We had a great night at the city council meeting. During the public comments section, 11 of around 20 speakers spoke in favor of public banking!
Next week, on Thursday 1/18 and Friday 1/19, city council will be deciding priorities for the upcoming year (time & location TBD). Public banking is the biggest possible pot of money that the city council can possibly go after: for the rebuild, for the homeless, for clean-up after the fires, etc. Please endorse our proposal, and come to the city council meetings on the 18th & 19th. We cannot afford to put this off another year.
One of our members spoke about how starting a public bank will help fund the rebuild of the City of Santa Rosa:
I am a climate activist working with the divestment team at Sonoma Solidarity with Standing Rock. We have joined with Public Bank Santa Rosa to urge the City of Santa Rosa to start a public bank as it is the ONLY way for the city to divest from Wall Street banks.
Now this proposal takes on a new urgency - as the city attempts to fund the rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed in the fires. A public bank offers huge financial gains:
It will help cut the cost of rebuilding Santa Rosa infrastructure after the fires IN HALF. This can be achieved by financing through the city's own bank, eliminating interest paid on bonds and returning the earned interest to the city's own operating budgets.
It will save millions in banking fees to Wall Street banks.
It can offer lower interest loans to homeowners wishing to rebuild after the fires.
It will help keep money in our city and county.
It's the only way the City of Santa Rosa and other cities and institutions can truly divest from Wall Street banks which invest in fossil fuels.
Profits can be used to finance clean energy projects and green, sustainable, more resilient rebuilding.
The public bank can profit from providing much needed financial services to the cannabis industry, and the profits can be applied to budgetary needs. If our county's cannabis dollars go to another public bank in the area, this financial opportunity may diminish at a time when we need it most. We must strike while the iron is hot.
We urge city council and the city manager to fund a feasibility study
right away, so we can reap these considerable benefits as soon as possible, so desperately needed by fire survivors. This is crucial to institutional divestment and to the rebuild of Santa Rosa. To everyone in the audience, please endorse our proposal at www.publicbanksantarosa.org/endorse.html.
P.S. Just how does public banking support Standing Rock? What is the connection?
As you may know, Native American leaders continue to call for divestment. However even if cities such as Seattle and San Francisco divest from fossil fuels, there is no bank big enough to handle their accounts. Unfortunately local banks and credit unions are only able to insure accounts up to $250,000. After the City of Albuquerque declared they were divesting from Wells Fargo, they received requests for proposals from 5 banks. Only Wells Fargo was able to fill all of the city's requirements, and the city has to return to Wells Fargo for now.
A public bank (a bank run by the government that serves the public interest) is the only option for cities which choose to divest their money from fossil fuel investments. This is why we at Sonoma Solidarity with Standing Rock have joined forces with the Public Bank Santa Rosa work group, and why Lakota People's Law Project actively promotes public banking. Note that in addition to the above local benefits, a public bank does not compete with local banks: it is a wholesale bank which can partner with local banks to offer lower interest loans.
Click here for more information about public banking.
See also the Mazaska Talks ("Money Talks") web site and Facebook page.
Happy New Year! As you are probably aware, even though the camps at Standing Rock are gone, Native American leadership continues to urge divestment from fossil fuels. Our divestment team at Sonoma Solidarity with Standing Rock has joined with Public Bank Santa Rosa to urge the City of Santa Rosa to start a public bank as it is the ONLY way for the city to divest from Wall Street banks.
Now this proposal takes on a new urgency - as the city attempts to fund the rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed in the fires. A public bank offers many financial gains:
We urge all community organizations to endorse our proposal. Also, please attend this Tuesday if you can. This is crucial to institutional divestment and to the rebuild of Santa Rosa. The link to the endorsement form is below.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Shelly <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, Jan 7, 2018 at 7:36 PM
Subject: [Climate Activists-SC] Urgent: Endorsements Needed for Proposed Resolution to Create a Public Bank of Santa Rosa
Dear Friends of Public Banking,
A very warm and Happy New Year’s greeting to you all. The Friends of Public Banking working group has been diligently working away and we have created a Proposed Resolution to Create a Public Bank of Santa Rosa. We ask for your immediate support in endorsing this Proposal. We are asking that the city fund a feasibility study for a Public Bank of Santa Rosa. You may read the Proposal in full and endorse it on our website at the following link:
If link does not work, try: http://publicbanksantarosa.weebly.com/endorse.html
You may further show your support by signing our online petition, which also asks the city to support our recommendation to fund a feasibility study for a Public Bank of Santa Rosa.
http://www.publicbanksantarosa.org/petition.html or: http://publicbanksantarosa.weebly.com/petition.html
These requests are urgent due to the fact that the Santa Rosa City Council will be conducting their annual Public Hearing for 2018/2019 Budget Priorities at their regularly scheduled city council meeting this Tuesday, January 9th at 5:00pm at City Hall on 100 Santa Rosa Ave.
We would like to present a long list of supporters of both individuals and organizations for the Proposal at this meeting. It would be excellent if you could attend this meeting in solidarity to show resounding support in the request to fund the feasibility study this year. The more people who attend and speak to this request, the more likely it is that the council will approve the feasibility study. If you can attend, wear green and speak to the items in the Proposal that resonate most strongly with you. You can find the full city council meeting agenda at the following link for the January 9th meeting item #16.1 https://santa-rosa.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx
May 2018 be the year that the City of Santa Rosa takes strong and direct action to establish a Bank of Santa Rosa.
To our collective best always,
Friends of Public Banking Santa Rosa
"The tallest oak in the forest was once just a little nut that held its ground." ~ Unknown
What does it mean to be a good ally of Native Americans? This is a question we sometimes ask ourselves.
From theconversation.com web site:
"Climate justice – the idea that it is ethically wrong for some groups of people to suffer the detrimental effects of climate change more than others – is among the most significant moral issues today, referenced specifically in the landmark Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
"...Indigenous peoples are among the populations who will suffer more, on average, than other communities from changing environmental conditions. Some are suffering right now.
"So as the protests and legal battles over the construction of the pipeline continue, we need to realize that protection of sacred sites and worries over contaminated water supplies are simultaneously concerns about climate justice and its relation to U.S. colonialism. Nonindigenous environmentalists are only allies if they work broadly toward decolonization, instead of aligning with indigenous peoples only when a particular issue, such as opposition to one pipeline, seems to match their interests."
Click to read the whole article.
Grist Magazine: 5 Native American tribes are gearing up for a legal battle with Trump on national monuments.
“More than 150 years ago, the federal government removed our ancestors from Bears Ears at gunpoint and sent them on the Long Walk,” Navajo Nation Council Delegate Davis Filfred said in statement. “But we came back.”
The five tribes have said they will bring a legal case against the administration — the outcome could redefine the president’s powers to use the Antiquities Act. “We know how to fight and we will fight to defend Bears Ears,” Filfred said.
To support the five tribes, click here.
Click here to read the article.
Women's Earth & Climate Action Network (WECAN) issued a press release on Nov. 21, 2017: "Norwegian Oil Fund Recommends Divesting $37 Billion from Oil and Gas Industry After Meeting Standing Rock Activists in Ongoing Global Divestment Push."
The press release contains quotes from many Native American women leaders including LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, Tara Houska, Osprey Orielle Lake and more:
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, Calif. (November 21, 2017) – "In the same week the Keystone Pipeline spilled 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota, the trillion-dollar Norwegian Oil Fund urged the government of Norway to divest from oil and gas companies - affecting $37 billion worth of investments. This news alone drove energy stocks lower, as the Fund owns on average 1.3% of every publicly traded company in the world. The announcement comes after two delegations of Indigenous women met with the Oil Fund in Oslo to give direct testimony of human and Indigenous rights abuses at Standing Rock. This advocacy work followed other Indigenous frontline communities directly affected by and engaging with the Oil Fund on its fossil fuel investments, including the Indigenous Sami people."
Click here for press release.
WECAN's Facebook page
sponsored by the state of California and gleefully assisted by its newest citizens.
"Today, despite all odds, California has the United States’ largest Native American population and is home to 109 federally recognized tribes. But the state’s treatment of native peoples during its founding days—and the role the slaughter of Native Americans played in establishing California’s prosperity—is little known today."
From the statement about Indigenous Peoples Community Day by the International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC):
Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations recently stated:
“Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger? Know that you yourself are essential to this world. Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You yourself are desperately needed to save the soul of this world. Did you think you were put here for something less? In a Sacred Hoop of Life, there is no beginning and no ending.”
To read more about the International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC), see IIYC Facebook page.
By Phil McKenna
Nov 13, 2017
From InsideClimate News: In his first interview since losing re-election, Dave Archambault II speaks candidly about the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and threats to tribal sovereignty. Quote from the article:
ICN: What was the significance of the DAPL fight in terms of native sovereignty and environmental justice?
Archambault: It was of huge significance, especially for environmental justice, because when you look at these infrastructure projects, you have to take a look at the route, and when you look at the route, it follows the highest areas of poverty, and in this nation, the highest areas of poverty are Indian Country. The 10 poorest counties of this nation, over half of them are tribal nations. What tribes are doing is saying, we have value, we have worth, we're still here, and that is exercising your sovereignty.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chase Iron Eyes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 6:30 PM
Subject: A legal breakthrough at Standing Rock! Please share call to action.
Standing Rock raised the stakes for the global environmental and indigenous rights movements. Now, another victory. A North Dakota judge has ruled that my legal team is entitled to substantially more evidence from the North Dakota State Prosecutor’s office than has been forthcoming in other water protector cases. We will be able to take sworn testimony and demand documents from Energy Transfer Partners and their private, militarized security firm, TigerSwan.
The timing on this ruling is important for all environmental protectors. 84 members of Congress—nearly all Republicans—recently sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions encouraging him to invoke the domestic terrorism statute to prosecute fossil fuel protesters. These attacks on our fundamental constitutional rights, spearheaded by Donald Trump and parroted by congressional shills of Big Oil, should deeply concern all citizens who value our right to speak freely and demonstrate.
Our team has produced a new video that explains how I was singled out and targeted—and the justification for our bold legal strategy to expose the illegal and immoral wedding of the fossil fuel industry, law enforcement, and militarized private security forces. You’ll see why I took action on behalf of my people, millions of others downstream, and Unci Maka—Grandmother Earth. Please watch it, and share it widely.
Don’t lose sight of what Standing Rock means. My tribe—one of the poorest communities in the nation—won’t stop leading the struggles to protect the earth and freedom of expression. Continue to stand with me, my courageous fellow defendant HolyElk Lafferty, and hundreds of others being represented by our ally organization, the Water Protector Legal Collective. Our fight is your fight—and it is nothing less than the movement to protect freedom and the earth for future generations.
Wopila—I thank you.
Chase Iron Eyes
Lakota People’s Law Project Lead Counsel
P.S. Help us reach 60,000 petition signatures. Please share our video with your network and together we will pressure North Dakota’s legal authorities to do the right thing and #DropDAPLCharges. In the coming weeks, we will hand-deliver petitions to the state’s attorney. More than 45,000 have already signed. Help us free the water protectors!
Lakota People's Law Project
547 South 7th Street #149
Bismarck, ND 58504-5859
$15,407,195,000 DIVESTED FROM PIPELINES SO FAR!!!!
But institutional divestment (such as cities and pension plans divesting) CANNOT happen without a public bank. Come to our divestment and public banking meetings on Saturday, Nov. 11, 3pm to 4:30pm at the Peace and Justice Center in Santa Rosa, and find out how a public bank can
a) allow cities to divest from fossil fuels,
b) offer substantially reduced interest for REBUILDING Santa Rosa and the north bay,
c) make it easier for cities to collect desperately needed tax revenue on cannabis, which is considered un-bankable. We need that tax revenue to help rebuild Santa Rosa!