I’ve got a history of tangling with Wall Street. Here in Richmond, we championed a plan to keep families in their homes by acquiring underwater mortgages through the use of the city’s power of eminent domain. The plan was to reduce the principals on these mortgages (in line with the home’s value) and then put the modified loans back in the hands of our homeowners, so they could avoid foreclosure. It is bold solutions like these that are needed. With political will and community pressure, we can stand up to the big banks, and we can take care of each other!

“Richmond, California Defies Wall Street to Help Homeowners,” the Huffington Post declared.

However, powerful financial interests went all the way to Congress to block us – to stop cities from protecting our people and communities.

Wall Street’s worst predators care what happens in this Lt. Governor election. They know that if we organize together, we can beat them in our cities, beat them in our statehouse, and, if we have to, beat them in Washington, DC.

Together we can take a bigger step for California – a public bank that WILL invest in people and communities. Our massive economy is ripe for a public bank. We’ll invest in our shared priorities: affordable housing, infrastructure repair, roads, schools, and hospitals – and we’ll save money doing it! A public bank will also allow us to stand up for California’s cannabis farmers and other non-traditional industries.

We have seen the success of a bank owned and accountable by the people’s government in North Dakota. The Bank of North Dakota was chartered in 1919 and stands as our country’s only public bank. In a wonderful article about the importance of Public Banks in every state after the Great Recession, Jonathan Tasini describes the BND model:

Mostly, BND’s money goes to businesses, farms, municipal projects, home mortgages and student loans. Because it isn’t charged with making money for private shareholders but with supporting North Dakota’s overall economy, it charges low interest rates — as low as 1% in some cases. Its modest profit is still substantial — about $1 billion over the past two decades. The profits are returned to the state’s general fund or to the bank’s assets, which is to say to the people of North Dakota. Because the Bank of North Dakota focuses on down-home projects, not credit default swaps or other high-risk financial schemes, it remained stable throughout the Great Recession.

A Public Bank of California would be a great way for us to use our money to invest in our communities, financing a plethora of public projects and kickstarting local businesses. And we’ll loosen Wall Street’s stranglehold on our neighbors. No more Wells Fargo selling us phony products!

Big banks know the threat a public bank poses to their interests and they have a proven track record of using their corporate cash to kill any efforts in that direction.

In 2012, the Legislature attempted public bank legislation with AB 2500, supported by CCISCO, PICO California, the Public Banking Institute, and some churches. The bill was killed by corporate controlled legislators influenced by the California Bankers Association.

This is why it is crucial that we elect corporate-free candidates at ALL levels so we can get the change the people want, not more scraps from the 1%. We hold the power to decide the future of our state and country, we just have to get active, fight for it and support fellow progressives who can champion our vision.

Your support means we can continue to organize Progressive Alliances throughout California, spreading the messages of this Lt. Governor campaign to our state’s diverse communities. Today, I ask that you not only get active at your local level but also dig deep to support my campaign with a donation of $27 or any amount. Your support gets my campaign one step closer to our goal of raising $25,000 by the end of December, allowing us to ramp up for our petition campaign!

Click here to make a contribution of any size to my campaign that takes ZERO corporate cash and will fight for Public Banking for CA!

We know that the public bank’s time has come as more cities and regions begin to explore their own versions, including Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, the County of Alameda, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Thank you for your support, it fuels me in my determination to bring real progressive change to California and fight for policies like a public bank! Our Money, Our Power!