Earth Day is a call to action. We can celebrate it in many ways, from gardening to cleaning up your neighborhood. But I hold the New York City Council responsible for structural changes, to take the collective action beyond the scope of any individual or block association.
That is why I am extremely proud that the New York City Council voted today to support a Public Bank here. We have the opportunity to create a financial institution accountable to the people and representing our values. Our City can insure funding for community-owned renewable energy. We can make sure environmentally-sound construction gets the financing it needs. At the same time, we can address social justice issues, making sure low-income communities get banking, increase capital for minority- and women-owned businesses, and so much more.
Environmental justice must be connected to social justice. And just policies are at the same time financially sound policies. We have over one hundred years of proof of concept of public banking with the Bank of North Dakota. This bank has weathered numerous downturns and crises. Around the world, there are about 600 public banks. We can create one here.
As individuals, let’s reduce, reuse and recycle. And as a City, let’s think big and establish a public bank.
Happy Earth Day.