Public Banking: A Local Strategy in the Trump Era

Update On the Resolution to Create a Task Force About Public Banking

public-bankIf you have been absorbed with the election, the environment, Trump, or your life, you really need to spend a bit of time becoming familiar with the concept of a Public Bank.  And there is no better place to start than this link.  It describes with great clarity the benefit of local jurisdictions creating a public bank in which they can keep their money. But start with this, the City of Santa Fe collects taxes and deposits approximately $200M in a variety of major banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Guess what?  They charge the city fees for handling this money.
Guess what?  They don’t invest any of it in our local economy. They prefer to invest in things like DAPL and the Verde Transmission.  Our money invested in the things we oppose with all the fibers in our bodies.  And our City gives them our money to undermine our values and our future.

Guess what?  When they get wind that Santa Fe is serious about establishing a Public Bank, they will begin a campaign to convince you that the City can’t possibly manage your money and that we should trust them.  Harken back to 2008. Is there any reason to trust them?

In a future blog, I will lay out in some detail how public banks work and why so many cities across the nation are actively considering it. This is yet another one of those local strategies we can implement regardless of who is President. And all we are asking the City Council to do now is to establish a Task Force to thoughtfully consider advancing the effort to create a public bank.

Background: A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A TASK FORCE TO TAKE THE NEXT AND FINAL STEPS TO DETERMINE WHETHER TO ESTABLISH A PUBLIC BANK FOR THE CITY OF SANTA FE was introduced by Councilor Renee Villarreal at the Santa Fe City Council meeting Wednesday, October 26, 2016, and cosponsored by Councilors Carmichael Dominguez and Joseph M. Maestas. The resolution will be considered by the relevant committees prior to a final vote by the City Council. Read the draft Resolution press release here.

The next step is to have the City Council authorize the formation of a Task Force to flesh out the details of how a public bank could serve the City of Santa Fe. The first hurdle was passed on Monday, April 17 as the Finance Committee voted to approve the Task Force. Next will be a hearing before the full City Council. Retake will keep you informed.  For more information on the local advocates pushing for a public bank, click here.

Email addresses for all the City Councilors: http://www.santafenm.gov/elected_officials, but for now we are not asking that you pressure the Council as they were deluged with public input on the Sanctuary and Pre-K initiatives and for now, those leading the public banking effort feel comfortable that the Council will approve the Task Force. But it is important that Santa Feans read up on the public bank and be prepared to advocate on its behalf in the future. Once the bank advances through the Task Force process the banking industry will begin throwing millions of dollars to defeat this as they would like to continue their exploitation of our community and they don’t want to ‘allow’ communities like Santa Fe to create public banks as once they do, others will follow.