[Submitted by J. Repp - 1/26/2017]
Except for some favorable publicity, we have reached an impasse with the Seattle City Council. An Open Letter was written to the Seattle City Council in November 2016 and published on November 30, 2016 in The Stand, a digital newsletter of the Washington State Labor Council. All responses to the Open Letter have not mentioned the issue of public banking. Instead council members want to strengthen the “responsible banking” ordinances which have proven to be powerless in preventing the illegal banking behavior of Wells Fargo, Seattle’s banker. http://www.thestand.org/2016/11/address-housing-other-city-priorities-by-creating-seattle-public-bank/
A shortened version of the Open Letter was published in Real Change. http://realchangenews.org/2017/01/18/open-letter-city-seattle-dump-wells-fargo-and-start-our-own-bank
In response to the Open Letter, The Seattle Times published an editorial against public banking on January 1, 2017. http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/the-peril-of-public-banks/
On January 5, 2017, The Seattle Times published an Op-Ed correcting the false premises of the editorial against public banking. http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/the-homegrown-promise-of-a-seattle-public-bank/
We have decided to return to efforts to support public banking at the Washington State level.
Here is the original text of SB 5464, AN ACT Relating to establishing the Washington investment trust, with 17 sponsors. http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5464.pdf
Here is a link to the Public Banking Institute which is coordinating efforts around the country to charter public banks. http://www.publicbankinginstitute.org/
Here is a link to Ellen Brown’s blog which is full of current information from around the world about financial matters. https://ellenbrown.com/
Below is one of the first articles Ellen Brown wrote on public banking and debt-free money issued by the Federal government. Written in December of 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis, it has the broad historical vision that stands behind the movement for public banking.
Here is the latest article by Ellen Brown explaining how setting up a public infrastructure bank could save the American taxpayer half the cost of infrastructure, or we could build twice as much for roughly the same amount. http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/how_to_cut_infrastructure_costs_in_half_20170126
Until we as a society understand banking and money, we will be stuck with a crisis prone economic system that works against the 99%. Even Sweden in the 1990’s and Iceland in 2008 fell into the trap of “deregulation” of banks and paid the price of financial collapse, despite their strong social democratic traditions.
Here is a website dedicated to public banking at the state level. https://washingtonpublicbankcoalition.org/
Here is a website dedicated to public banking at the city level. Note: the basic structure of a public bank would be the same whether it is a city, county, state, or federal. http://www.seattlepublicbanking.org/