OAKLAND, CA (Press release) – On Monday, September 25th, Oakland Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan (At-Large) and Dan Kalb (District One) will host a community forum on public banking and renewable energy, at Oakland City Hall, 3rd Floor, from 7-9pm. The forum, co-sponsored by Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland and Local Clean Energy Alliance, will discuss how a public bank in Oakland could help fund local renewable energy resources for our new Community Choice program, and bring jobs and economic benefits to communities throughout Alameda County.
This forum follows tonight’s public banking victory, where Oakland City Council passed Councilmember Kaplan’s Resolution authorizing a public bank feasibility study. The Resolution, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Kaplan, Kalb, and Guillen, authorized a feasibility study of a regional public bank with the ability to provide community benefit lending and handle cannabis business deposits. The study was funded by Oakland City Council at $75,000, the City of Berkeley at $25,000, and private donors, many from the cannabis industry. Councilmember Kaplan offers special thanks to these donors, especially Berkeley Mayor Arreguín and Berkeley Councilmember Worthington, for contributing to the study, and making it a collaborative, regional effort.
Councilmember Kaplan says: “Passing this Resolution marks an important step in the process of investigating public banking for the City of Oakland and larger region. By creating a bank that is accountable to the community, we can fund needed projects, offer low interest loans to underserved populations, and invest in accordance with our values. We can protect our cannabis community by taking them out of the cash economy, and, like our recent successful efforts to create Community Choice Energy, we can harness local community support to take action that improves the environment, public health, and the local economy. As distrust in big corporate banks and lack of oversight at the Federal level are growing problems — this is how we can be part of the solution.”