What the Public Banking movement must do to win

Santa Fe Public Banking


Matt Stannard’s latest article in his series on Public Banking reflects on what it will take to put the movement across the finish line and have new Public Banks up and running. He concludes the path to success will require coordinating broad public demand from a wide array of public interest groups.

In Santa Fe, for example, roughly half of the citizen task force was affiliated with private financial business, and only one officially represented the Public Banking movement.

Stannard wonders “what would have happened if even only a few thousand people had demanded a Public Bank of Santa Fe, instead of a few hundred.”

In Los Angeles, Stannard talks to Trinity Tran and Phoenix Goodman of Public Bank LA. ...

Trinity Tran:

“There needs to be consistent visibility and positive dialogue from activists and constituents. As we saw through the Divest LA campaign, a critical part of successful movement building is to work an inside-outside game, leveraging visibility from a wide network of grassroots advocates to deliver the needed public pressure to guide legislators in a laser-pointed direction.”

Phoenix Goodman:

“The problem with public banking movements up to this point is that they have been mostly technical-minded, smart, well-meaning people playing at the higher level trying to enact legislation, but lacking in the general people-power movement that would provide the fuel that would force the agenda.”

Stannard continues:

“Sure, Goodman said, we need ‘high-level networking’ with officials, but equally important is a mass advocacy campaign, ‘articles, infographics, public events, town halls,’ and things like the recent ‘street event in San Francisco’ thrown by activists. 'The point is to make it political suicide not to endorse public banking.'

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