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The East Bay is winning the public bank race
In 2021, the Bank of North Dakota – the nation’s only operating public bank – had an annual profit of $144 million and $10 billion of assets. By creating a reliable place for local investors to put their money, North Dakota now has a rock-solid fund to support its small businesses, affordable housing, and a dozen other state priorities. Ignoring naysayers from big banks, a number of states and cities are now seeking to replicate North Dakota’s success. Foremost among them is California, which passed enabling legislation for its cities in 2019.
Our lead article this issue is about the impressive progress made by a consortium of three East Bay cities: Berkeley, Oakland, and Richmond. These three East Bay cities are expected to pitch in $40 million to start up their joint bank, with a little extra help from Alameda County. The bank board expects to manage a $250 million lending portfolio for municipal needs, and the Richmond City Council recently voted unanimously to direct staff to get moving with implementation. San Francisco and Los Angeles are making progress as well.
Also in this issue are stories about the recent successes of the Chinatown Community Land Trust in Boston; about the blowback the University of California is getting for investing big time in Blackstone’s Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) called Invitation Homes, which has been gobbling up housing and making it impossible for the system’s graduate students, teachers, and workers to find affordable housing; and about the $194 million the federal government just awarded to 252 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
Finally, let me draw your attention to an event coming up next Thursday (details below). One of our partners, the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, is having a series of online conversations. Next week the focus is “Localizing Production,” and I’ll be participating along with Zita Cobb and Michael Partis. Please join us!
– Michael Shuman, Publisher, The Main Street Journal
Will A Public Bank Prove Recession-Proof For East Bay Cities?, SiliconValley.com (February 26)
Nonprofit Buys Chinatown Homes To Keep Them Affordable – And Preserve History, WBUR (February 21)
When The Public University Is The Corporate Landlord, The Law and Political Economy Project (February 20)
Treasury Awards $194.1 Million To 252 Community Development Financial Institutions, United States Department of the Treasury (February 28)
A Green New Deal On The Ground, Nonprofit Quarterly (March 1)
Transforming African American Communities Through Economic Power And Wealth, Cutting Edge Capital (February 23)
A Triumph For Crowdfunding And Community-Owned Business, The Kassan Group (February 23)
Localizing Production: Communities Supporting Industry – Webinar. Thursday, March 16, 2pm ET. For the 50th anniversary of E.F. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful, three panelists (Michael Shuman, Zita Cobb, and Michael Partis) will reflect on the economies of place, effective scale of action, production for local markets, cooperative structures, and the role of land in economic justice. These reflections are intended to open up a broader conversation on the topic of localizing production. Register here.
Remaking The Economy: Caring For The Care Economy – Webinar. Wednesday, March 15, 2-3pm ET. Featuring Adria Powell (Cooperative Home Care Associates), Jenn Stowe (National Domestic Workers Alliance), and Mary Wilder (Shine Nurture Center, part of the Co-op Cincy network), panelists will discuss how both advocacy and worker ownership can transform working conditions in the care economy. Register here.
Connecting Capital To Neighborhoods That Don’t Normally Get It – In-Person Conference (Jackson, Mississippi). April 24-26, 2023. Jackson, with its 80% Black population, in the poorest state in the nation, provides a clear example of the racial wealth gap. The tools that Neighborhood Economics is identifying can be deployed in Mississippi to repair the damage caused by the connection between race and poverty. This event will bring together investors, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, problem-solvers, and people of faith in a city that needs them all.
11th International Public Markets Conference – In-Person Conference (Toronto, Canada). June 8-10, 2023. For over 35 years, the International Public Markets Conference has brought together visionary market managers, community advocates, and civic leaders to explore the changing forces that are shaping public markets today.
Total Impact Summit 2023: Investing for People, Planet, and Place – In-Person Conference (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). May 1-2, 2023. A two-day, dynamic event for individual investors, family offices, foundations, fund managers, and financial advisors to connect with aligned peers and partners, learn about proven and new investment tools, meet leaders of investable opportunities, and move toward action and investment. See FAQ here.
Local Investing With Michael H. Shuman, The Solari Report (March 7)
Could We End Wealth?, YES! Magazine (February 27)
Bay Area Marketplace Led By Immigrant Moms Offers Model For Incubating Food Businesses, Next City (February 21)
Mapping Impacts Of Federal Broadband Investments On Local Communities, United States Census Bureau (February 28)
Fair Food Network is hiring for multiple positions.
Mission Driven Finance is hiring for multiple positions.
FREE SHORT VIDEOS ON LOCAL INVESTMENT
If you don’t have time for a full-on workshop, you can get a “taste” of the answers to your most pressing questions about local investment. We have prepared a series of 5-10 minute videos that you can find posted on our website under the “Local Investing Videos” page. Or click on the links below to be directed to videos based on topic:
BECOME A MAIN STREET CHAMPION
Have you always wanted to start a local investment club? A website of local investment offerings in your community? A local investment study group? Whatever your interest or ambition, we invite you to “go public” to help others in your region find you, scheme with you, and start a local investment movement in your community. Our goal is to identify dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of Main Street Champions like you across America. We already have Main Street Champions across the U.S., from San Luis Obispo, CA to Providence, RI, and even Australia! Together, we can move our hard-earned savings from Wall Street back into our communities. Fill out the intake survey below to join this growing cohort!
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About The Main Street Journal
The Main Street Journal aims to catalyze the movement of $50 trillion from Wall Street to Main Street to facilitate economic development and economic justice. It’s sponsored by the National Coalition for Community Capital, with a grant from the Heron Foundation. We welcome feedback about everything, from our design to content. And we welcome suggestions of other groups to involve as partners, and other information to include. Please send ideas to Sophia Leswing at email@example.com.
We welcome any nonprofit or for-profit committed to local investment as a partner. If your organization is interested, please contact Sophia Leswing at firstname.lastname@example.org.