In the aftermath of the Great Recession, we in Richmond found ourselves in a situation all too familiar across the country; our residents were facing foreclosures due to the predatory practices of Wall Street at an alarming rate. Our response to this crisis was very different: Instead of towing the line and allowing our neighbors to be thrown into the streets while the culprits were bailed out, we decided to take action and bail out Main Street. We championed a plan to use our powers of eminent domain to acquire underwater mortgages, whose principals we would then reduce to be in line with the home’s actual value. These modified mortgages would be handed back to our residents, keeping families in their homes, preventing foreclosures and restoring equity for the homeowner, while also stabilizing our neighborhoods.

While this plan would have been good for the 99%, it was not good for Wall Street, who took their influence all the way to the District of Corporations and got Congress to block us. The corporate officeholders did their donors’ bidding, and stopped cities like Richmond from protecting our people and communities.

The big banks scrambled to protect their interests, because they know what can happen when we stand together and fight – we win. Once we regain the economic control of our community, we regain our independence and that is the worst fear of powerful financial interests. Right now there is one meaningful way we could achieve this; the creation of a California Public Bank.

Public banks give states and municipalities the lending mechanisms of private banks, without the high fees and interest rates, predatory practices and toxic investments in fossil fuels, arms and private prisons. They work by collecting deposits through public institutions and resources such as; tax revenue, and state pensions, while taking no deposits from private persons. These banks can then issue low interest loans to the government, and others to fund public priorities like; affordable housing, infrastructure, education and job creation through programs like worker co-op startup funds. It is estimated that this system can save 50% on infrastructure projects through removing the big bank’s profits from the equation.

In California, a Public Bank could provide us a system to gather tax revenues from and provide stability to the cannabis industry. Maximizing the economic positives from our recent legalization of marijuana. Tackling climate change is a top priority for me in California and Public Banking could also provide us the funds necessary to invest in a renewable energy revolution statewide, like we did in Richmond.

Since the inception of the Bank of North Dakota in 1919, North Dakota has served as a steady example that Public Banks not only work, but are extremely stable. Being our country’s only state-owned bank and free of Wall Street’s grip, North Dakota was the only state to walk away from the Great Recession unscathed.

We too can free ourselves from Wall Street, if we organize and fight for a corporate-free revolution in 2018. The Big Banks and their corporate buddies care about what happens in this Lt. Governor’s race, and they have a reason to worry. Our people-first campaign is gaining momentum. Thanks to the hard work of over 175 volunteers across the state, we collected over 14,000 signatures from 46 of our 58 counties to get my campaign on the ballot. We are just getting started, and your support will help us reach hundreds of thousands of voters over the next few months. Your donation of $27, $50, $99, or any amount, today provides my campaign the resources to organize California for real change! Will you join me and continue our momentum?

Donate $27 to say “No!” to Wall Street!

Donate $50 to say “Yes! Our Money, Our Power!” to a California Public Bank!

Donate $99 to reach 260 voters!

Click here to make a contribution of any size to my people-first campaign!

Thank you for your support. Remember, when we fight, we win!