Los Angeles City Council Unanimously Supports Statewide Public Banking Option

by Public Bank LA
in News
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The Los Angeles City Council today voiced its support for creating a statewide public banking option for California residents in an attempt to reduce racial and income inequalities in financial services. "There's no question that there's a need for a public bank. The simple fact is that the current banking system has never truly worked for working people and specifically for communities of color," said Councilman Kevin de Leon, who introduced a resolution to support the California Public Banking Option Act currently pending in the state Assembly. The resolution was unanimously passed by City Council members.

"The public banking option will level the playing field so that everyone — no matter how much money they make, the color of their skin, or which zip code they live in — can fully participate in our economic recovery."

The California Public Banking Option Act would create the BankCal program, which would be the first statewide program in the U.S. to offer residents access to a no-fee, no-penalty bank account, including a debit card, automatic bill pay, direct deposit capacity and an infrastructure for the account holder to build credit. The bill was co-authored and introduced by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles.

Ben Gordon, an organizer with Public Bank L.A. and the California Public Bank Alliance, called into the City Council meeting Tuesday to urge council members to approve the resolution. "This bill is an important step forward to bridge the racial equity and wealth gap in our state," he said.

Read the article on KCET.org.

Free banking in California? New bill tackles access and racial equity

by Public Bank LA
in News
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Banking can be expensive, especially for low-wage workers. A score of California lawmakers have signed on to a new bill AB 1177 designed to offer Golden State households free financial services, taking on the state’s powerful banks at a time when easier access to banking services could help families cope with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the LA Times article by Margot Roosevelt: https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-04-06/bankcal-california-banking-bill-offer-free-services-covid-19

Dave Jette

by Public Bank LA
in News
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David Jette takes a deep dive in conversation with Rohan Dixit on the historic #AB857 legislation we passed last year with the California Public Banking Alliance. Among the topics discussed: Capitalization: what sources of capital can be used to capitalize the Bank? Collateralization: what mechanisms can we use to collateralize public deposits? (A letter of credit from the FHLB / Federal Home Loan Bank, for instance.) Governance: What are the governance models possible with the language of AB 857? For example, is there any explicit relationship between the city / cities depositing funds and the Bank governance? Regulatory Organizations: who are the major regulatory groups involved? e.g. FDIC, DFPI / Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, to what degree is the Federal Reserve involved or not involved)

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