Bohemian.com talks with Friends of Public Banking Santa Rosa organizer and Alliance member Shelly Browning. PQ: “The activities of the top big banks in fossil fuels and many other activities gives us limited, to no options regarding large, socially responsible banking options. We are truly stuck between Scylla and Charybdis until a public banking option is available.”
Too Big? Public bank advocates want to see cities invest in Main Street, not Wall Street.
For Shelly Browning, it’s been a long road from the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movement to Santa Rosa’s support of a public banking bill now under consideration in Sacramento. Browning’s a Santa Rosa small-business owner who’s been active on the public banking front for years and says her inspiration to get Santa Rosa to divest from Wall Street banks begins in Cairo’s Tahrir Square—and ends, perhaps, with an eventual “North Coast” public bank that would exist alongside Chase and other Wall Street banks.
She’s been meeting with city leaders to raise awareness of the public banking bill. Browning was moved, she says, by the small-businessman who was arrested in Tunisia for failing to have a permit in 2011, and whose suicide sparked protests in Egypt that then gave rise to the Occupy moment in the United States. The economic forces that gave rise to Tahrir Square are the same that are driving the push for public banking: All roads lead to Wall Street, while Main Street gets crushed.
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