In Us We Trust

In Us We Trust

By Tom Gogola, Pacific Sun. There’s an effort afoot in Sacramento for public banking that’s putting the focus on how localities manage their investment portfolios. A bill that’s currently parked in a Senate committee chaired by North Bay legislator Mike McGuire would, for the first time, allow municipalities or regions to create commercial banks that would function in much the same way as Wall Street banks like JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Assembly Bill 857, authored by Assemblymen David Chiu and Miguel Santiago, sets out to create a regulatory framework to allow California to license public banks that would give cities the option to stop doing business with big banks and invest taxpayer money into local communities.

“We don’t have control over our own money supply,” says North Bay public banking activist Shelly Browning, who’s a longtime public bank activist. Her road to advocacy for public banking leads from Egypt’s Freedom Square protests, to the domestic Occupy movement, to the spring-off Occupy effort to get public banks in the public consciousness.

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