On April 2, the City of Chicago will vote in a runoff election for a hotly-contested race for city treasurer. With none of the three candidates reaching the 50 percent required for a victory in last week’s election, the runoff pits State Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin against Ald. Ameya Pawar, a strong public banking advocate.
Pawar, who is endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times, centered his campaign on creating a city-owned bank that would save the city money while helping under-developed communities. He explained to Nader Issa in the Sun-Times:
“For too long, big banks have been able to take advantage of Chicago taxpayers through predatory service fees, unpredictable changes in interest rates and other bad deals that have cost us dearly. A public bank could remove the stranglehold big banks have had over our city for decades and would allow us to wrest back control over our own financial future.”
Conyears-Ervin, while not running on a public bank platform, said in the same Sun-Times report that “a public bank would be a ‘powerful tool’ to keep private banks in check, but she would ‘work closely’ with State Treasurer Mike Frerichs to figure out if it was the best option for the city.”
According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, these candidates' ex-opponent Peter Gariepy has thrown his support behind Conyears-Ervin, saying that Pawar’s signature proposal for a public bank would put the city at risk.
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