Santa Clara County, home to Silicon Valley, throws its weight behind public banking

Santa Clara County government center

Photo courtesy San Jose Spotlight


The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted April 23 to throw its support behind California’s Assembly Bill 857, which would help enable cities to form their own public banks, and to explore the legality of creating a public bank for the county. The influential county joins the rapidly growing list of municipalities across the state supporting the landmark bill.

Nadia Lopez in the San Jose Spotlight quotes Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who said, “I think we have an opportunity for being able to use public dollars better and also comport ourselves more as a public benefit corporation.” She added that frustrating challenges with banks such as Wells Fargo and growing national attention on the prospect of a public bank system both contributed to her support.

The city of San Jose, which is in Santa Clara County, voted in March to abandon a contract with Chase and explore a public bank. Lopez’s report in the Spotlight quotes a memo from council members Raul Peralez, Magdalena Carrasco and Sergio Jimenez:

“While the State deliberates over the proposed AB 857 during this legislative year, the City should be proactive in the legislative process and strongly consider how this bill could benefit the 10th largest city in America.”

[Read the full article]

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