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Countdown to the 2013 Public Banking Conference: Funding the New Economy


The second annual Public Banking Conference, held at Dominican University in San Rafael, California and co-sponsored by Dominican’s Green MBA program, begins this Sunday, June 2, at 1PM Pacific Time, when Web of Debt author Ellen Brown welcomes conference participants and Move to Amend national spokesperson David Cobb delivers the conference’s keynote speech. A series of presentations will follow, including an address at 4PM by Tikkun editor Rabbi Michael Lerner on the Debt Jubilee.

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Sunday evening will culminate with a 7PM discussion featuring political economist and author Gar Alperovitz, Iceland Parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Ellen Brown, and journalist Matt Taibbi; doors to this event open at 6PM.  The discussion, “Funding the New Economy,” will set the thematic tone for the conference, which currently has nearly 600 registered participants.

Through the Community Media Center of Marin, each presentation at the conference will be webcast, with interviews and commentary taking place between events. Those wishing to catch events, interviews and commentary can watch through the Community Center of Marin’s web site, or through Public Banking Institute’s live stream site. Sunday night’s panel discussion with Taibbi, Brown, Alperovitz and  Jónsdóttir will be pay-streamed for five dollars; the rest of the conference will be free-streamed.

Alperovitz begins the Monday portion of the conference with another address on Public Banking and the New Economy. Later that day, Jónsdóttir will speak on the Icelandic model of “peaceful revolution” concerning that country’s treatment of corrupt bankers, while Jim Costanzo offers an historical perspective on the Bank of North Dakota and Hurricane Sandy.  Also noteworthy on Monday is a panel of elected officials and candidates discussing the promise of public banks, including California Greens Laura Wells, Pam Hartwell and Dan Hamburg, as well as Toronto City Counsellor Kristyn Wong-Tam and San Francisco Retirement Board Trustee Herb Meiberger.  That night at 7PM, Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers, Arthur Stamoulis, David Brodwin, and Georgia Kelly will discuss the ominous Trans-Pacific Partnership and the threat it poses to sustainability, labor, sovereignty, and public banking.

Tuesday is full of roadmap discussions–from designing public banks to activism for economic democracy–and will culminate in what is sure to be an important series of meetings for local chapters and affiliates of the public banking movement, by municipality, county and state, led by PBI Executive Director Marc Armstrong, Ellen Brown, Jack Wagner, and Steve Seuser.

With attendees ranging from Tikkun’s Rabbi Michael Lerner to Sharable’s Neal Gorenflo,  several leading Occupy activists, and leaders from dozens of grassroots organizations, the 2013 PBI conference has the potential to be an important meeting of minds, commitments, and plans of action towards economic justice. Tickets to Sunday night’s event, and the conference in general, are available online through tomorrow  (Saturday, May 31) and at the door during the conference.  And for those not able to make it to Northern California, the webcasted program is worth watching.

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About Matt J. Stannard

Policy Director for Commonomics USA, longtime writer, speaker, and legal & policy consultant on economic justice and public deliberation.