The Arizona Public Banking Coalition is an outgrowth of the efforts of the Economic and Social Justice Issue Organizing Team of the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Tucson Chapter.
2011: PDA Tucson held meetings on growing a local economy and public banking and began reviewing model legislation to create a public bank in Arizona.
2012: PDA members supported a public banking bill, introduced by Republican Rep. John Filmore. PDA members testified in favor of the bill when it was in committee.
2013: Beginning in 2012 and continuing forward, PDA Tucson Chair and former State Senator Phil Lopes and head of PDA Tucson’s Economic and Social Justice Team James P. Hannley began meeting with elected officials in the Tucson city government about establishment of a city-based public bank and about moving some rainy day funds to a community bank. They also talked with state legislators and a member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors regarding public banking. Throughout 2013, Hannley promoted public banking through speaking engagements at Sustainable Tucson, Democrats of Greater Tucson, Drinking Liberally Tucson, and Drinking Liberally Tempe. In the same time frame, Pamela Powers Hannley published articles about public banking and urged public officials to think creatively about economic development.
2013: March: The Tucson City Council passed a resolution to put a percentage of the city’s funds into a community bank for local investment.
2013: July: Alliance Bank of Arizona was chosen to administer/lend $5 million of city funds through the Community Banking Program.
2013: November: Due to their efforts, the Public Banking Institute (PBI) appointed the Hannleys as co-chairs of the Arizona Public Banking Coalition in late 2013.
2014: January: A group of Democrats led by then Rep. Andrea Dalessandro introduced a bill in the Arizona Legislature to create a task force to study the feasibility of an Arizona public bank. Ten Democrats signed on as sponsors.
2014: January: The Arizona Public Banking Coalition website and Facebook page went live.
2014: April: The coalition began working with the justice ministry of the Mountain Vista Unitarian Universalist Church. Mountain Vista UUs are interested in economic strategies that will make our financial system more equitable. We look forward to working with the UUs and other groups that want economic fairness and sustainable growth that helps people at all levels of our society.
Also in April, Alliance Bank of Arizona President Duane Froeschle reported back to the City Council regarding the success of the Community Banking Program. He described how his bank used $5 million in city funds to lend $9 million to local businesses, including everything from $2.9 million for a medical services tech start-up from the University of Arizona to $18,000 to a women-owned sign company. In all, 16 loans were made in the first seven months of the program. Due to its success, the city increased the funding to $10 million.
2014: August: @AZPublicBank Twitter account was created.
2014: September: The Arizona Public Banking Coalition participated in Banking on New Mexico, a public banking conference sponsored by WeArePeopleHere, a grassroots group of Santa Fe citizens who are working on a public bank for the city of Santa Fe. The meeting allowed Arizona leaders to network and share strategies with PBI leaders and state-based activists from around the country.
2014: October: The Arizona Corporation Commission granted Arizonans for a New Economy non-profit status.
2014: December: Sustainable Tucson hosted a public banking forum. Arizonans for a New Economy presented Top 10 Ways Public Banking Can Boost Arizona’s Economy and Public Banking: Is It Time for Arizona to Move Its Money? Former Arizona State Senate Minority Leader and PDA Tucson Coordinator Phil Lopes talked about how to propose and pass public banking in the Legislature. City of Tucson Finance Director Sylvia Amparano talked about bonds and other city finances.
Arizonans for a New Economy Co-Directors Jim Hannley and Pamela Powers Hannley and Rev. Ron Phares of Mountain Vista Unitarian Universalist Church had ongoing conversations with State Senators David Farnsworth, Steve Farley, Andrea Dalessandro and their respective staffs about public banking legislation in the upcoming 2015 session. The three advocates also met in person with Republican Senator Farnsworth and found much common ground regarding public banking, the need for cheaper credit and debt relief, the health of community banks, helping Main Street Arizona, and a general distrust of Wall Street. We discussed incremental steps that could work toward the creation of a public bank in Arizona.
2015: January: Arizonans for a New Economy’s co-directors presented a three-part public banking forum at Mountain Vista Unitarian Universalist Church in Northwest Tucson. It had much the same format at the December forum but better lighting; check out the videos here and here. State Senator Steve Farley was a special guest. He talked about his “passion for public banking” and his early experience as a small businessman.
2015: February: Jim Hannley did a public banking presentation for the City of Tucson’s Independent Audit and Performance Commission (IAPC) and suggested that they form a task force to study feasibility of a municipal public bank. Although the IAPC decided not to form a task force, they were supportive and expressed an interested in staying abreast of local public banking efforts.
Arizonans for a New Economy reached out to three community banks, Alliance Bank, the Bank of Tucson, and Canyon Community Bank, in an attempt to explain public banking and how it strengthens community banks and boosts the economy. We are looking for community bank partners and encourage our supporters to help us spread the word.
2015: March: Jim and Pam Hannley did a public banking presentation at the Green Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Amado.
2015: April: The Hannleys, along with public banking supporters, met with the Board of Directors of the Arizona Bankers Association. Pamela Powers Hannley presented The Tale of Two States, which compares banking in Arizona with banking in North Dakota
2015: May: The Hannleys met with public banking advocates in the Rhode Island state government.
The Hannleys met with Public Banking Institute Board Chair Walt McRee and New Jersey public banking director Joan Bartl in Princton, NJ.
Pamela Powers Hannley was nominated to the Public Banking Institute Board of Directors.
YouTube: Arizonans for a New Economy