Study Stack
AFJM Coffee House

Topic: Public Banking Successes in California
and Grassroots Organizing
With David Cobb and Debbie Notkin

Content: Link to recording / Introduction / About the Speakers / The Study Stack / Forthcoming AFJM Coffee Houses

Recording of the March 8 Coffee House is 


The AFJM Communications and Website Committee welcomed David and Debbie to share about their legislative successes as it pertains to Public Banking in California. 

Public Banking is one way to  democratize economic decisions, and the movement is  growing across the country. California is at the cutting edge of this effort. 
AB 857 passed last year, which allows for the creation of 10 local/regional public banks. This legislative session  AB310  is being introduced, which would create a statewide Public Bank for California.

The CA Public Banking Alliance has been the driving force behind this movement. They shared details about public banking generally, and what they have learned in the process of building a grassroots movement and successfully engaging in the legislative process.

About the Speakers
David Cobb
 is a "people's lawyer" who has sued corporate polluters, lobbied elected officials, run for political office himself, and been arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. He ran for Attorney General in Texas, pledging to use the office to revoke the charters of corporations that violate the law. He was the Green Party nominee for President in 2004, and managed the Jill Stein Presidential campaign in 2016. He is active with the CA Public Banking Alliance, and  Cooperation Humboldt.

Debbie Notkin is Chair of the Board of Directors of Public Bank East Bay, and is an active member of Strike Debt Bay Area (SDBA). She was one of two people who led SDBA's successful effort to erase $1.6 million in unpaid medical debt for East Bay residents in 2019, following in the footsteps of the national Rolling Jubilee. She believes that economic justice work is a comparatively clean way for white people to advance racial justice. She was a founding member of science fiction's James Tiptree Jr. Award (now the Otherwise Award) for works of science fiction and fantasy that explore and expand gender, and was deeply involved for many years with WisCon, the world's first feminist science fiction convention. She blogs regularly (yes, still!) on a wide variety of body image and political topics with Laurie Toby Edison here.  

The Study Stack

During the presentation and discussion a few studies and ideas were offered as background information or for further study by both the speakers and participants.This is a list of these items categorized under sources created and mentioned by Debbie and David; and sources mentioned by participants.

This Study Stack will also be available on the AFJM 
Archive of Previous Newsletter and Study Stacks.

Sources mentioned by the Speakers

National Public Banking Alliance. National organization focused on the the climate/social justice approach.

Public Banking Institute. National organization focused on collaborating with conservatives.

CA Public Banking Alliance. Citizen's advocacy group that spearheaded AB 857.

Bank of North Dakota. Only public bank in the Us established in 1919. 

AB 857. California's historic law to allow local/regional public banks.

Public Bank East Bay. Local organization Debbie Notkin works with to create a local Public Bank.

Cooperation Humboldt. Local organization that David Cobb works with to transform a local place.

The Movement School for Revolutionaries. This is a political education and strategic orientation workshop for activists in radical & progressive movements. Facilitated by Mel Figuero and David Cobb. Academic feminist:

Brown, Ellen Hodgson. 2007. 
The Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth about Our Money System and How We Can Break Free. Baton Rouge, LA: Third Millennium Press. (Amazon)

Brown, Ellen Hodgson. 2013. 
The Public Bank Solution: From Austerity to Prosperity. Baton Rouge, LA: The Third Millennium Press. (Amazon 

Brown, Ellen Hodgson. 2019. 
Banking on the People: Democratizing Money in the Digital Age. Washington, DC: Democracy Collaborative. (Amazon)

Academic feminist: Sophie Lewis

Michael Hudson & Jubilee Studies

Hudson, Michael. 2018. …and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year. Dresden, Germany: ISLET Press.

Hudson, Michael & Marc Van De Mieroop (Eds.). 2002. 
Debt and Economic Renewal in the Ancient Near East. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press.

Goodhart, Charles & Hudson, Michael. 2018. "
Could/should jubilee debt cancellations be reintroduced today?" Discussion Paper DP12605. London: Centre for Economic Policy Research.

Hudson, Michael. 1999. “The Economic Roots of the Jubilee". 
Bible Review (15 Feb. 1999): 26-33, 44.

Coffee House December 2019 with Michael Hudson hosted by 
IMMR and co-sponsored by AFJM: Transcript & Study Stack

Sources mentioned by Participants

Web of Debt Book Club organized by AFJM (contact).

Allies & Neighbors. Collection of US web sites and organizations endorsing a) the Credit Creation Theory of Current Banking (or not yet) and/or b) endorsing full Just Money Reform (or not yet).


Stephanie Kelton. The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy.  New York: Hachette. (See also Jeff Eder's review)

Huber, Joseph. 2019. “
Modern Money Theory Revisited: Still the Same False Promise'. Sovereign Money: Website for New Currency Theory and Monetary Reform, March 2019.

AFJM. 2020. "
Triple-column Comparison between Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), the Actual Monetary System, and Sovereign Money Reform (SMR)". Alliance For Just Money, 21 Sept 2020.

AFJM. 2020. "
Requesting Evidence for a Crucial MMT Claim". Alliance For Just Money, 16 August 2020.

Eder, Jeff. 2020. "
The Deficit Myth and Modern Monetary Theory Revised: The Canadian Version". Review of The Deficit Myth by Stephanie Kelton. Progressive Money, Canada.

Post-Coffee House Chat

Wiki entry: Henry George

Dan Sullivan: 
Saving Communities 

Gaffney, Mason. 2013. 
The Mason Gaffney Reader: Essays on Solving the "Unsolvable". New York: Henry George Institute. (Amazon)

Gaffney, Mason & Harrison, Fred. 2007. The Corruption of Economics. London: Shepheard-Walwyn. (Amazon)

Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) 

Brian Czech, President CASSE

Jeff Eder: 
Progressive Money Canada

Court Cases Regarding Monetary Reform:

Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER)

Olson, Thomas L. 2020. "
Law on the Edge: The Credit River Case and the Fixations of Jerome Daly 1960-1990". The Minnesota Legal History Project.

Forthcoming AFJM Coffee Houses:

AFJM Coffee House, Monday, March 22
At 8 pm ET / 7 pm CT via Zoom (Register here)
With Uli Kortsch

Uli Kortsch just published the anthology The Next Money Crash - and a Reconstruction Blueprint. This book lays out an action plan for monetary reform with some room for improvisation. The point of a system redesign is to acknowledge we have a broken monetary system. (order from authorLook inside at Amazon)

AFJM Coffee House, Monday, April 26
At 8 pm ET / 7 pm CT via Zoom
With Dr. Mark Cassell

Dr. Cassell is a professor of Political Science at Kent State University. He is the author of Banking on the State: The Political Economy of Public Savings Banks (Amazon). He will talk about the very functional, decentralized system of German savings banks and the takeaways from Germany’s experience for efforts in the United States.

AFJM Coffee House, Monday, May 24
At 8 pm ET / 7 pm CT via Zoom
With Joe Bongiovanni & Ben Rininger

On Central Bank Digital Cash. Stay tuned for details.

Caveat: The views and opinions expressed in AFJM Coffee Houses are those of the presenters and participants and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Alliance of Just Money. 


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