Los Angeles

Public Bank Los Angeles

Public Bank LA is a grassroots advocacy organization working to keep the City of Los Angeles’ money within our communities working to benefit the people, not Wall Street Banks. Banking for people and planet. For the 99%. We led the Measure B campaign, a 2018 City of Los Angeles ballot initiative to establish a Los Angeles municipal bank.

2020 Campaign Updates:

A week after Governor Newsom signed AB 857, on October 7, 2019 Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson introduced a motion for an RFQ to hire a consultant for the public bank business plan. The motion was presented to the full council and on December 4, 2019, LA City Council approved the motion, voting to move forward with the process to hire a consultant. Approval of this motion now green-lights the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA)’s next steps: drafting the scope and structure of the RFQ. The CLA was also instructed to report back on the cost of the consultant. The contract is expected to be completed by March 2020.

As of February 2020, Public Bank Los Angeles is currently working on a white paper addressing: capitalization, lines of business, which include loans and financial products to support renewable energy infrastructure and affordable housing, banking services for the City of LA and other participating members, impact and equity, regulatory purview and phasing, and governance and jurisdiction of the Bank of Los Angeles.

Now that public banking is legal in California with the passage of AB 857, we need your help to make the Los Angeles public bank a reality. We will continue to advocate at the administrative and regulatory levels to ensure that public banks are able to flourish and contribute to the 21st century growth we all envision – so we call on you to help us with an important action:

    1. Send three positive letters or emails of support: one to the Los Angeles Director of Finance Claire Bartels, one to LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, and one to the Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso. The LA Office of Finance is responsible for managing and investing the City’s $9.7 billion in investments and processing $50 billion in cash management services annually. The LA City Attorney’s office is responsible for advising the City Council and Treasurer on what actions it can take with the City Treasury given the City’s charter and bylaws. These two offices have a tremendous amount of power to shape the extent to which the City of LA’s finances can be invested in and managed by a public bank. At the same time, they rarely hear from community members so the opinion of any given person who contacts them holds more weight than, for example, if you call your senator or congressperson.
  • In your letter, introduce yourself as an Angeleno and what you do here. Include the following message: 

Subject: Support the Public Bank of Los Angeles

Dear (Claire Bartels / Mike Feuer / Sharon Tso),

(Introduce yourself as a constituent) I am writing to express my strong support for the formation of a public bank in Los Angeles. Public banks must be a major component of the critical steps needed to move forward with achieving 21st century renewable energy infrastructure. Public banks will allow for this transition to be led by environmental and restorative justice principles because of the ethics, structure, and public mandate on which public banks are formed and chartered. I look forward to seeing the City of Los Angeles take the lead in establishing a public bank.

Email to: claire.bartels@lacity.org and mike.feuer@lacity.org and sharon.tso@lacity.org
Public Bank LA Press

Join the Public Bank LA organizing team and stay connected to our upcoming events and movement news.

2018-2019 Campaign Updates:

Measure B received 44.15% of the votes with 430,488 Angelenos voting yes to a public bank, an astonishing achievement from a grassroots, volunteer-run campaign with little funding.

Following Measure B, we are now focusing 100% of our efforts on building the California Public Banking Alliance coalition and leading the AB 857 campaign.

Campaign summary: LA City Council is in the process of creating their own in-house feasibility study through the Chief Legislative Analyst and City Administrative Officer, Office of Finance, and City Attorney’s office. The motion will stay in Committee until it’s ready to move into full council with a long series of recommendations. Some of the issues the City will study and report on include: regulatory barriers, purpose and structure, oversight, capitalization, liability and risks, implementation, and the budget and staffing of the bank. The City Administrative Officer has released a report that creates a basic outline of the City’s financing processes, policies, programs, and infrastructure financing alternatives.

Public Bank LA has submitted a letter to LA City Council addressing several key issues associated with forming the Municipal Bank of Los Angeles (MBLA) including: collateral, insurance, city charter amendment, and the state initiative for the Public Bank License. Below is a link to the letter which we sent to offices at LA City Hall including the: Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA), City Administrative Office and the Office of Finance and the Councilmembers on the Ad Hoc Jobs Committee regarding the CLA report on the MBLA.

On April 10, 2018, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP) unanimously voted to endorse the Public Bank of Los Angeles, taking a position in favor of socially and environmentally responsible, state-chartered public banks. The resolution is a significant milestone for the public banking movement, as the LACDP represents over 2.4 million registered Democrats.

On June 29, 2018, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a resolution for a measure that will appear on the November 6, 2018 ballot, giving Los Angeles voters the power to authorize the formation of a municipal bank under Section 104(g) of the City Charter. With authority provided by the voters, the City will be able to pursue changes in federal and State law needed to achieve the creation of a municipal bank.

On July 15, 2018, the California Democratic Party (CDP) passed a resolution supporting socially and environmentally responsible, state-chartered public banks. The CDP represents over 8.7 million registered Democrats.

On November 6, 2018, 44% of Angelenos voted to support Measure B. The measure would have allowed the City to explore the creation of a public bank. Although the Measure was defeated, the Yes on B campaign generated national press, garnered the endorsements and support of over 150 unions, democratic clubs, social justice, environmental and community organizations, and brought the issue to the forefront of politics in Los Angeles as well as the national stage.

The Measure B campaign and the dozens of public banking movements rising across the country within the past year are proof that this is an idea with widespread support and will continue to grow. It’s the inevitable evolution of a private banking system that has only served the interests of a small, handful of people. Public banking presents a viable solution to Wall Street and it’s an idea that isn’t going to go away. We are now focusing on the California Public Banking Alliance to advance statewide legislation enabling localities to establish public banks.  This is just the beginning of the national movement. And it’s a fight we are certain will be won.

Public Bank LA’s press:

CPBA Press Release – California Public Banking Alliance sees its momentum continuing
Medium –This Fall, Measure B was Defeated, but Public Banking is on the Rise. 
Occupy – Defeats and Victories for Public Banking, Cooperative Economics in 2018 Elections
The Nation – Today Americans Determine Our Political Future
The Real News Network – Will Public Banking Free LA From Wall Street?
Capital and Main – Los Angeles’ Measure B Is a Moonshot Aimed at Creating a Public Bank
ABC 7 News – Measure B Would Allow Los Angeles to Create a Public Bank
Knock LA – Public Banks Are Less Risky Than Wall Street
The Real News Network – LA Voters to Consider Creating Nation’s First Municipal Public Bank
Occupy.com – Banking on the Future of Los Angeles: Why we need Measure / Charter Amendment B
Los Angeles Times – L.A. Voters Will Decide Whether to Eliminate a Barrier to a Public Bank
Bloomberg – Los Angeles Weighs Bringing Its Wall Street Cash Home
Los Angeles Times – Why Los Angeles Should Start a Bank
Who.What.Why – Banking on the Public Option: Will LA Lead the Way for People-Owned Banks?
Huffington Post – What If Banks Were Publicly Owned? In LA, This May Soon Be A Reality.
Los Angeles Times – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s L.A. fundraisers were more about raising consciousness than money.
Los Angeles Times – Next step for L.A. public bank: Ask the voters for permission
Next City – Taking Back Agency and Accountability for the Banking System
Progressive.Org – A Movement for Public Banking Gains Momentum

Legislative resources:
Public Bank LA Charter.
Public Bank LA Letter to LA City Council
Press Release on LACDP Resolution Vote
Press Release on Public Bank Ballot Measure Vote
Press Release on CDP Resolution Vote
Measure B Argument in Favor.

Change.org Petition: Create the Public Bank of Los Angeles #PublicBankLA

Twitter @publicbankla
Facebook @publicbankla
Instagram @publicbankla

For additional resources please visit our website.

Website: publicbankla.com

Category Public Bank LA

Date 3 February 2018

Los Angeles