Public Banking Act Heads to the Assembly Floor for a Vote

Friday, May 17, 2019

Los Angeles, CA – Having just crossed a notoriously difficult hurdle in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, the Public Banking Act (AB 857) is up for a full vote on the Assembly floor. This marks the third committee to give the bill its stamp of approval, despite heavy opposition from Wall Street’s biggest banks.

The bill’s joint-authors, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) have spent recent weeks building a strong coalition of support in the Legislature.  The latest co-author to sign on is the chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who said:

“This measure is long overdue," Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. "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."

“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,” Assemblymember Santiago said. “Big banks shouldn’t underestimate the power of everyday people, hardworking families, and grassroots organizations to change the status quo. AB 857 gives us the option to invest public dollars for the public good, and we’re going to fight as hard as we can to get that done.”

Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) said, “It’s about time that the public’s money is used for public good,” said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco).  “Over the years, we have seen big banks invest billions of dollars of our money in institutions most Californians are opposed to. It is exciting to see such a broad coalition of supporters lining up to support public banks that will reinvest in local communities.”

Trinity Tran, the founding member of the California Public Banking Alliance, added, "Public banking has entered the mainstream. Never before in its history have we seen this level of public support from powerful labor voices to the largest cities in California. 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."

More than a dozen other members have joined the call for a public banking option in California, including:

  • Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego)
  • Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento)
  • Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose)
  • Assemblymember Wendy Carillo (D-Los Angeles)
  • Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose)
  • Assemblymember Kansen Chu (D-San Jose)
  • Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland)
  • Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco)
  • Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)
  • Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland)
  • Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley)
  • Assemblymember Luz Rivas (Arleta)

Unprecedented Support for AB 857 (The Public Banking Act):

  • SEIU California
  • Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union
  • American Postal Workers Union
  • County of Santa Cruz
  • California Nurses Association / National Nurses United, AFL-CIO (CNA)
  • AFSCME Council 57
  • Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Action (ACCE)
  • Alliance for Community Transit (ACT-LA)
  • American Indian Movement Socal (AIM)
  • Asian Pacific Environmental Network
  • Backbone Campaign
  • Beneficial State Foundation
  • California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA)
  • California Faculty Association, San Francisco State University
  • California for Progress
  • California Progressive Alliance
  • California Reinvestment Coalition
  • Campaign for Sustainable Transportation – Santa Cruz
  • Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ)
  • City of Los Angeles
  • City of Oakland
  • City of San Francisco
  • City of San Jose
  • Communities for a Better Environment
  • Community Financial Resources
  • Cooperation Humboldt – Eureka
  • Courage Campaign
  • Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley (DPSFV)
  • Democratic Socialists of America – Los Angeles
  • Divest LA
  • Fossil Free California
  • Friends of Public Banking Santa Rosa
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Green Party of California
  • Green Party of Santa Clara County
  • Ground Game LA
  • Healthcare for All - California
  • Idle No More - San Francisco Bay
  • Indivisible CA-33
  • Indivisible California Green
  • Indivisible Los Angeles CA-43
  • Indivisible East Bay
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Local Clean Energy Alliance
  • Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP)
  • NAACP - Santa Cruz
  • Orange County Public Banking Coalition
  • Our Revolution Long Beach
  • People for Public Banking Santa Cruz
  • People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights
  • Progressive Asian Network for Action
  • Public Bank East Bay
  • Public Bank Los Angeles
  • Public Bank San Diego
  • Public Bank Santa Barbara
  • Public Banking Institute (PBI)
  • Revolution LA
  • San Francisco Berniecrats
  • San Francisco Public Bank Coalition
  • Santa Cruz Climate Action Network
  • Santa Cruz for Bernie
  • SEIU California
  • SoCal 350
  • 350 Bay Area Action
  • 350 Conejo / San Fernando Valley
  • 350 Riverside
  • 350 Santa Cruz
  • 350 Silicon Valley
  • 350 South Bay Los Angeles
  • South Bay Progressive Alliance
  • Sunrise Movement Los Angeles
  • Sustainable Economies Law Center
  • The Resistance - Northridge, Indivisible
  • United Educators of San Francisco
  • We The People- San Diego

More Information:

Fact Sheet
Bill Language
California Eyes Public Banks as Break from Wall Street

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly’s Communications and Conveyance Committee, and a member of both the Assembly Public Safety Committee and the California Latino Legislative Caucus. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.

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