FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Deyanira Del Rio, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW ECONOMY PROJECT TESTIFIES AT HISTORIC HOUSE COMMITTEE HEARING ON GROWING PUBLIC BANKING MOVEMENT IN NY
JOINS AOC TO URGE BOLD FEDERAL ACTION TO SUPPORT LOCAL PUBLIC BANKS
New Economy Project’s Co-Director, Deyanira Del Río, testified before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions last week on the growing movement for local public banking in New York. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who spoke at the hearing—one of the first on public banking in modern American history—said it was a “historic day and a day worth celebrating.”
The hearing comes at a watershed moment for public banking in New York and across the U.S., as grassroots movements in dozens of cities and states demand divestment of public money from Wall Street and investment in low-income, Black, brown and immigrant communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the context of the growing and interrelated health, housing, racial inequality, and climate crises we face, public banks can help shift large-scale financing away from fossil fuel extraction and other harmful industries, toward sustainable and regenerative economic activity,” Del Río said in her testimony.
In New York, more than 100 groups and 65 state legislators support the “New York Public Banking Act” (S1762A/A5782), which would create a regulatory framework for local public banks that would prioritize investment in community development financial institutions (CDFIs), community land trusts and permanently-affordable housing, small and worker-owned businesses, renewable energy, and other cooperative and community-controlled development.
Legislation before the Subcommittee included the federal “Public Banking Act of 2021,” introduced by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. Like the “New York Public Banking Act,” the bill would be a game-changer for local public banking efforts, providing technical assistance and funding to make it easier for cities and counties across New York to establish local public banks.
New Economy Project coordinates two broad-based coalitions, the NYS Community Equity Agenda and Public Bank NYC, that are advancing local public banking throughout New York State. The coalitions—which include community and labor organizations, housing and climate justice groups, cooperatives, and CDFIs—are calling on NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to pass the “New York Public Banking Act,” as an urgent matter of racial, economic and environmental justice.