Yesterday, the Working Families Organization, the Rural Organizing Project, Jobs with Justice, Good Grief America, Real Wealth of Portland, and Supportland, launched a new web resource called Oregon Banks Local.
This coalition researched all of the banks doing business in Oregon and weighed several objectively measurable factors to rate how local the banks and credit unions truly are.
Head on over to the website to see the research, and get all the information you need to start moving your money:
Our campaign for a State Bank in Oregon is still creating buzz throughout the country. Our efforts earned a feature story in the October 2011 edition of “In The Times” magazine. Here’s are some clips from that piece:
“Credit has dried up out there,” says [Jim] Houser, co-chair of one of the state’s small business organizations, The Main Street Alliance. “It is hurting small businesses tremendously.”
“Big banks are not lending in small-town America,” says Barbara Dudley, co-chair of the Oregon Working Families Party. “They are either not lending or lending overseas,” thus slowing economic recovery and job creation.
“We definitely would be able to make more loans” if there were a state bank, community banker Vigesaa says.
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
View Oregonians for a State Bank in a full screen map
Do you support local businesses and family farms? Add your name here!
Last week, the state bank bill almost died in a Senate committee, but made it out alive at the last minute because they heard from over 1,000 of our supporters within a few hours.
State Capitol, Hearing Room 50
900 Court Street Northeast, Salem, OR
Our state bank bill faces its next legislative hurdle tomorrow in the House Rules committee. Can you join us in the capitol? If so, you can RSVP on Facebook.
Don’t just hold Oregon’s legislators accountable after the fact. Having to vote against our interests is harder to do when faced with one Wall Street lobbyist and a room full of our supporters.
If you’re free for a few hours tomorrow, we’d love to have you join us in the capitol to show the legislature that taxpayers want to see their money on Main Street, not just Wall Street.
Great news! We woke up this morning and it looked like our state bank bill could die in committee. However, we sprang into action, and in a matter of just four hours, our supporters wrote 1,007 letters to the committee that will be hearing this bill.
I’m happy to report that an hour ago, with a bi-partisan vote of 4 to 1, the Senate General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection Committee just PASSED the state bank bill.
Our bill now goes to the Senate Revenue Committee for its next test. But before we focus on that, let’s take a moment to thank the folks in Salem who worked so hard to get this done today. Senator Chip Shields and the Legislative Fiscal Office deserve appreciation for working hard, all the way up to the deadline.
Please sign your name to this thank you card, which we will hand deliver to Senator Shields and the Legislative Fiscal Office. Sen. Shields showed real leadership today in shepherding this bill through a difficult process. Though their work often goes unnoticed, the folks in the Legislative Fiscal Office also deserve our respect and thanks–they are swamped right now and they worked right down to the wire to get their report done, which allowed the bill to advance.
Yesterday, we met at the capitol for the Senate committee’s planned vote on SB 889. Unfortunately, due to a last-minute legislative bottleneck, the fiscal report required for the vote didn’t make it on time, and the committee was unable to vote on the entire bill.
But while we didn’t get the vote to advance the bill through committee yesterday, we did score one important victory: we successfully fought Wall Street lobbyists and ensured that the bankers on the State Bank advisory board must represent banks and credit unions with at least 75% of their branches in Oregon.
Why is this important? The brain of the proposed State Bank is its advisory board. We’ve been working hard to ensure it will include a small business owner, a family farmer, and representatives from local community banks and credit unions. However, (no surprise here) the big banks are fighting the idea of restricting the advisory board to local banks. They’ve made several efforts to remove any provision to require local control, but we’ve beat them each time so far.
Ensuring that banks and credit unions on the advisory board have at least 75% of their branches in the state means that when we finally do get our State Bank, Oregonians won’t find board members from Bank of America or J.P. Morgan undermining the state’s best interests. This amendment passed unanimously.
*In the news*
*We’ve gotten some good press lately. Here’s a sampling:* * *
John Sowell, by the Roseburg News-Review:
http://www.nrtoday.com/article/20110418/NEWS/110419801/1063/NEWS&ParentProfile=1055 (* Note: this article shows that the misinformation about the state bank not being constitutional is still out there. We have contacted this reporter to correct his last, incorrect statement in what otherwise was a very good story.)
Blue Oregon, “I Couldn’t Get A Loan For My Small Business, As the Bank Determined I Had No Job”:
We also got short but positive coverage yesterday on OPB when they were in the capitol.
*I’d like to say a big thank you to the advocates who went above and beyond for the campaign by writing letters to the editor this week:*
In the Corvallis Gazette-Times, John W. Ross. In the Salem Statesman-Journal, Dave Andrieu. In the Oregonian, Grant Swanson, from Southeast Portland.
Also, on April 13th, Jared Gardner from Oregonians for a State Bank gave a talk, “Building a Resilient Local Financial System,” at PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions. I can’t tell you how much useful information is packed into this lecture; it’s like taking a crash course in everything that’s been going on in the financial world over the past several years, and why the state bank is so important. Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zI2wqK9jyI
Today, a key State Senate committee will take a critical vote to advance our state bank bill–or to kill it.
We need your help right away. Please sign our petition for a state bank, and we’ll share your signatures with our legislators in Salem. Let’s get to 3,000 today. Click here to sign our petition now.
Senate Committee to vote on state bank proposal (SB 889), State Capitol, Hearing Room B
Rally with MoveOn.org and US Uncut
Bank of America on 390 High St NE at Center in downtown Salem
We’re protesting the fact that Bank of America–which is sitting on billions of dollars in deposits from Oregonians, and has only made two small business loans in Oregon this year–paid no taxes in 2010. Steve Hughes, state director of the Oregon Working Families Party, will be speaking at the rally about our campaign for a state bank to put our money to work in Oregon.
What better time than on Tax Day to let our legislators know that we want our taxes to work for us instead of Wall Street’s interests?
Monday, April 18th
1:00 pm: Senate Hearing on the Ted Wheeler’s “virtual” state bank proposal (SB 889) State Capitol
900 Court Street NE, Salem, OR, Hearing Room B
4:00 pm: Rally with MoveOn.org and US Uncut
Bank of America on 390 High St NE at Center in downtown Salem, OR
This April 18th at 1pm, the Senate Committee on General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection is holding a work session and a vote on SB 889. We need to be in front of the committee and make sure our state Senators are listening to the taxpayers, not Wall Street.
At 4pm, in celebration of Tax Day, we’re meeting at Bank of America in downtown Salem with MoveOn.org and US Uncut to protest the fact that BoA—which is sitting on billions of dollars in deposits from Oregonians, and has only given out two small business loans in Oregon this year—paid no taxes in 2010. Our own Steve Hughes, state director of the Oregon Working Families party, will be speaking at the rally.
If you can, help us deliver a 1-2 punch to Wall Street on Monday, April 18th: first, in the work session; then, we take it to the streets!
If you’re in Portland on Wednesday, check out the lecture at PSU at 5pm, “Building a Resilient Local Financial System,” in the lecture series by the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, by Oregonians for a State Bank’s own Jared Gardner.
The lecture, which takes place at 1914 SW Park Ave. between College and Hall streets, starts at 5pm. More information is available here. Bonus points if you’re an economy wonk: since Gardner is OfSB’s resident financial wonk, this will be a perfect opportunity to ask really specific questions without getting an elbow to the ribs.
If you’re in Roseburg, stop by at Round Table Pizza, 2040 NW Stewart Parkway at 6PM. Oregon Working Families Party State Director Steve Hughes and Main Street Alliance Coalition Coordinator Dan Lombardi will be delighting, entertaining, and possibly eating pizza.
Both events are free and open to the public.
Thanks so much to everyone who came out on March 30th in support of the Oregon State Bank! People from all over the state–from Union to Roseburg–came out in support of bringing our money home to increase lending to small businesses and family farmers.
To the right, you can see some of our 100+ supporters packing the room during the Senate Hearing, wearing neon green stickers reading “Invest in Oregon, Not Wall Street.”
Here’s some of the testimony we heard:
Andrea Malmberg, a cattle rancher from Union, OR stated that she’s having trouble expanding because, despite her profitable ranch and consulting businesses, Big Banks claim that she has no job.
Mahlon Vigesaa, president and CEO of Centerpointe Community Bank, told us about the small businesses he wants to help, but can’t.
Sarah Brown, owner of Diggin’ Roots Farm, said that although she and her husband qualified for sizable mortgages and loans, the second they mentioned the word farm, the banks changed their tune.
Jose Gonzalez, president of Tu Casa Realty in Salem, told the legislators how the credit crunch is affecting the ability of small businesses he knows to expand and create more jobs across the state.
Even a former hedge fund manager, Bobby Schultz, testified how much this is needed in the state.
It was also great to see the media take notice!
- In the Eugene Register-Guard: “Bills to create state finance board come into limelight. Proponents say it would stimulate economic recovery by unlocking state financing for Oregon businesses.”
- Also in the Eugene Register-Guard, a great Op-Ed by one of our supporters, Scott Frost: “An Oregon state bank is the answer for struggling farmers.”
- The Salem Statesman Journal published “Legislature hears two bills that would alter lending”
- And the Associated Press ran an article, “Ore. ponders investing state funds in local firms,” that appeared in Forbes, Bloomberg Business Week, Yahoo! Finance, and papers around the state
Rep. Phil Barnhart, sponsor of HB 3452, speaks to state bank supporters before the hearing.
Thanks for such a great day, everyone! If you’d like to see more photos from the day or add your own the the pool, please visit our new Flickr group.
Don’t forget: this week, we’re holding forums in Roseburg, and Bend. Please visit http://oregoniansforastatebank.org/take-action/ for more information.
Calling everyone in Corvallis who cares about Oregon’s economy!
Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 29th, we’re holding a potluck/public forum at the CoHo Ecovillage Common House, starting at 6 PM.
Speakers will include:
-the esteemed Steve Hughes, the state Director of the Oregon Working Families Party
-the venerable Rebecca Landis, the director of Corvallis-Albany Farmers’ Markets, and the newly elected president of the Oregon Farmers’ Markets Association
-the hallowed Dan Lombardi, Coalition Coordinator of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon
6 – 7 PM Potluck (Vegetarian, no peanuts due to allergies, please)
7 – 8:30 PM Public Forum
CoHo Ecovillage Common House, 1975 SE Crystal Lake Dr., Corvallis. Use CoHo parking lot or Alexander St.
Read more about it in the Gazette-Times, here.
Peter Erskine, 310-663-4442, firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to stand up for community banks, small businesses, and family farmers at the House and Senate hearings on March 30th (RSVP here), but wouldn’t mind sharing a ride? Oregonians for a State Bank is organizing statewide carpools to Salem. If you need a ride, make sure to call the carpool captain.
9:30 AM (CORRECTED TIME)
Costco Parking lot, south of the gas pumps
Carpool Captain: Sterling Rand 541-935-7654
Meet at the SW corner of the Lloyd Center Regal Cinemas parking lot
Carpool Captain: Dave King, 503-816-8312
Tigard/Lake Oswego/West Portland
Safeway/Dick’s parking lot
17799 Lower Boones Ferry Road, Lake Oswego
Carpool Captain: Ray Kenny, 503-209-3457
CoHo Eco Village parking lot
1975 SE Crystal Lake Dr., Corvallis
Carpool Captain: Peter Erskine, 310-663-4442
Carpool Captain: Shirley Burke, 503-630-7815
Meet at the Food for Less parking lot on Biddle Road
Carpool Captain: Rich Rhode, 541-772-4029
If you’re driving:
Parking is available on the street around the capitol and you have to pay to park. There are two ways to pay:
1) Plug the meter with change–note these are the “old school” meters that only take change (no cash, debit, or credit cards accepted!) Meters are available for the whole day.
2) You can also buy a day-long pass for $6 in the capitol basement at in the basement of the Capitol, in Room 49. This pass will allow you to park at any metered spot, except those metered for 1 hour or less.
Earlier this week, we learned that our big day just got A LOT bigger. We have a hearing in the House Rules committee for Ted Wheeler’s “virtual” state bank proposal, scheduled for the SAME DAY as the hearing in the Senate. We have the opportunity to show the Senate, the House, and the lobbyists representing the Wall Street banks that we mean business.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30th
11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Pre-hearing briefing, State Capitol, Conference Room 350
Find out what to expect in the hearing, where the bill stands, and what we plan to do to mobilize support for–and counteract big bank opposition to–the bill.
1pm: Senate Hearing on the Ted Wheeler’s “virtual” state bank proposal (SB 889)
State Capitol, Hearing Room B
We need to PACK the room! We will have expert testimony lined up to discuss the proposal and to represent Oregon’s community advocates, small businesses, and family farmers.
3pm: House Hearing on the Ted Wheeler’s “virtual” state bank proposal (HB 3452)
State Capitol, Hearing Room 50
We need to pack the room for this one, too!
5:30 – 7:30 pm: Social Gathering and De-brief
The Ram Restaurant and Brewery
(515 12th Street, Salem)
This will be an informal gathering hosted by the Mid-Valley chapter of the Working Families Party. Everyone is welcome!
Last week, State Treasurer publicly announced his support for the Oregon State Bank. He appeared on the radio, wrote an op-ed in The Oregonian, and convened a meeting of elected leaders in his office to discuss the proposal.
Oregonians for a State Bank has now held two successful forums about the State Bank proposal that will be taken up by the 2011 legislature. There are more to come.
Large crowds packed the room in both Medford and Portland to hear speakers talk about the credit crisis facing small business owners and family farmers across the state. There were many questions from the audience and the interest in this idea was palpable. Both events were hosted by the Oregon Working Families Party, the Mainstreet Alliance of Oregon, and Oregon Action, all of whom are members of the Oregonians for a State Bank coalition.
Speakers at the forums included:
Steve Hughes – Oregon Working Families Party
Dan Lombardi – Main Street Alliance of Oregon
Nancy Koerber – Good Grief America
Jeff Golden – County Commission candidate
Barbara Dudley – Oregon Working Families Party
Jim Houser – Owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic, Main Street Alliance of Oregon
Teresa Retzlaff – Owner 46 North Farm, Friends of Family Farmers
Rep. Jefferson Smith – Oregon House of Representatives, District 47
This coming Tuesday, February 1st at 5:30 PM, you are invited to a public forum about the Oregon State Bank.
A proposal to create the State Bank will be heard in the 2011 legislature—come to the event to find out what you can do to get involved in this exciting campaign.
Right now the State of Oregon deposits billions of our tax dollars into the same Wall Street Banks that crashed our economy. We believe that money could be brought home to create jobs here. By partnering with community banks, the Oregon State Bank will get credit flowing once again to Oregon’s small business owners and farmers.
Barbara Dudley – Co-Chair of the Oregon Working Families Party
Jim Houser – Co-owner of the Hawthorne Auto Clinic, and co-chair of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon
Teresa Retzlaff – Farmer at 46 North Farm in Astoria, and member of Friends of Family Farmers
State Representative Jefferson Smith – (D-Portland, District 47)
about the Oregon State Bank
Tuesday, Feb. 1st
5:30 – 6 pm Reception
6 – 8 pm Public Forum
At the New Song Community Church
(2511 NE MLK Blvd, Portland)
Help spread the word:
If you are on Facebook you can RSVP to this event. This will help spread the word to others!
New Song Community Church is located at the corner of MLK and NE Russel St. Parking is available behind the church. Note that it may be easier to access the parking lot from Sacramento street (one block South of Russel St.)
For a map of the site which shows the venue and parking lots go here.
AFSCME Council 75
Alliance for Democracy
Code Pink Portland Chapter
Communication Workers of America Local 7901
Economic Justice Action Group of the First Unitarian Church
Jobs with Justice
Laborers Local 483
National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 82
National Lawyers Guild Portland Chapter
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
Oregon Renewable Energy Policy
PSU Faculty Association, AFT 3571
Real Wealth of Portland
The Northwest Alliance for Alternative Media & Education
UFCW Local 555
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom
The Main Street Alliance just released a report summarizing the results of their survey of 116 small business owners from 28 Oregon communities. Here’s what they found:
– 67% of the small businesses reported problems with access to credit that resulted in delays or cancellation of expansion plans.
-75% of the business owners support the proposal to create the Oregon State Bank.
Read the news coverage:
The Statesman Journal: “State bank sought as antidote to credit woes”
The Oregonian: “Small business owners back state bank, survey says”
Read the report here.
…As organizers of Move Your Money investigated ways individuals could assert financial independence, they began to wonder how to get credit flowing for small businesses in the state and established Oregonians for a State Bank, said Barbara Dudley, co-chair of Oregon Working Families Party.
Under this plan, the Oregon State Bank would be a ‘bankers bank” that would buy loans from community banks and increase credit for small businesses. A state bank would use the state’s tax revenue for its depository base, rather than depositing that revenue outside the state in major banks responsible for so much of the financial crisis.
North Dakota has operated a state bank for over 90 years.
Dan Leahy, a former professor at Evergreen State College, issued an independent report titled “Introduction to Oregon’s Banking System” on Nov. 22. According to Leahy’s report, five banks dominate deposits in Oregon.
“As of June 2010,” Leahy wrote in his report, “(the state of) Oregon placed 61 percent of all its bank deposits in five banks: U.S. Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Key Bank. (The city of) Portland puts 83.37 percent in these same five banks.”
“This is our own money,” Leahy said. “Where does that money go? That money shouldn’t be going to these big banks. There’s no reason why that money shouldn’t be the depository base of a state bank.”
In a state-bank model, profit would return to the state. Barbara Dudley argues that lending could be restored to a circle of accountability….
By Ivend Holen
On November 15, Southern Oregon Action, a member of the Oregonians for a State Bank coalition, held a community forum entitled “Think Strategically – Act Locally.” Nearly 60 people attended the event held at the Medford library.
Beverly DeLeonardis, Board Chair of Medford Oregon Action, welcomed the large and lively audience, and provided an outline of the evening’s agenda, which she said was to invite the participants to help shape and empower local social action efforts. She introduced Representative Peter Buckley of Oregon’s Fifth Legislative District. Representative Buckley spoke and took questions from the audience.
Beverly then announced that the audience was invited to join one of several tables around the room in which the participants would be briefed about a particular subject, and then asked as a group to bring back to the larger audience a strategy to help bring about further actions to advance these local efforts. The state bank was discussed in one of the groups led by Nancy Koerber and myself.
The proposed legislation to create an Oregon State Bank is modeled after the Bank of North Dakota, currently the only state with a publicly owned bank in the country.
Under the state bank proposal, the State of Oregon would move part of its short term fund deposits out of the Wall Street banks we currently deposit them into, and instead deposit them into our own publicly owned bank. In other words, the state would move a portion of its liquid cash–the cash it has to have on hand to pay the bills month to month–into an institution that we control and that is accountable to the citizens of Oregon.
Nancie Koerber illustrated to the group, using a cartoon depiction of a toilet bowl, how the Wall Street banks, mortgage companies, the federal reserve and other financial entities were largely responsible for the current financial debacle in the mortgage business, flushing away the life savings, and ruining the lives, of millions of people through unjust and illegal home foreclosures. They deliberately impoverished the middle class to transfer yet more riches to the richest and most powerful people in the country. She concluded by stating that Oregon desperately needs a State Bank to help reform this terrible injustice.
This particular session concluded with the group being asked to come up with solid proposals to help bring about an Oregon State Bank. Among the proposals was one to ask interested citizens, including local bankers to come to the next meeting of a local State Bank support group on November 29 at the Woolworth Building conference room at 7 PM. Another was to continue encouraging all Oregonians to move their money out of Wall Street banks and into local financial institutions.
National Public Radio’s “Marketplace” program does a story on community banks, and highlights our efforts in Oregon to create a state bank aimed at supporting community banks.
“Oregonians for a State Bank is developing allies across the political spectrum who want to strengthen their local economy.”
Check it out!
Welcome to Oregonians for a State Bank’s new website. It’s still a work in progress, but please do check back regularly for updates and ongoing information about our legislative campaign to break our State’s dependency on Wall Street by creating the Oregon State Bank.