Next City – By Alejandra Molina. The Los Angeles City Council is moving forward with a proposed ballot measure that would ask voters this fall whether they want to create a publicly owned bank.
In a unanimous vote, council members on Tuesday, June 26, gave the go-ahead to begin the process of adding a measure on the November 2018 ballot that would amend city charter in order to create a city-owned bank. The city’s code currently prohibits it from entering into a “purely commercial venture,” unless it’s approved by voters.
To advocates, this move is a historic one that can set the tone for other public banking movements happening across the nation.
“The outcome will reflect the pulse of the national movement,” says Trinity Tran with the Public Bank LA campaign.
In New York City, dozens of residents and community organizers in early June gathered in front of the New York Stock Exchange to launch the Public Bank NYC Coalition, a group calling for the creation of a New York City-owned bank. Oakland and San Francisco are exploring the idea. New Jersey and Michigan are also considering setting up state-owned banks.
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