Public Bank Advocate Jumps in San Jose’s D6 City Council Race

Green Party candidate Jake Tonkel, who joined Andrew Boone in challenging incumbent Dev Davis for the San Jose’s District 6 City Council seat, aims to make public banking a part of his platform in the 2020 election.

As a member of South Bay Progressive Alliance’s public banking action team, Tonkel, a 28-year-old biomedical engineer, is a vocal proponent to establish a city-run financial institution to mitigate the housing crisis, spur investment in clean energy and support small private lenders. “Credit unions or nonprofit community banks are more likely to provide safe investment opportunities,” Tonkel says.

Tonkel’s vision for public banking in San Jose rests heavily on the fate of Assembly Bill 857, which would allow cities and counties to establish their own regional depositories for the first time in California history. The San Jose City Council and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors have both come out in support of the bill.

Tonkel admits that establishing a public bank is an uphill battle. But he says recent examples of city programs underscore the promise of the idea, and the potential for partnering with local credit unions and community banks to make it happen.

During the federal government shutdown earlier this year, for example, the city offered short-term loans for 500 furloughed air traffic controllers at Mineta San Jose International Airport. Technology Credit Union administered loans totaling $10 million in all from the city’s general fund.

Tonkel imagines the city extending similar help for affordable housing or sustainability measures. “We will get the return on our interest and do the moral thing: take care of our neighbors and our community,” he says.

Boone, a fellow progressive in the race, plans to focus his campaign on improving public transportation and raising the minimum wage. Davis, who is out of town and unavailable for comment, has previously said that she welcomes the competition.

13 Comments

  1. > Public Bank Advocate Jumps in San Jose’s D6 City Council Race

    > Green Party candidate Jake Tonkel, . . . aims to make public banking a part of his platform in the 2020 election.

    The politicians and bureaucrats in charge of the bank will be honest, ethical, and competent. Right?

    There won’t be any nepotism or insider dealing or sweetheart loans. Right?

    OK. I’m in.

    • It has been incontrovertibly demonstrated that commercial, for-profit financial institutions are not honest, not ethical, and only competent in being greedy, so much so that the economy collapses. See: 2008.

      I am all for a different approach. Credit unions are a great way to avoid the greedy banksters that prey on the population, and a city-run financial alternative could also prove effective.

      Again, we *know* that the corporate banks have no scruples. Time for something new.

      • > There won’t be any nepotism or insider dealing or sweetheart loans. Right?

        SCCRezzy:

        Just to make sure that everything is above board, you’re not related to or friends with any of the public officials or administrators who will be setting up and operating the bank. Correct?

        You don’t belong to the same country club, or health spa, political party, identity politics group, or political activist group as any of the the people who will be running the local public bank. Correct?

        Just checking.

  2. > Boone, a fellow progressive in the race, plans to focus his campaign on improving public transportation and lowering the minimum wage.

    PROGRESSIVE? !

    LOWERING THE MINIMUM WAGE? !

    DOES NOT COMPUTE ! ! !

  3. This story should be called how to drain public assets 101.
    “LOL”
    I’d just as soon arm a 4 year old with a 44 mag and a box of cop killer ammo.

  4. A sj run bank isn’t a bad idea in one context, pot clubs. Maybe if they offered armored truck services too, it could be a decent chunk of change for San Jose.

    • Not a bad idea, but I guess the way banking laws work, it could have no connection to the rest of the banking world, which can’t touch cannabis businesses due to the stoopid federal Schedule 1 designation that some old farts still hang on to.

      • > due to the stoopid federal Schedule 1 designation that some old farts still hang on to.

        SCCREZZY:

        The old farts are just trying to save the children from themselves:

        1. Don’t play in the street;
        2. Don’t run with a scissors;
        3. Don’t use behavior altering drugs produced and distributed by illiterate stooges working for money grubbing criminal gangs.

  5. Focus on homeless and crime. Willow Glen needs a replacement for the current unqualified occupant of the D6 seat.A middle of the road politician can win this with 3 liberals including Davis in the running.

  6. > Tonkel, a 28-year-old biomedical engineer, is a vocal proponent to establish a city-run financial institution to mitigate the housing crisis, spur investment in clean energy and support small private lenders.

    “spur investment” seems to mean “lend money to crackpot schemes that no one would put their own money into”:.

    Why do “progressives” have to go through the charade of setting up a private bank to lend money to non-credit worthy gifters who are going to default on the loans?

    A REAL “progressive” would just take the tax money and give it to the grifters. Why bother with useless bureaucracy?

  7. Why am I not surprised that Dev Davis is out of town. She’s not from here she doesn’t care about here so why does she need to be here.. She’s just collecting the “Google” checks like the rest of the city council crooks. Anyone is better then her at this point.

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