People Are Talking …

“…A Public Bank here in California. I think it’s a good idea.”

Robert Reich, Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley, addressed to the California Democratic Convention

“The beauty is that you could really tailor a public bank to target whatever a community’s needs are. … Maybe a certain community has a problem with payday lending. Or maybe another community has an affordable housing issue, or needs farm loans or student loans.”

Mehrsa Baradaran, a law professor at the University of Georgia and author of How the Other Half Banks

“By using state deposits to finance local investments, the Public Bank will support billions of dollars of critical investments in infrastructure, small businesses, and student loans — saving our residents money and returning all profits to the taxpayers.”

Philip Murphy, leading Democratic candidate for New Jersey Governor

“Oakland has been raided by Wall Street for too long. Disastrous pipeline projects have been bankrolled by unaccountable banks for too long. Finance must be under democratic control for the good of our cities, towns, states, and country. Public banks are a real step in this direction.”

Hannah Appel, Professor of Economic Anthropology, UCLA, and former Oakland resident

“Evidence from around the world suggests that public banks can be a powerful tool to support local economic development that is sustainable and inclusive. Since giant private banks have lost the public trust for their predatory actions, responsible city leaders must consider the option of a public municipal bank.”

Fred Block, Professor of Sociology, UC Davis. Author “Democratizing Finance

“We all know we need to invest trillions of dollars over the next few years to rebuild our nation’s declining infrastructure, from our energy infrastructure to our mass transit systems and schools and public parks across the country.  We need a green New Deal based on solar energy power and other alternative, sustainable and renewable energy sources.

“Like during the New Deal of the 1930s, we need public banking institutions to finance all these needed investments. During the New Deal, it was the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a federal infrastructure bank, that led the way in public infrastructure investing.  If we rely on the bond markets, taxpayers will pay twice, once in principal and again in interest, and that means more austerity and privatization scams.

“Many of our global competitors have national  infrastructure banks and not surprisingly, they also have more modernized infrastructures.

“In addition to a federal infrastructure bank, we need to reform the governance of the Federal Reserve so it better represents many of society’s diverse interests, and not just Wall Street bankers.  We need a truly public central bank that serves the public by supporting Main Street businesses, just as the Fed did during the Great Depression.”

Tim Canova, Professor of Law & Public Finance,  Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Chair of Progress For All; candidate in 2016 Democratic primary for Florida’s 23rd Congressional district

“A public bank for Oakland makes solid economic sense. It is the democratic way to run a bank that serves people rather than corporate profits. In particular, it can collaborate with community banks to fund worker cooperative start-ups, which have a hard time getting traditional funding because of their unique organizational structure. It can also, by its example, help other cities across America choose a better way to handle banking needs that excludes the Wall Street banks.”

Richard D. Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Visiting Professor in International Affairs, New School University, New York City