What If Banks Were Publicly Owned? In LA, This May Soon Be A Reality.

by Public Bank LA
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By: David Dayen, Huffington Post. Voters will decide in November whether to take city money out of the hands of big banks. David Dayen covers the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rally in Los Angeles. Featuring Trinity Tran, Dave Jette and Phoenix Goodman of Public Bank LA.

Trinity Tran is a powerful speaker. Addressing a rally in downtown Los Angeles for New York congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 33-year-old activist and organizer thundered, “We are witnessing the emergence of a solution, from profit and greed to collective prosperity. We can empower our community from the ground up. It’s time to take our power back.”

Tran’s organization, Public Bank LA, is leading the revival of an idea that had largely been discarded until the financial crisis. In November, Los Angeles voters will have the opportunity to approve a public bank for the city. If the measure passes, it would become the first government-owned bank developed in the United States since 1919.

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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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