A Public Bank
I'm a big fan of credit unions. They're the closest thing we have to a public bank because they operate for the benefit of their member-owners, not stockholders or Wall Street. A public bank would operate for the benefit of all Portlanders and implement lending programs that for-profit banks won't or can't.
Charter A Public Bank
Make affordable loans for small businesses, farmers, co-op, government entities, students, and homeowners:
Lending programs for Innovative Housing and marginalized communities
Save taxpayers up to 50% on critical infrastructure like bridges, trains and schools
Eliminate millions in bank fees and money management fees for our city
Support a vibrant community banking sector
Enable sustainable prosperity
A Public Bank to prioritize small businesses, co-ops, & homebuyers
As a small business owner for over twenty years, I know the challenges of building a business and keeping it going year after year. I know the work involved in managing people, building a brand, marketing, and sweeping the entranceway before customers arrive.
What if every time you get a loan,
the interest from that loan
directly benefits our community?
I also know the anxiety of working to make sure all the expenses are covered, and having to carry those costs personally when they aren't. I know how difficult it can be to get loans for a project. As a member of several co-ops, I've also been a part of teams struggling to get financing from banks that are less familiar with that kind of collaborative business entity. And as a homeowner, I've been frustrated in my effort to refinance my home, even though I consistently made my mortgage payments on time and my new payments would be lower!
A public bank can leverage resources and reinvest "profits" in our own community, all while implementing a social mission to provide lower-cost credit to small businesses, co-ops, and people looking to refinance or buy a home. By creating a public bank, we can leverage local resources for municipal and private projects at a lower cost while returning interest gains from those loans back into our communities rather than sending that money out of state to line the pockets of wealthy stockholders and Wall Street.
Other cities have already done it. Let's charter a public bank with a public mission to create and administer loan programs that prioritize co-ops, small businesses, homeownership, and traditionally marginalized and "red-lined" communities to help combat displacement and fund stay-in-place programs.
When we rely on traditional for-profit banks alone to fund community initiatives, homeownership lending and cooperative ventures, we put the livelihood of our communities and startups in the hands of distant bank executives that don't care about our priorities here in Portland. A municipal bank can provide credit alternatives where traditional for-profit banks fail us, and that could be an essential element of combating housing displacement, resolving startup and coop lending needs, and helping make housing more affordable than is available through programs provided by traditional for-profit banks.
To learn more about creating a public bank in Portland, and to get involved, go to http://www.afd-pdx.org/public-bank.html
Here's a short 2-minute video explaining the concept (sorry if the narrator's voice is annoying!):
A Public Bank
Real solutions for today's challenges
I believe in what Portland can be.