The Democratic Clubs General Meeting on Thursday, May 16 at 7 PM at the West Rec Center will feature a presentation on Public Banking. All are welcome.
A team of local civic leaders are pushing the City of Santa Rosa to create a Public Bank to create local control over the City’s own investments. Multiple cities across the country are exploring creating Public Banks as a way to remove funds being invested in fossil fuels and other socially questionable areas and put them into creating more investment in local needs. California’s AB 857 is currently moving through various committees that would make it easier to develop Public Banks in the state.
The nation’s only Public Bank, the Bank of North Dakota, was created in 1919 in a populist wave when farmers there were unhappy with decisions being made by major banks heavily influenced by railroads and out-of-state agricultural interests. Its mission is to promote agriculture, commerce and industry in that state. Furthermore, over time, the Bank of North Dakota has provided a variety of financial products to the residents and governments of North Dakota, including low interest student loans, home loans, college savings accounts, scholarships, school construction loans, affordable housing construction and rehabilitation loans, and public construction financing. This financial institution not only provides a model of how cities and states can better utilize their banking needs, services, and deposits to give back to the community, it may also provide the best financial solution to reducing the cost of the creation and rehabilitation of affordable and workforce housing, while at the same time providing low cost financial services for city residents and local governments and much needed financial services for the cannabis industry.