An enthusiastic, diverse, overflow crowd attended the DC Public Banking Center’s forum, “Public Dollars/Public Bank in DC: Building Our Future,” held in downtown DC on October 21st. The Alliance’s Ruth Caplan introduced the panelists selected to represent a broad spectrum of voices.
Gar Alperovitz, author of What Then Must We Do? and co-chair of the Next System Project, opened the evening by talking about how public banking fits into the next American Revolution. He spoke about ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the socialization/democratization of wealth which he sees as bubbling up in this country today, not as some far away utopia.
Nomi Prins spoke from her years on Wall Street where she left her last position as a managing director at Goldman Sachs to speak truth to Wall Street power. From her most recent, All the Presidents’ Bankers to her earlier book, Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America, Prins has written about money power in America and is a strong advocate of public banking. You can watch her video here.
Horst Gischer, came from German to talk about public banking in Germany as an academic studying monetary economics and public financial institutions. The campaign looks forward to an ongoing relationship with Gischer. His remarks are here.
Jessica Gordon Nembhard, author of Collective Courage, shared the inspiring history of the African American cooperative movement from urban buying clubs to farmers coops and placed the campaign for public banking in this context.
Harold Meyerson, Washington Post columnist and editor-at-large of The American Prospect magazine, made the case for cities being the incubators for creative progressive change in the U.S. His presentation is here.
The evening ended with questions from the audience and a rousing call for people to get involved with many people coming forward to say they want to help. You can watch the Q & A session here.
This was a big leap forward for the DC campaign for a public bank, but there is still much hard work ahead. The Alliance for Democracy is very pleased to be the fiscal sponsor for the DCPBC, part of our national campaign for public banking.
Thanks to Stephen L. Kolb for the video clips.