Sylvia Chi, California Public Banking Alliance. (Los Angeles) Although Measure B, which proposed amending the Los Angeles City Charter to authorize the city to establish a municipal financial institution, was defeated on November 6, public banking advocates, united as the California Public Banking Alliance (CPBA), remain focused on advancing statewide legislation to enable localities to establish public banks.
CPBA is confident that as it continues to advocate for this enabling legislation and educate the public about public banking, more and more Californians will join the momentum currently building for public banks across the country.
Public banking: a nationwide movement On June 29, 2018, the Los Angeles City Council responded to a rapidly growing movement in favor of public banking by placing Measure B on the ballot, making it the first referendum on public banking in the United States since the Bank of North Dakota was established in 1919. According to a map created by the Public Banking Institute, over 20 U.S. cities and states, from Washington state to Washington, D.C., are currently working toward public banks.
The Green New Deal put forward by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Congressional progressives proposes a public banking system as a way to finance their plan for a just transition of the U.S. economy to becoming carbon neutral. Germany’s public banking sector has been key to the country’s transition to renewable energy, providing over 70% of investments in renewables, totaling 10.3 billion euros, in 2016 alone.
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