the rounds to legislative offices to make our voices heard. Yes to public banking and yes to AB 857![read more details]
Public hearing on Oregon bill to create state-chartered bank for the cannabis industry
On Monday Oregon state representatives held a public hearing for HB 3169, a bill filed late February by Rep. Pam Marsh and Rep. Ken Helm that would create a self-contained state chartered banking system for the cannabis industry in Oregon. The bill proposes a network of financial institutions separate from the federal banking system, which has locked out cannabis businesses as being illegal under federal law. A similar bill brought earlier in California died in the legislature, but Oregon is pressing on undaunted. A work session has been scheduled for April 8.
According to a report by Mike Maharrey in the Tenth Amendment Center:
“HB3619 would authorize banking institutions and credit unions to organize as limited charter cannabis financial institutions. Cannabis businesses would be able to deposit funds in these institutions and write ‘special purpose checks.’ … These checks could only be deposited or cashed at the issuing cannabis limited charter bank or credit union, or another cannabis limited charter bank or credit union that agrees to accept the check. This would keep the entire process outside of the federal checking system known as the automatic clearing house (ACH).”
How to rally the troops: Philadelphia’s public banking campaign started with like-minded groups and churches, before moving to City Hall
To build a campaign to create a public bank takes a good deal of planning and on-the-ground networking. Philadelphia recently held a very successful lobby day at City Hall, the culmination of several years of work by local organizers.
Conni Bille of Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks describes to PBI how the group approached the work and built toward its positive results, concluding:
“Councilmembers were very receptive since candidates on the campaign trail have been eager to talk about their support of public banking. We anticipate the awarding of the public bank study contract shortly and look forward later this year to pushing for enabling legislation, in the confidence that the study will identify a roadmap for creation of a bank.”[read Philly’s report]
Video spotlight: Chicago’s Ameya Pawar shows how public banks can combat economic inequality
Although Ameya Pawar lost the runoff election for Chicago city treasurer on Tuesday, he did pull in over 40 percent of the vote, an impressive result. He remarked in the Chicago Tribune, “A little over 40 percent of Chicago voted for someone who was running to launch a public bank and pilot universal basic income, and I think we’ve moved the needle on these issues.”
A compelling short video by NowThis on what a public bank could do for the city was viewed by over 108,000 people on Facebook in just 2 weeks. It begins: “‘The biggest threat to our democracy right now is income inequality.’ — This lawmaker wants to launch our nation’s second public bank to serve the interests of the public rather than select wealthy shareholders.”[watch the video (Facebook)]
Together, we can make 2019 the year public banks break through!
Thank you again for your determination and support. Your financial support will help fund our 2019 Campaign for Public Banks to create the BIG PUSH we need now to get public banks established. You can sign on to support and contribute below.
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PBI video: Public Banking Made Easy
Our latest animated video is helping thousands of people understand the basic concepts of public banking. Please help us make public banking common knowledge by sharing it with your friends and groups. Thank you for all your help![watch the video]
Coming Public Banking Events
Sacramento, CA | Apr 8, 11:00am – 1:30pm ET | Public banking lobby day at the capitol
State Capital Building 1315 10th Street, Sacramento, California 95814. Team up with the public banking movement as we head to Sacramento to lobby state legislators! join us for an action-packed day of citizens’ lobbying as we make the rounds to legislative offices to make our voices heard: Yes to public banking and Yes to AB 857! Register here. Facebook event here. Materials here.
San Francisco, CA | Apr 24, 1:00 – 3:00pm PT | Students vs Wall Street
San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, California 94132. On Bank of America’s shareholder meeting day, we will be joining forces with California Faculty Association SFSU chapter to mobilize students in the fight against Wall Street! More details to come. Facebook event here.
Please send us notice of Public Banking events in your area, and we’ll help spread the word!