Despite their up-in-the-clouds website imagery, members of the Seattle Public Bank Coalition are quite grounded in their ideas for Seattle to become the first major city to operate its own bank. According to the group, a city bank would generate funds for community investment and could lower the cost of capital for the city by 30-40%.
The group has even found an ally on the Seattle City Council. On Wednesday, council member Nick Licata will hold a briefing on the issue during the Finance and Culture Committee’s 2 PM meeting. Licata will then head over to the U-District to participate in an evening public forum on creating a city bank. The Washington state constitution may present a serious hurdle to public banking, but Licata says it’s not an insurmountable barrier.
Here’s how the City Council breaks down public banking:
A public bank is a state-licensed banking institution established to provide depository services to local governments, and to make loans to promote policy objectives such as affordable housing preservation and development, infrastructure investment and fostering local economic development.
The Possibilities for a Public Bank in Seattle Public Forum will take place Wednesday, December 10th, 7-9 PM, at the University of Methodist Church, 1415 NE 43rd St.