Last year, the City of Los Angeles paid $170 million in banking fees and $1.1 billion in interest to big banks and investors. Banks have leveraged our tax dollars to finance harmful industries including private prisons, fossil fuel extraction, and weapons manufacturing. In 2017, the City of Los Angeles divested its funds from Wells Fargo, which was fined billions of dollars for creating illegal customer accounts, has a history of discriminating against Latino and African-American home buyers, and finances industries harmful to Angelenos.

Local community banks are too small to manage the city’s funds, but Wall Street is not the only alternative. Banking as a public utility is a proven model worldwide. Public banks keep money local and cut costs by eliminating middlemen, shareholders and high-paid executives.

During the 2008-09 Recession, the century-old public Bank of North Dakota safeguarded taxpayers’ money and helped finance a statewide economic boom, while Wall Street banks needed billions in taxpayer bailouts. Charter Amendment B clears a path for Los Angeles to declare its independence from Wall Street.

A public bank would safeguard and grow the city’s assets through loans to critical city projects and local businesses. The bank would be answerable not to politicians but to an independent board of governors comprised of residents. Its mission would be to serve Angelenos.

Los Angeles must take the first steps to explore the creation of a socially, economically, and environmentally responsible city-owned bank. A public bank will ensure that L.A. tax dollars are invested in a way that measurably improves the community.

 

 

YES! The Bank of North Dakota, the only existing publicly-owned bank in the U.S., is more profitable than Goldman Sachs, has a better credit rating than JPMorgan Chase, and was the only state not deep in red ink as a result of the 2008 financial crash. 

Public Bank Los Angeles is endorsed by Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and supported by L.A. City Council. Public Bank LA is endorsed by a broad intersection of over 100 community organizations including labor, social justice, environmental, democratic clubs, and leaders including: Los Angeles County Democratic Party, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), Communication Workers of America (CWA), American Postal Workers Union (APWU), Labor Council For Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) LA, Alliance for Community Transit Los Angeles (ACT-LA), SoCal 350 Climate Action, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), Mayor Eric Garcetti, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Senator Kevin de León, Bill McKibben-Co-Founder of 350.org and Our Revolution National.  

Socially and environmentally responsible municipal public banks are endorsed by both the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, representing 2.4 million registered Democrats, and the California Democratic Party, representing 8.7 million registered Democrats.

View our full list of endorsements!

If you are part of an organization and would like to endorse our movement to create a Los Angeles public bank, please fill out our Endorsement Form.

Public Bank LA is an entirely volunteer-run group and we need your help to create the nation's first munibank! Join the campaign and be part of history-in-the-making!

Fill out our Volunteer Form.

Public Bank LA means YES to rebuilding and regenerating our communities, YES to supporting local businesses, and YES to protecting our environment.

Public Bank LA Flyer.

Yes on B Flyer Front. Yes on B Flyer Back.

Official Ballot Measure Argument in Favor of B.

Public Bank LA Charter Amendment B Resource Booklet.


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