Jun 13, 2019.

In an on-target article in Medium, David Jette, legislative director for Public Bank LA, responded to a negative review of AB 857, California’s Public Banking Act, by the Los Angeles Times editorial board. His article evidently hit its mark, because the bill has passed the California Assembly and is now in the Senate, despite the Times editorial. Jette’s effective comeback has been widely shared on social media, showing you can push back against Wall Street. Advocates with the California Public Banking Alliance are now asking the public to help generate more support in the Senate to pass the bill and put it on Gov. Newsom’s desk. It will be heard in its first Senate committee on Wednesday June 19.

Jette writes:

“Wall Street banks want us to keep relying on megabanks while ignoring their track record of excessive risk and ethical transgressions. They point to long-past efforts to found public banks in the US, while staring right past the devastation their industry has caused for the climate and for working people. Why do we rely on privately owned, shareholder-focused firms with little accountability and a history of catastrophic greed and error when another model is so successful in North Dakota, Germany, Costa Rica, and elsewhere?

Jette continues:

“Wall Street megabanks can no longer wish away or deny the failures of their industry and the harm that it has caused to California. In 2008–2009, risky bets made by Wall Street banks collapsed the world economy and led to the loss of billions of dollars in public funds and millions of jobs and homes, amplifying the already destructive social and racial wealth gap. These bets were made by the very same banks that currently hold the deposits and investments of California taxpayer funds. From 2008 to 2012 alone, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation closed 465 private banks. During the turmoil of the Great Recession, some of these banks collapsed on improperly papered home loans, executing illegal foreclosures on people living in California cities and counties, stealing their nest eggs and putting families on the streets. …

“A vote for AB 857 is a vote to give Californians financial freedom from a Wall Street status quo that is completely divorced from the wellbeing of our communities. California cities and counties need a better way to bank, both for their financial security and integrity, and for the future of our economy and our planet.”

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