Symposium on Public Banking and Beyond

Dear friends,

I recently wrote to inform you about a Symposium On Public Banking for New York to be held in Orange County on Sunday, December 14. This event will be held at the Goshen United Methodist Church in Goshen at 2 pm, and will be the first in our area. So

far, I am pleased to announce that there are two co-sponsors. They are The Democratic Alliance and Orange County Peace and Justice. My thanks to Michael Sussman, as well as to Greg and Dot Winner, for their support and assistance. This is a wonderful beginning. But to make this event really effective, we will need more sponsors.

Like you, I have been shocked at what has happened to our economy leading up to 2007-08, and since. We need to change our economy, and the power and manipulations of the “too big to fail” banks that have misused the people’s trust and money, and have weakened local communities and our country. Because of this I have made a personal commitment to join those who are already working for public banking in my state and around the U.S. But, as I cannot do much without you, I am now asking for your help.

First, I would like to provide a brief description of Public Banking that is taken from the 2013 Public Banking Institute conference in Rafael, California:

What is Public Banking? “ Public Banking is banking operated in the public interest via institutions owned by the people through their government. Public banks can exist at all levels – local, state and national.

While

privately owned banks operate in the interest of their share holders, publicly owned banks operate in the public interest by law.

Administered as a public utility and run by public servants, publicly-owned banks return their bank profits to public coffers to fund public services and reinvest locally.

When a government borrows from its own publicly-owned bank, the interest returns to the public reducing costs and government debt, rather than profiting the “TBTF” Wall Street banks. “

I was unable to attend that conference, as well as the one last month in Philadelphia. But the richness of the presentations from both of those events are available to us. They include, for example, the need for localizing debt & equity capital markets; how public banks can serve as a catalyst for local investing; the history of public banking and how it has been suppressed; the hidden costs of interest, and how this lost revenue can be returned to the public, and much more.

My jumping into this project has made me realize that it is not enough to simply organize a Symposium on Public Banking to be held on one day in December 2014. What about next year, and the year after? To be effective, and to make real change in our country in this vital area involves so much more. Elected officials, business men and women, representatives of religious institutions, and organizations of all types, that is, civil society, need to be reached, and on board, if we are ever to have a new economy that really helps communities and the environment, and is just.

And so, your help is needed. If you want to do something in our area, please contact me personally to get things started. My phone is 845. 986-4418, or email me at ttsalis. We can talk about what can be done now, and after the Dec. 14 event, and how to make connections with the larger movement. Scott Baker, the New York State Coordinator of the Public Banking Institute, and the other incredible panelists at the symposium on Dec.14, will help.

If you have read this far, thank you. I hope I will hear from you.

Tula Tsalis

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