The City Council’s Finance Committee voted Tuesday to approve Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan’s request to fund a feasibility study for a Public Bank of Oakland and the larger region.
The resolution calling for a feasibility study was authored by Councilmembers Kaplan, Kalb, and Guillen. The resolution passed Tuesday will be forwarded to the June 20 City Council Meeting.
“A major benefit of public banks that cannot be overstated is the stability they bring just by their nature of being removed from the gambling forums associated with large, private banks,” said Christine McClintock, financial analyst and member of the local advocacy group Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland.
“We need an option that will give us and our neighbors the financial stability we are still struggling to achieve after the Great Recession,” she said. “This process may take a long time, even if we act immediately. Investigating the public bank option is financial responsibility.”
After hearing public comment, the Finance Committee voted to appropriate $100,000 from the fiscal year 2016-17 General Purpose Fund balance for a contract to complete a feasibility study on public banking in Oakland and the larger region, and authorize the City Administrator to negotiate a scope of work, terms, and execute a contract With Global Investment Company in an amount not to exceed $100,000.
The item passed with amendments, including specifying community involvement in the next steps.
“I was thrilled to see the outpouring of support for public banking. Creating our own institutions is a beautiful example of how we can strengthen our community at the local level, and continue to build a more just and inclusive society, even in the face of troubling signs at the federal level,” said Councilmember Kaplan.