San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance that moves the city closer to creating the first public bank in the US. The Reinvest in SF ordinance, authored by Supervisor Dean Preston, creates a working group of community leaders and financial experts to come up with a business plan to submit to the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation for approval.
The proposed public bank would allow the city to reinvest millions of its revenues toward initiatives that support working San Franciscans, including economic recovery, affordable housing, green infrastructure, and small business loans.
The working group will consist of nine seats, with three held by experts with financial institutions, four by community representatives, and one each by representatives from the city’s Controller and Treasurer’s offices. The proposed public bank is intended to help fund affordable housing to satisfy state requirements, as well as support small businesses and green infrastructure.
The creation of a public bank in San Francisco has been a long-running effort, and the approval of the ordinance is a significant step forward. The proposed public bank is more urgent than ever, according to supporters, as local lenders falter and the need for affordable housing and economic recovery grows. If approved, San Francisco would become the first city in the US to create a public bank.
A public bank in San Francisco would be a major victory for the city’s progressive movement. It would be a sign that San Francisco is serious about addressing the city’s housing crisis, supporting small businesses, and improving the financial well-being of its residents.