The Los Angeles City Council today voiced its support for creating a statewide public banking option for California residents in an attempt to reduce racial and income inequalities in financial services. “There’s no question that there’s a need for a public bank. The simple fact is that the current banking system has never truly worked for working people and specifically for communities of color,” said Councilman Kevin de Leon, who introduced a resolution to support the California Public Banking Option Act currently pending in the state Assembly. The resolution was unanimously passed by City Council members.
“The public banking option will level the playing field so that everyone — no matter how much money they make, the color of their skin, or which zip code they live in — can fully participate in our economic recovery.”
The California Public Banking Option Act would create the BankCal program, which would be the first statewide program in the U.S. to offer residents access to a no-fee, no-penalty bank account, including a debit card, automatic bill pay, direct deposit capacity and an infrastructure for the account holder to build credit. The bill was co-authored and introduced by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles.
Ben Gordon, an organizer with Public Bank L.A. and the California Public Bank Alliance, called into the City Council meeting Tuesday to urge council members to approve the resolution. “This bill is an important step forward to bridge the racial equity and wealth gap in our state,” he said.
Read the article on KCET.org.