Want to learn more about public banks and the role they can play on the city, state, and national level in helping to build a more equitable and sustainable economy? Join the California Public Banking Alliance online on Saturday, January 9 at 1 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Pacific for two back-to-back conversations with national experts on public banking and solidarity economics.

In the first talk, entitled “Putting People and Planet Before Profit,” Emily Kawano and Mike Strode of the US Solidarity Economy Network will discuss a suite of reforms that are already being used to democratize the economy, including public banking, community land trusts, worker cooperatives, participatory budgeting, and time banks.

The second talk, “Public Banks, Fossil Fuel Divestment and Community Reinvestment,” features Reina Tello of People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER) on the importance of public banking in providing COVID-19 recovery and an economic lifeline for peoples’ needs, including financing for affordable housing, small business investing. Sylvia Chi of Asia Pacific Economic Network (APEN) will weigh in on how public banks can support energy efficiency and affordable housing, clean energy and a just transition, as well as other environmental justice priorities.

Public Banking is on the move across the country as well as here in Massachusetts. Last year, California passed a groundbreaking law that allows for the creation of up to 10 local/regional banks, and support is growing there for a state-level public bank bill. Here in Massachusetts, a broader public bank bill will be introduced in the 2021-22 session, expanding on last session’s public infrastructure bank bill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s huge impact on the commonwealth’s small businesses. You can follow campaigns in other states at the Public Banking Institute’s website.

On the national level, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) have introduced the Federal Public Banking Act, which would foster the creation of public banks across the country by establishing national guidelines and ways to finance them. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is one of nine current co-sponsors.

The webinar is free but advanced registration is required. To register, visit https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwrdOyorTkvH9N5K6fpEKLEeAd9ZGqRWfy4