How Public Banking Is A Revolution

by Public Bank LA
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Lee Camp talks with Trinity Tran on grassroots movement building and effective tactics that lead to California's historic win against powerful corporate lobbyists-- from moving the public banking concept further into the political mainstream, creating a public lobbying force to combat Wall Street lobbyists to next steps for the national movement.

LA Could Become The First City In The Country To Open Up Its Own Bank

by Public Bank LA
in News
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Following the passage of a new state bill, local public banking advocates say they plan to make Los Angeles the first city in the country to establish its own bank.

They got the support of L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson on Monday. Wesson said he plans to introduce a motion this week to begin the process of recruiting a banking expert who would advise the city on creating a public bank.

These moves follow Gov. Gavin Newsom's approval last week of a bill allowing local governments to establish public banks. Newsom's signature makes California the only state aside from North Dakota to permit government-run banks.

Wesson acknowledged it could take years before a public bank would actually be up and running in the city. But he said he wanted to "put in place the foundation as quickly as possible."

"We are almost there, but we're not there yet," Wesson said. "With this motion that I'm introducing, I think we will move this ball further down the court."

Advocates want L.A. to withdraw its deposits from commercial banks like Wells Fargo and put them into a new, publicly owned financial institution. They argue a public bank could fund projects like affordable housing and green infrastructure at lower interest rates and without concern for maximizing profits or shareholder returns.

Continue reading on LAist.

LA City Council president to propose city’s first public bank

by Public Bank LA
in News
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson said Monday that he will propose establishing the city’s first public banking institution.

Wesson said he’ll file a motion this week calling for the council to authorize a search for a “banking expert” to help the city get a public bank up and running. The move comes several days after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 857, which allows statewide establishment of public banks.

“I do believe that this is the way that government is supposed to work, where we partner with the people … together trying to affect change,” Wesson said. “Rarely do people have the chance to make history, and I just want to say to everyone standing beside me and behind me, that you folks have made history.”

Public banks are intended to focus local investment by offering business loans and could be used to finance public supportive housing among other projects, according to proponents of the system.

The public banking system gained national notoriety in 2016 after activists at the Dakota Access Pipeline called for divesting from large banks that financed portions of the project. North Dakota has had state-run banks for the last 100 years.

Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, who supported AB 857, said public banking was the one controversial issue he’s seen where the public’s voice was effective enough to sway the Legislature’s vote without a lobbyist’s involvement.

Trinity Tran of Public Bank LA and the California Public Banking Alliance said divesting from public banks could keep the money within local communities. The city could also partner with credit unions, and the bank would be a government nonprofit organization overseen by an independent board of directors and managed by professional bankers.

“Our cities in California, cities across the nation, spend billions in debt services to borrow money from Wall Street banks that leverage our public funds to finance these destructive, harmful industries that our communities actively fight against,” Tran said.

Continue reading on Los Angeles Daily News.

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