City Council Passes Socially Responsible Banking Legislation


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LicataThe City Council today passed legislation I sponsored to incorporate principles of social responsibility into Seattle’s banking practices. The press release is copied below.

I wrote about this in more detail in  UP 329, and in a July blog post. You can see my comments at the July 17 committee meeting where this was discussed here.

Councilmember Nick Licata

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 12, 2013

Council votes in favor of socially-responsible banking practices

 SEATTLE – City Council unanimously adopted legislation today to incorporate social responsibility principles into Seattle’s banking practices.  The bill directs the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) to include socially-responsible banking practices when selecting vendors for depository services. It further establishes that socially-responsible banking performance be a factor worth at least 15% of the total point value in determining the winning bid.

The bill’s sponsor, Councilmember Nick Licata, said “Today, Seattle joins cities such as Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles in establishing socially-responsible banking practices.  Through this legislation, more of our public’s money will be re-invested back into our city’s neighborhoods. ”

The ordinance establishes socially-responsible banking bid criteria that include community involvement and reinvestment; meeting community banking needs; supporting small business lending and community development; providing for home ownership and consumer credit; assisting distressed homeowners; and allowing for products and services that are advantageous for the City and its residents.  In addition, the ordinance triggers a reporting requirement specific to residential lending, small business lending, community development loans and investing and consumer loan data.  This includes reporting on modifications of distressed loans, small business loans by zip code and loans for women and minority-owned businesses citywide.

The legislation is the result of collaboration with the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) and the Mayor’s office. Council Resolution 31337 included a commitment to review the City’s banking practices, and to consider future legislation to promote responsible banking. After passage, FAS carried out a pilot project to incorporate social responsibility principles into its request for depository banking services. The legislation was drafted after reviewing the successes of the pilot project.

“State law limits what the City can do regarding banking, and makes it challenging for Seattle to do business with a small bank or credit union for city banking services,” said Licata.  “Socially-responsible banking principles allow us to address community needs, while meeting state law.”

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Comment from jd
Time August 12, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Socially responsible banking is what created the current mess. Too many rules. Small credit unions are harder on new accounts than a big bank. The question to ask is what does a “paycheck to paycheck” person need from a bank or a credit union? And how can the government assist in that. Obviously low fees, low late charges, the ability to get a loan even if comcast has flagged your credit at one time. What would help most is to give an advantage to one size fits all ATM’s. No out of network fees beyond a few pennies.

Comment from Business Taxation Services
Time October 30, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Over the past several years there have been many debates on whether or not marijuana should become legal. In the “Marijuana’s new high life” it talks about how marijuana has become so mainstream through TV shows such as; “Weeds, “True Blood” including but still not limited to “Desperate Housewives” and well as movies for example “Pineapple Express.” These movies and shows are making it more socially acceptable, but making scenes with marijuana comical. Last June in Los Angeles 25,000 people attended the THC convention which threw thousands of dollars into the local economy, and there are already plans for another next year. While marijuana is still illegal it seems as if it weren’t with joints being passed around in fashion-insider parties, and smoke coming from restaurant patios and cars along with the smell pouring off people walking around.
Twenty years ago the thought of smoking marijuana was unjustifiable; in 1987 Ronald Regan nominated Douglass H. Ginsburg to replace the Supreme Court justice, during questioning the subject of marijuana was brought up and publically embarrassed Ginsburg. In 2009 it seems as though President Obama is part to blame in making marijuana more socially acceptable buy the public. Janice Hann, a Los Angeles council woman suggested that people need to invent new ways of raising funds for marijuana, after people in Oakland approved an increase of tax on medicinal marijuana.
Marijuana is being accepted more and more as the years go by, because of television programs and movies. Last year at Farmers Market on 3rd street and Fairfax Ave. “Pineapple Express” used a billboard which puffed out fake marijuana smoke into the air for an advertisement, hundreds of people were able to see the billboard and where subconsciously implanted with the idea that marijuana use is ok. Cheech and Chong which was a 70’s stoner-slacker comedy and widely known throughout the nation is making a comeback by form of animation. Season 5 of the TV show “Weeds” promoted the new season by putting billboards up throughout busy Los Angeles city , and covering public bus’ with posters. Robert Thompson, a professor of television and pop culture, believes that producers scriptwriters and directors of movies and shows must have marijuana users at one point in their life or might still be and that’ s why it is not surprising to see the use of marijuana come up in so many television shows and movies. Texas Representative has come out to say he supports lowering the punishment for possession of marijuana.
Using and possessing marijuana is still illegal nationwide unless it is used for medical purposes, under Federal Law it’s classified with LSD and the punishment can be a year in prison and a $1000 fine. In 2007 872,721 arrests were made in the United State for possession. The THC expo held last June brought in $400,000, and another one is being planned for April vendors said they don’t make that much for regular events. Richard Laermer, media pop culture trend watcher, says that the possibility of marijuana being out there is the baby boomers are continuing to party all way the into their golden years.
While the use of marijuana is illegal, it is becoming more socially acceptable by the general public through the media and watching our favorite actors smoke and talk about marijuana on the big screen. It seems as though the nation is becoming less and less strict about punishment for the use of marijuana. Before we know it, the government will pass a law and find a way to make it legal for everyone without offending those of us who disapprove using a drug as a form of entertainment and social activity.

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