Because it’s more than a bank…
San Francisco taxpayer money is currently entrusted to private banks that engage in socially and environmentally destructive practices fundamentally contrarian to the values of San Franciscans. The profit derived from their loans benefits private shareholders who are not accountable to our City. Only public entities should be able to own shares in a San Francisco municipal public bank.
Community WEalth building
The public bank should seek in its lending programs to promote a economy that upholds social justice and ecological sustainability. In its lending priorities, it shall promote community ownership and community wealth building, including investments in permanently affordable housing, locally-owned social enterprises, cooperatives, and community-based nonprofit organizations.
The public bank should operate on principles of local control for the benefit of the communities that own it.
The public bank should invest for the purposes of enhancing the welfare of the people of San Francisco rather than the private wealth of a class of shareholders.
The public bank shall act within a reparations framework to honor that we are on Ohlone land, to protect sacred sites and support land trusts, and uphold indigenous people’s right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.
The public bank should refrain from investing in sectors that exacerbate negative environmental conditions and socio-economic disparities, including fossil fuels, tobacco, military and weapons, prisons and detention centers.
The public bank should directly or indirectly provide credit and financial services to local communities underserved by mainstream commercial banks and lenders as well as public finance programs, to undo the historical legacy of wealth disparities and harmful economic, environmental, social, housing and transportation impacts.
Cooperation with existing community bank institutions
The public bank shall strengthen the lending capacity of existing credit unions and local banks by partnering, rather than competing, with them on participation lending and other programs
Accountability & Transparency
The public bank shall adopt mechanisms for ensuring community oversight, accountability, and transparency.