Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove Statement on AB 857 – Public Banks

Friday, September 13, 2019

SACRAMENTO – (September 13, 2019) – California Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles) today abstained from voting on AB 857, a law crafted in the hopes of providing for the establishment of a local public bank by a local agency.

“While I am supportive of the establishment of a community public bank, I have concerns about the lack of parameters that would apply to a local agency,” said Kamlager-Dove. “I also have concerns about the lack of equity provisions in the bill. I do not believe that AB 857 will lead to the creation of a truly public bank. Rather, I believe the bill will act as a depository for local agencies to hold their money, while bypassing traditional banking systems. AB 857 will allow entities full discretion in determining which individuals may open an account and who may be appointed to the board of directors. The bill provides no assurance that marginalized communities will have an opportunity to open the type of bank outlined in the bill. Additionally, AB 857 is silent on whether employees of the bank will be classified as public employees. Together these missing provisions will negatively impact communities historically affected by inequity. I admire the intentions of the author, and I share his hopes in what the establishment of a public bank will achieve. However, at the end of the day, hope is not a bill.”

CONTACT: Balkis Awan, Balkis.Awan@asm.ca.gov or 916-319-2054

Assembly District 54 consists of Baldwin Hills, Cheviot Hills, the Crenshaw District, Century City, Culver City, Ladera Heights, Mar Vista, Palms, Rancho Park, Westwood and parts of South Los Angeles and Inglewood