San Jose lawmakers unanimously vote to study a public bank and abandon banking with Chase

San Jose, CA

San Jose, CA


On Tuesday, the city of San Jose debated whether to waive its wage theft policy in order to award a major banking contract to Chase, or to create its own public bank. At the end of the discussion, the council unanimously approved a memo co-authored by Councilmembers Sergio Jimenez, Magdalena Carrasco, and Raul Peralez that would explore creating a public bank under the recently proposed California Assembly Bill 857, facilitating the formation of public banks in the state.

Chase recently had won the bidding process for the city’s banking agreement, but the city’s policy prohibits contracts with employers accused of wage theft and Chase is currently settling 22 wage theft cases for $160 million according to CBS / KPIX 5.

“I have no interest in lowering our standards,” Peralez said.

Many advocates from the South Bay Progressive Alliance, the Green Party of Santa Clara County, and 13 other organizations were in attendance and gave compelling testimony. 

You can watch Tuesday's city council meeting here (agenda item 3.7 starts at 2:26 min, public testimony starts at 2:40 min) or view the presentation made in the meeting (Facebook link).

A petition has been launched by the South Bay Progressive Alliance calling on the San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and the City Council to create a task force and to fund both a study and a business plan to create a chartered Public Bank of San Jose.

[Support the petition]

[Read article on CBS / KPIX 5]

[Read related story on San Jose Spotlight]

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