Support the New York Public Banking Act!

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Carl E. Heastie

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As the COVID-19 crisis exacerbates inequality and poverty in our state, New York must take bold action to transform our economy and advance racial and neighborhood equity. New York needs strong institutions – like public banks – to ensure a just recovery and future for all New Yorkers.

**Please sign this petition to show your support for the New York Public Banking Act!**

Public banks are created by governments to strengthen local economies. Through public banking, cities, counties, and regions can leverage public funds to support economic development that advances racial justice and economic democracy.

Through public banking, New York can:

Strengthen neighborhoods and our local economy.
A public bank would invest in neighborhood-led development to support permanently-affordable housing, living-wage jobs, renewable energy, and more – meeting critical community needs and strengthening our ability to withstand future crises.

Ensure safe and affordable housing for all New Yorkers.
A public bank would support community land trusts and truly affordable housing for homeless and working-class New Yorkers.

Support mom-and-pop businesses and preserve jobs.
A public bank would partner with community-based lenders to deliver responsible financing and emergency funding to small and worker-owned businesses, including MWBEs, hardest-hit by COVID-19.

Promote climate justice and a just transition.
A public bank would support community-controlled renewable energy and other sustainable infrastructure in frontline communities of color.

Divest from Wall Street.
A public bank would enable NYC to divest public money from Wall Street banks that systematically harm New Yorkers and our neighborhoods, fund fossil fuels and other destructive industries, and exploit crises at public expense – and invest in a just economy that works for all.

S.5565-A (Sanders)/A.9665-A (Abinanti) creates a safe and appropriate regulatory framework for cities and counties seeking to establish public banks. The bill authorizes the NYS Department of Financial Services to issue special-purpose public bank charters – paving the way for public banking in New York.

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New York, NY

To: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Carl E. Heastie
From: [Your Name]

I believe public money should work for the public good. The “New York Public Banking Act” S.5565A(Sanders)/A.9665A(Abinanti) creates a safe and appropriate regulatory framework for New York cities, counties, and regions seeking to establish public banks.

Public banks are financial institutions created by government entities, and accountable to the people. Through public banking, local governments can leverage public money to support local economic development, including affordable housing, green jobs, equitable financial services, and more.

Under current law, localities seeking to establish public banks must apply for a commercial bank charter. This forces local governments to retrofit their public bank business models into a regulatory system that was designed for private, for-profit enterprises. As the public banking movement grows statewide, New York must update its legal and regulatory structure accordingly. S.5565A/A.9665A authorizes the NYS Department of Financial Services to issue public bank charters to New York cities, counties, and regions—paving the way for democratically-controlled financial institutions that meet the needs of New York’s communities.

Public banking is common throughout the world, from Costa Rica to Germany. In the U.S., the Bank of North Dakota has successfully financed public projects and made responsible loans to small businesses, farmers, and others for more than a century. Last year, California enacted legislation intended to pave the way for cities, counties, and regions to establish public banks. It’s time for New York to take action and help usher in socially and environmentally responsible public banks, from Western New York to New York City and Long Island.

I strongly urge you to support this bill, as a matter of racial justice and economic democracy in New York State.

Thank you.