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Grassroots Organizing Leads To Success In Oakland

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Last Tuesday ,Oakland City Council approved the $100,000 feasibility study for the Public Bank of Oakland, putting that city on track to create its own Public Bank. The city of Berkeley promised $25,000 toward the cost of the study and the city of Richmond and County of Alameda are likely to contribute as well, along with several private donors, making this a multi-city and community investment.

This large step toward Oakland becoming independent of Wall Street — and toward our PBI goal of five public banks by 2020 — was taken thanks to tireless work by grassroots organization Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland, led by Susan Harman. Harman reminded the City Council before the vote, “We have slain all the dragons you’ve asked us to kill. Support the study now.”

Their advocacy work brought the support of Oakland Council members Dan Kalb and Rebecca Kaplan as well as Mayor of Berkeley Jesse Arrequin. The approved study is scheduled to take ten weeks.

Click here to learn all the steps the Friends group took and the “dragons” they needed to slay to achieve this success.

This week, the Friends organization, as well as Councilmembers Dan Kalb and Rebecca Kaplan, and the Local Clean Energy Alliance, are hosting a public forum in Oakland’s City Council Chambers to hear how Public Banks have sped the development of renewable resources in Germany. Guest is Wolfram Morales, Chief Economist for Sparkasse, the powerful association of local Public Banks in Germany.

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