Oakland Needs a Public Bank!

Action Alert!

Now that we have achieved our victory at the Finance Committee, we have to pass the full City Council. The vote is this coming Tuesday, June 20. We are Item #13, which may mean a late night for people who can attend. We need as many people there as possible.

At 4:30, we will stage a public action, hanging “dollar bills” off the Oakland tree in the plaza in front of City Hall. Come join us! At 5:30, come inside for the long meeting and the vote.

If you’re in Oakland and your City Councilmember is Desley Brooks, Lynette Gibson-McElhaney, or Larry Reid, this is a time to lobby hard, and get your neighbors to do the same. We can be reasonably sure of four of the five votes we need (the three councilmembers who voted for the resolution on June 13 and Rebecca Kaplan, who sponsored it), but we will need one more vote–and we’d love to have more. Please keep calling councilmembers Brooks, Gallo, Gibson-McElhaney, and Reid up until Tuesday afternoon.

Click here to sign up as a speaker at the June 20 meeting. Choose Item 13 but, if you can’t stay late, choose Item 3, and speak in the open forum. If you are coming and staying late, please sign up as a speaker even if you don’t want to speak, because if you’re there, you can cede your time to another speaker. Wear your Public Bank t-shirt, or buy one from us there if you don’t have one.

Be sure to talk about how a public bank will save huge amounts of money and be able to fund to important City Councilmember priorities such as affordable housing, safe use of cannabis money, and dealing with the budget shortfall.

Victory at the Finance Committee!

On Tuesday morning, June 13, the Finance Committee of the Oakland City Council voted 3-1 to approve our request for $100,000 to fund the feasibility study for the Public Bank of Oakland!

Councilmembers Kalb and Guillen, and Vice-Mayor Campbell Washington voted for the resolution; Councilmember Noel Gallo voted against, but expressed support for the concept.

Our friends from DOME-Huichin, a fantastic local group under native leadership, working for divestment from banks that support the pipelines, also had a victory at the same meeting, where they proposed an amendment to Oakland’s Linked Banking Ordinance which will make divestment easier. This amendment passed the Finance Committee and was forwarded to the City Council, although a date was not set.

Why Do We Need Wall Street?

Maren Poitras made a video that makes many of our arguments for us.

Thanks to Maren for putting this together. Send it to your city councilmember, or your mayor if you’re not in Oakland. Also, if you haven’t already done so, please sign our petition to the City Council!

Read the Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland mission statement.

The Public Bank of Oakland will:
  • Get Oakland out from under the control of nonlocal big banks
  • Reduce the cost of lending and borrowing for the City of Oakland and nearby communities that make use of the Bank
  • Solve the problem of millions of dollars in cash that the cannabis industry cannot legally deposit in private banks
  • Bring jobs, affordable housing, new small businesses and worker cooperatives, infrastructure, credit, and independence to our city