California’s Assembly Bill 857, now called the Public Banking Act, sponsored by the California Public Banking Alliance has made it through three committees, including the “notoriously difficult” Assembly Appropriations Committee, and is now up for a full vote on Assembly floor. Despite heavy opposition from Wall Street’s biggest banks, the bill advanced with “unprecedented” support from over 100 major cities, unions, and grassroots organizations. The Chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, became the latest co-author to sign onto the bill, saying:
“This measure is long overdue. We need to take the profit out of banking in order to invest in our communities that have been left behind by Wall Street. This approach to public banking allows our local governments to explore forming their own local or regional public banks.”
Joint author Assemblymember Miguel Santiago tweeted, “No one works harder to fight Wall Street and pass the Public Banking Act than this incredible coalition. #AB857 #PublicBanksNow.”
The tireless efforts of advocates has made it possible for public banking to enter the mainstream and it’s fast becoming common knowledge. Assemblymember Santiago said in his press release: “Californians know Wall Street is using our money to prop up corporations that run contrary to our values – like the NRA and fossil fuel companies – and we are fed up. Big banks shouldn’t underestimate the power of everyday people, hardworking families, and grassroots organizations to change the status quo.”
Trinity Tran, founding member of California Public Banking Alliance, added:
“AB 857’s advancement to the Assembly floor marks a pivotal shift in banking as a public utility rather than a private interest. It’s the solution we need for our cities to recapture the billions we pay to private Wall Street banks, so that we can invest in sustaining our communities.”
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