Legislation introduced Monday could lay down the foundations for the creation of public banks in California and provide an alternative to San Francisco’s use of profit-driven commercial banks.
Currently there are no public banks in California, and no legal avenues to create one. But Assemblymembers David Chiu, D-San Francisco, and Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, hope to change that with the introduction of Assembly Bill 857, which would allow jurisdictions to create public banks through a charter process.
The idea of a publicly-owned bank has gained traction in recent years as advocates and elected officials have called upon The City to divest its $11 billion budget out of commercial banks and into community centered projects that would better reflect San Francisco values.
“Wall Street banks have invested in oil pipelines, gun manufacturers, private prisons and companies with unfair labor practices,” Chiu said at a news conference Monday. “The opposite of what our state stands for.”
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