Portland Public Banking Alliance is moving forward with a dual focused plan to advance creation of a Portland (OR) municipal public bank while at the same time beginning the process for a state-wide initiative campaign to amend the state constitution to allow formation of a state public bank.
Language in the Oregon state constitution has been interpreted to prohibit such a bank. We are working on the initiative language now with a view to getting this on the ballot in November 2022.
In the city of Portland we have identified several candidates running for Mayor and City Council positions who support a municipal bank formation. Happily those candidates are in a strong position to join the council next year to give us a majority of council members, and a likely strong partner voice in the Oregon legislature.
Organizing at the state level continues as we need to change state law to facilitate municipal bank formation. While the state constitution is said to prohibit a state public bank, no such language exists regarding municipal bank formation. But a couple of changes need to be made to state law to ease the path to achieving that goal. We continue our outreach to current members of the Oregon legislature as well as candidates running for those positions. And we will reintroduce the Municipal Banks Bill in the new legislative session.