Above Photo: Public Banks NYC campaign launch. Photos courtesy New Economy Project
Activists from more than two dozen grassroots organizations including New Economy Project and Public Bank NYC took to the streets of Wall Street on Tuesday to launch a campaign for a NYC Public Bank. Carrying signs reading “Public Bank for Public Good,” and chanting, “Wells, Chase, B of A, public bank’s a better way!” advocates called for a paradigm shift:
“Every year, New York City deposits billions of dollars of public money in big banks like Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank. On top of that, Wall Street extracts many millions of dollars in fees and interest from New York City. This means that our public money is supporting Wall Street’s destructive activities: foreclosing on our homes, fueling the climate crisis, redlining communities of color, backing private prisons and immigrant detention centers, and financing war — to name a few.
“Enough! Clearly we need a paradigm shift, and we call that shift Public Bank NYC.”
Julia Conley reports in Common Dreams:
“‘New York deserves a public bank that will invest in community needs, and be accountable to New York City residents—one that will prioritize housing…and not prey on low-income New Yorkers,’ said Scott Hutchins, a member of the grassroots social justice group Picture the Homeless. …
“‘With the Trump Administration and Congress handing out massive corporate tax breaks, rolling back federal financial reform, and gutting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Wall Street is heading straight for another crisis,’ said Deyanira Del Rio, Co-Director of New Economy Project. ‘A public bank will allow New York City to deposit our public money with a bank that belongs to New Yorkers.’ …
“‘Here’s the deal: New York City currently deposits billions of public dollars in the big Wall Street banks,’ said Stephan Edel, director of New York Working Families. “These bankers make millions off these deposits and high fees, while providing little benefit to the City, small businesses, and residents of New York. Our money should be put to use in our communities.’”
Coalition members included:
NYPIRG, The Working World, New York Communities for Change, Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, New Economy Project, The Black Institute, University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP), Enlace, Queens Legal Services, Public Bank NYC, Picture the Homeless, Pan-African Community Development Initiative, Debt Collective.