PBI Chair Ellen Brown writes her views on the "valiant effort" that hundreds of committed advocates made to pass the LA measure for a city-owned bank.
"The Los Angeles charter amendment to approve a city-owned bank did not pass, but it did get 42 percent of the vote, a remarkable feat considering that the dynamic young Public Bank LA advocacy group effectively only had a month to educate 4 million voters on what a public bank is and why passing the measure was a good idea. If they had had another month, the bill could well have passed. ...
The historic vote for Charter Amendment B on Tuesday drew the support of over 267,000 voters in Los Angeles. Although this level of support was not enough to pass the measure, the achievements of the campaign were in themselves groundbreaking. The measure was dropped onto the LA calendar out of the blue in July. In a mere four months our allies at Public Bank LA and their powerful coalition rallied to the challenge and, without a budget, pulled off a dramatic paradigm shift in voter awareness persuading over 40% of voters to say yes. Ballot measures typically require at least $750K to win, but this shift was achieved with $60K raised in the last month, an inspiration for cities and states around the country that want to declare their own independence from Wall Street.
As PBLA's Trinity Tran put it:
“Within 4 months, we brought the issue to the forefront of politics here in Los Angeles. Over a quarter million Angelenos voted in support of Measure B and the conversation on public banking has now been amplified across the country. This is just the beginning of the national movement. And it's a fight we are certain will be won.”
PBLA's Phoenix Goodman had these words:
“As a result of the valiant efforts of our organizers, volunteers, organizations and media that have supported this movement, exponentially more people have been inspired to support, share and manifest this vision. In time, we will come back, and we will succeed. In time, cities everywhere will be inspired to declare independence from Wall St. In time, we will have inspired the banking revolution at large — and it all began with the Yes on B campaign. Onwards, to victory.”
Click here for a list of the Herculean accomplishments of the remarkable PBLA coalition.Read more
Even mainstream outlets are starting to write good things about public banking. Irina Ivanova writes an excellent article for CBS’s MoneyWatch on the eve of the #YesOnB vote.
“‘The purpose of all this is to bring democracy to finance, in a way that respects the public trust. No longer, at least in Los Angeles, do we think city borrowing should be the basis for the investment industry,’ said David Jette, legislative director for Public Bank LA, a volunteer effort backing Proposition B. PBLA was among the activist groups that succeeded in making Los Angeles pull city money out of Wells Fargo after its bogus-accounts scandal and subsequent public shaming.”
“Why do we keep bailing out these banks instead of letting them go bankrupt like any other business? And the answer I would submit is that banks actually create our money supply. So our economic fate is inextricably intwined with theirs. If the banks go down, our money supply collapses.”
Julian Robinson describes the motivation of activists behind Public Bank NYC:
“I think most people are aware of the consequences of the financial system. … We’ve seen companies like Wells Fargo commit widespread fraud and maintain most of its business. We’ve seen government bailout banks despite having caused the financial crisis. … And in a place like New York City that’s both home to many communities of color, many immigrant communities, many low income communities AND these mega banks that routinely extract money from those neighborhoods, the consequences are really present. … We see these consequences. We see this financial system. It exists by design. None of these consequences are by accident. They’re the result of a system that’s designed and controlled by these mega banks — these Wall Street banks — to extract the most wealth that they can.”
The Public Banking Institute is often asked to explain the concept of public banking in a nutshell. The challenge is to do it in a way that reaches a broad demographic. People learning about public banking have very different backgrounds, and banking isn’t what most people talk about over dinner with friends. At its core, however, the idea is simple — a concept even a child can understand. We’ve written and produced this video — Public Banking Made Simple — to communicate the core concept in simple terms, showing how public banks can give towns and states more resources to apply to their community needs.
Please view and share!
Coverage of the YesOnB ballot measure has expanded greatly as election day approaches. Local ABC7 in Los Angeles covered the YesOnB ballot measure with a positive story featuring City Council President Herb Wesson and Public Bank LA’s Trinity Tran. Josh Haskell reports:
“The city of Los Angeles pays $1.1 billion each year to Wall Street banks. In a public bank, supporters say that money would go toward getting the homeless off the streets, addressing the housing crisis and rebuilding the city's infrastructure.”
Click here for LA Magazine’s election guide, with positive notes about Measure B. Click here for more recent press.Read more
To help everyone understand more about public banking, Public Bank LA has put together a series of short interview-style videos which we've added to our YouTube channel.
Matt Stannard of Solidarity House and Commonomics USA talks at length with Amara Enyia, Chicago mayoral candidate, about the possibilities of cooperative economies in Chicago after Rahm Emmanuel leaves office as well as and the structural causes of violence and inequity in the city.