2018 has been the year of the public bank. As you can see from our latest map, people all across the country are becoming aware of, as one advocate put it, the "best kept secret in the country": the successful power of a public bank.
With a donation for #GivingTuesday next week November 27, you can help us keep this momentum going!
2019 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the publicly owned Bank of North Dakota. You can help make 2019 the year public banks win!
San Francisco’s robust Defund DAPL Coalition and SF Public Bank are joining forces to launch a SF Public Bank Coalition January 10 with an evening event that brings together speakers, music, food and community.
Attendees will learn how a city-owned public bank can bring San Francisco’s $11 billion budget “From Wall Street to Our Streets,” and can strategize in break out sessions focused on student debt, affordable housing, renewable energy and more. Event takes place at The Women’s Building 3543 18th St #8, San Francisco, CA 94110. More information here. Facebook event here.
The benefits of public banking are now making their way into conversations all over the country. Former history teacher Joe Clifford makes a call for a public bank of Rhode Island in a recent article in GoLocal:
“The most successful bank in this country is a public bank owned by the citizens of North Dakota. [It’s] the best kept secret in the country. … If you live in Rhode Island would it not be prudent to have a bank owned by the citizens of the state, overseen by the citizenry, and not interested in profit? Imagine the savings of the just-approved bond issues if RI had a public bank.”
PBI is participating in this year's #GivingTuesday initiative — a global day of giving. This year it will take place on November 27.
Your donations make it possible for PBI to be your hub for public banking information, to connect and inspire this movement, to educate the public, and to inform public officials.
Help us inspire others to give. Tell us in a quick sentence why you support PBI and public banking and send it to email@example.com. Thank you for all the help and generous donations!
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.”