Although LA's Measure B did not pass, the effort generated massive awareness and support in a few brief months. The California Public Banking Alliance is now using that momentum in their work toward statewide legislation that will enable cities and regions to establish public banks.
Public Bank LA, part of CPBA, claims victory despite the ballot measure’s defeat and writes about this wider strategy in a recent CPBA press release:
“Over 395,000 Angelenos voted in favor of a policy that they had likely never heard of before 2018. 43% in favor is a strong baseline measure of support that public banking advocates look forward to building upon through sustained outreach and education. ... Having this [state level] legal framework in place will give L.A. and other cities a solid template to work from in setting up our banks.”
The press release continues:
Public banking: a nationwide movement
On June 29, 2018, the Los Angeles City Council responded to a rapidly growing movement in favor of public banking by placing Measure B on the ballot, making it the first referendum on public banking in the United States since the Bank of North Dakota was established in 1919. According to a map created by the Public Banking Institute, over 20 U.S. cities and states, from Washington state to Washington, D.C., are currently working toward public banks. ...
As organizer Trinity Tran explains, “Council President Wesson made a bold and progressive move to place public banking on the ballots. Even with limited resources as a volunteer-run group, we committed to fight for Measure B’s success. 43 percent of the votes, in the second largest city in the nation, shows an incredible level of support given our short time frame to secure endorsements and educate voters on the benefits of public banking. Our campaign has since propelled public banking onto the national radar… We’ve gained a lot of momentum.”
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