“No Corporate Money” Campaign

How California can beat the 1% – at their own game

California has a unique chance to shift the balance of power in our state. The 1% and their corporations now control our budgets and economy, schools and education, police and justice, and so much more, because they control the people who get elected into our government. This can change, and California can inspire the rest of the country. We have some good examples to inspire us.

Dramatic change has occurred in places as far away as South America and as close as Richmond, a city in the S.F. Bay Area. People combined strong social movements with strong electoral movements. When people in South America – especially the young and impoverished – began taking to the streets and voting in much greater numbers than ever before, the 1% lost big. The disparity of wealth began to decrease, and education, healthcare, and people’s participation in their governments began to improve.

Closer to home, Richmond now has a mayor and city council members who stand with the 99%. Community activists ten years ago were tired of running into a brick wall at city hall, and organized to combine activism with elections (see RichmondProgressiveAlliance.net). Greens, Democrats, and others ran for office, all agreeing to take no corporate money, and they began to win. Chevron, the largest corporation in California, put a million dollars into three races in 2010, and lost, lost, and lost. The “no corporate money” candidates won.

In California the rules of the game for state elections have now changed, seemingly for the worse, but inadvertently the new rules provide an opening for a backfire on the 1%.

In the “Top Two” primary system we now use for state offices, any voter can vote for any candidate regardless of political party. Only the top two candidates appear on the November ballot, even if they are from the same party. Historically, this system favored incumbents and highly funded candidates, and that’s exactly what happened in the first Top Two Primary in California in June 2012. But Top Two can backfire on the 1% when we create a critical mass of people who declare their intention to vote for candidates who take no corporate money.

You can help grow this movement. Join the No Corporate Money Campaign.

(1) Fill out the declaration, and mail it to Laura Wells, P.O. Box 10181, Oakland, CA 94610.

(2) Or, email your responses to the three checkboxes with your other information on the form to info@laurawells.org

(3) Spread the word and gather declarations!

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __  __ __ __ __ __ __

I DECLARE MY INTENTION TO ….         

[ ]  Participate in SOCIAL MOVEMENTS to ensure positive change

[ ] VOTE in upcoming elections, including the June 3, 2014 primary

[ ] Vote for candidates for state offices who DO NOT ACCEPT CORPORATE MONEY

Name ________________________________________________

VOLUNTEER? __________________

E-mail __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Phone (_____) ______-___________

Street Address  __________________________________________

City__________________________________________________

ZIP_________________________

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State Bank for California: Invest in California, not Wall Street

In 2011, four years after Ellen Brown wrote Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free, the Public Banking Institute, with Brown as the chair, was founded to provide support and leadership for the growing movement which she and her book engendered.

Since then, more than 20 states and many counties and cities are considering creating their own banks. Public banks partner with local, independent banks and credit unions, providing good loans to homeowners, small businesses, and students, while folding the interest back into the local economy, not Wall Street. People are asking, “Why throw money away by paying 5% interest to big banks for loans, while receiving less than 1% in interest from big banks for funds deposited?”

North Dakota is a good example. In 1919 the farmers got tired of losing their farms to out-of-state bankers; so, they created the Bank of North Dakota. Today, 93 years later, North Dakota has a budget surplus instead of a budget deficit, and more community banks per capita than any other state.

Here’s how you can get started establishing a public bank in your area. The steps include researching how public banking works, linking with allies, identifying champions, and finding potential sources of capitalization for the bank.

Research can start at http://www.publicbankinginstitute.org/. You will find a wealth of information, including FAQs and articles on public banking, a newsletter sign-up, and examples from around the world.

Allies are an important early requirement. Creating and implementing plans together provide great motivation to learn as much as possible in preparation for upcoming meetings and presentations.

Champions will come from many areas: community bankers, elected officials, candidates, and social activists from many related movements. In the process of finding allies, you will discover who is aligned with the big banks. (See related “No Corporate Money” article on reverse.)

Capitalization sources for initial bank reserves are varied and may come from a pool of public funds available for a particular purpose (see example at http://bankonsonoma.com). Use the Internet or public officials to discover funds on the balance sheets of your local jurisdictions that are going unused. Research the idea of using eminent domain in this era of foreclosures.

Keep abreast of the information and opportunities provided by the Public Banking Institute. It is inspiring to be involved with people across the country who, even when they are faced with setbacks and obstacles, are moving ahead on this solution that is both positive and possible.

North Dakota has a publicly owned bank. What city, county, or state will be next?

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