Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's L.A. fundraisers were more about raising consciousness than money

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By: David Dayen, Los Angeles Times. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's L.A. fundraisers were more about raising consciousness than money.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the probable next member of Congress from New York’s 14th District, barnstormed through Los Angeles with two fundraisers last week. But I hesitate to call them fundraisers. They weren’t held on the Hollywood Hills balcony of some showrunner for prestige TV. They weren’t showcases for one woman’s singular vision to personally revive the American left and solve the nation’s challenges.

They were organizing meetings — the kind that used to be held in the back of union halls and community centers when we still had unions, and communities. Ocasio-Cortez presented herself not as the savior of a moment but a small part of a movement, amplifying the actions of everyday activists toiling in relative obscurity on the ground. “This work doesn’t rely on any one person,” Ocasio-Cortez said at one event. “But the work needs every one person to act. That’s what collective movement-building is all about.”

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Taking Back Agency and Accountability for the Banking System

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By: Alejandra Molina, NextCity.org. Alejandra discusses bank accountability with Public Bank LA's Community Outreach Director Carlos Marroquin and Legislative Director Dave Jette.

Community organizer Carlos Marroquin, 57, of Hollywood, is a housing advocate who knows of homeless people who are employed but do not make enough to put a roof over their heads. He envisions a city-owned bank that would work directly with community banks and credit unions, “providing them the money they need to be able to give reasonable and affordable mortgage rates to people.”

It might sound like an outlandish plan, but he’s far from alone. In New York City, for example, dozens of residents and community organizers in early June gathered in front of the New York Stock Exchange to launch the Public Bank NYC Coalition, a group calling for the creation of a New York City-owned bank. Oakland and San Francisco are exploring the idea. New Jersey and Michigan are also considering setting up state-owned banks.

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A Movement for Public Banking Gains Momentum

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By: Aaron Fernando, Progressive.org. Aaron talks with Deyanira Del Río, co-director of the New Economy Project and Trinity Tran, co-founder of Public Bank LA on the growing national grassroots public banking movement.

The other day in front of the New York Stock Exchange, a diverse group of demonstrators held colorful signs and chanted, “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Wall Street banks have got to go!” The rally on June 5 was reminiscent of the Occupy Movement seven years ago—a microcosm of organized, strategic social and political demonstrations across states.

But the new movement extends beyond protest to present a practical solution to the problem caused by big banks that continue to fail large segments of society. The rally on Wall Street called for establishing a public bank for New York City, as part of a broader movement to establish public banks in cities and states across the United States.

In contrast with big private banks, which balance customer satisfaction against generating shareholder profit, public banks are fully operated with the public interest in mind.

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