Public Bank of the East Bay


September 16, 2019 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
2044 Franklin


We’ll be holding our regular meeting of the Public Bank East Bay organizational group. We have moved the meeting to regular third Mondays, to make it more predictable and allow some new people to attend. We would LOVE to see you there.

Lots to discuss!

  • We had a very successful kick-off meeting for our interim bank board, which happened to be the same day the bill passed the state assembly.
  • We have fundraising leads, and we think that the legislation being complete may open fundraising doors. The business plan is absolutely our next step.

  • Proposed agenda
    1)      AB 857, victories and next steps
    2)      Interim board member meeting reportback and next steps
    3)      Fundraising reportback and next steps
    4)      Anything not covered

To The Governor’s Desk!

AB 857, the bill enabling local public banking has passed both California state houses! On Friday, September 13, we crossed the finish line. The bill now goes to Gavin Newsom, who has expressed public support for public banking in the past. He has until October 13 to sign or veto; if he doesn’t do either, the bill becomes law.

This has been an exhilarating, fascinating, complex, process. Literally thousands of people have been involved. Of course, we will keep you updated when the bill is signed, and when cities and regions start making public bank charter applications to the state Department of Business Oversight.

Please join us! Now is such a great time to get involved.

If you have questions or want to understand the group better, you can come half an hour early, at 5:30. Just let us know in advance.

For Your Reading Pleasure

You might appreciate this detailed, informative, and accurate article on public banking. (We love how the author calls us out as early participants in this initiative.)

Public Bank East Bay (formerly Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland) were at the forefront of these efforts. Activists there advanced the project so far that they were poised to found their bank even before AB 857 gave them an explicit way to do so. San Francisco opened a task force to explore the possibility and state and local treasurers began their examinations as well.  Quickly, it became clear that intermingling public funds with cannabis money would be bad politics and likely impossible as long as marijuana is classified Schedule 1.  But even with that issue off the table, the appetite for greater financial independence in the form of public capital sources was growing, and with more attention came more knowledge, more scrutiny, and more opposition.

The big banks ignored this effort as long as it was a handful of activists in a handful of towns. An effort to change statewide banking regulations, creating public entities that would compete with entrenched financial powerhouses, would not go unopposed. Knowing that the fight to create local public banks would be futile without unity with other California cities, and without the cooperation of regulators operating against a defined legal framework, organizers from these local movements founded the California Public Banking Alliance, with the primary goal of modeling and sponsoring legislation to make local public banks a reality. In one short year, this alliance mobilized activists behind legislation to do just that.


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