Public Banking is on the Ballot. Vote Yes.

– Los Angeles manages more than five billion dollars in annual revenue collected from tax, fee and fine payers, as much as the whole country of Iceland.   The city maintains bank accounts with between $4B and $12B in cash, and manages up to $45B in investments for pensions and other funds.  That money is currently held in accounts at commercial banks, where it earns next to zero interest. The city paid over $109 million in transactional and originations fees to these commercial banks in 2016. Some of these banks have […]

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The Era of Big Finance Might Be Over

– Most people still shrug when you ask them their opinion on public banking. – That used to be true about lawmakers, but recently, the concept of public ownership of a depository bank is on the lips of elected officials and policy analysts. There seems to be news about the movement for publicly-owned banks every single day. We may have arrived at the moment when city, state and national officials are ready to look at options outside the mainstream financial paradigm that serve the needs of the public directly.  It could […]

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Detained Immigrants in California Need Lawyers

Photo by Samantha Sais/Reuters

– California and its cities and counties are purported to be ‘sanctuaries’ for immigrants, but they aren’t. – While many local police forces do refuse to check the status of their detainees or hold prisoners on ICE’s behalf, many cases have shown that local law enforcement, municipalities and the state prison system are more than willing to cooperate with Homeland Security and other federal agencies to remove parents, students and workers from their peaceful, everyday lives to throw them into jail and and legal limbo.  Once detained, their families are destroyed, […]

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Should the Homeless Capital of America Host the Olympics?

– Delegates from the International Olympic Committee descend on Los Angeles today. – They will meet with Mayor Eric Garcetti and the leaders of the LA2024 committee seeking to bring Los Angeles its third Olympic Games.  Los Angeles is one of just two cities still holding on to their bids for the games, and the IOC is pondering whether to award both the 2024 and 2028 games at once, to both Los Angeles its rival, Paris, France. Both cities are world capitals. Unlike past hosts like Rio de Janeiro and […]

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Putting the Arts to Work for Homeless Youth in Los Angeles

    Art is more than entertainment or decoration.   Back in March, this photo caused some tepid online outrage in Los Angeles, and spurred another (too brief) examination of the homelessness crisis in the city.   It served as a snapshot of how relatively wealthy millennials were changing some of Los Angeles’ most iconic neighborhoods and ethnic enclaves into playgrounds of twenty-something decadence, literally stepping over homeless residents to snap a selfie in front of a cheeky mural.  When I saw it, I was immediately upset by not only how indifferent […]

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