Recent Support for Oakland’s Public Bank Effort

Our progressive neighbor city, Richmond, California, voted on May 23, to:

  1. support Oakland’s efforts to create a public bank;
  2. direct the Richmond City Manager to investigate the possibility of forming a mutually beneficial partnership; and
  3. consider, if Oakland’s initial feasibility study yields positive results, providing funds for a future business plan.

Six councilmembers voted in favor, and the Mayor of Richmond voted against. Fortunately, being mayor isn’t like being king …

Craig Brandt presented our case to Richmond. Maybe the fact that he’s now famous turned the tide? Anyway, Craig, our effort, and public banking in general received fine press from The Nation
this week:

When Craig Brandt marched into the City Council chambers in Oakland, California, in the summer of 2015, he was furious about fraud. The long-time local attorney and father of two had been following the fallout from the Libor scandal, a brazen financial scam that saw some of the biggest banks on Wall Street illegally manipulate international interest rates in order to boost their profits. By some estimates, the scheme cost cities and states around the country well over $6 billion. …

After the City Council turned him down, he started looking for other ways to wean Oakland off Wall Street. That’s when he fell in with a group of locals who have been nursing an audacious idea. They want their city to take radical action to combat plutocracy, inequality, and financial dislocation. They want their city to do something that hasn’t been done in this country in nearly a century, not since the trust-busting days of the Progressive era. They want their city to create a bank—and, strange as the idea may seem, it’s not some utopian scheme. It’s a cause that’s catching on.

The night owls at Daily Kos also found and discussed the Nation article.

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