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Photo by Adrian.

In a new paper titled “A New Social Contract for the 21st Century” in the Nonprofit Quarterly, the leading journal of the nonprofit sector, Cathy Albisa, executive director of the National Economic & Social Rights Initiative (NESRI), considers public banking as part of an emerging vision of the 21st century — a vision that puts rights and inclusive democracy at the center of society. Albisa writes:

“Public banks created for the sole purpose of holding a city or state’s investment funds … hold the promise of changing local and state economies. Public banks with equity mandates can ensure that public funds are invested to meet public needs, and have the potential of growing community-controlled sectors that private banks eschew, such as worker co-ops and community land trusts.”

Albisa continues:

“When you look at these community- and movement-driven solutions as a whole, they add up to something greater than the sum of their parts. They point toward a vision of society where rights and an inclusive multiracial democracy are deeply linked. … In our alienated state, where the very notion of society is currently in question, these approaches allow us to reimagine communities with meaning and purpose for our future.”

[Read the paper]

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