financial justice

New York’s approach to economic development desperately needs a reboot. We spend billions of dollars annually on wasteful corporate subsidies and tax giveaways – in the process diverting much-needed resources from higher education, transit, health care and other investments that would advance equity and economic opportunity in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.

Next City — Marcus is a disabled, 66 year-old Vietnam war veteran. He lives in a house in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn that has been in his family since the 1960’s. An only child, he inherited the home when his parents passed, his only piece of generational wealth. But after falling behind on property taxes, the city placed an $11,000 lien on his home. That lien will be sold to a third party, making the debt nearly impossible to pay off.

Fresh off his electoral victory, Eric Adams declared that his administration will look abroad for policy solutions to New York City’s myriad social and economic problems. “Let’s learn what they’re doing there so we can do it here,” he urged.

It just so happens, there’s a broad-based citywide coalition pressing for a bold policy solution that is common throughout the world: public banking. Bringing public banking to New York, as a proven strategy for addressing racial and economic inequality, should rank among Mayor-elect Adams’ top priorities.

This afternoon the NYS Community Equity Agenda, a coalition of more than 40 community, labor, and civil rights groups, cooperative organizations, and community development financial institutions from across New York, released its policy priorities for 2022.

Gotham Gazette- Reopening the door to Wells Fargo suggests that city officials have not learned the lessons of the past year, or decades. In the face of New York’s severe affordable housing shortage, climate devastation, and extreme racial wealth inequality—all exacerbated by COVID-19—we need bold action.

A public bank would build wealth and power in communities hardest hit by the pandemic. It’s needed now more than ever.