It’s been over two years since the economic collapse on Wall Street that brought our economy to its knees. But in Oregon, the jobs that disappeared haven’t come back, and responsible small businesses and family farms can’t get the loans they need to create jobs, and to grow and to invest in Oregon.
Rural areas have been hit particularly hard with high rates of unemployment, diminished public services, and less access to lending.
We bailed out Wall Street, now why aren’t they doing their part to get Oregon’s economy back on track? We need a bank that is accountable to the citizens of Oregon not Wall Street executives.
We believe that the Oregon State Bank can play a large role in creating a more resilient local economy and getting credit flowing to small business and farmers.
– Jared Gardner, Co-Chair of Oregonians for a State Bank
A new State Bank of Oregon will leverage billions of dollars and put that money to work for us, investing in our local economy rather than in out-of-state banks gambling on Wall Street (which is where much of our state funds are currently invested).
By partnering with community banks, an Oregon State Bank would make loans to create jobs, support family farms and ranches, and help rebuild our state’s economy.
The big banks’ loyalty is to Wall Street. We need a bank that works for us.
Right now the Oregon State Legislature is considering bills that will form the basis of a State Bank of Oregon and give us a way to put our money to work for us, benefiting small business, local farmers and ranchers, and the communities we live in. Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler has already announced his support, as have both Republicans and Democrats in the State Legislature.
With a couple key differences an Oregon State Bank will be patterned on the successful model of the State Bank of North Dakota that has served North Dakotans well for almost a hundred years. Watch this 5 minute YouTube video to learn more about the benefits a state bank has brought to North Dakota…
The bills that the Oregon House and Senate are considering – HB 3452 and SB 889, respectively – will have a public hearing on March 30th and their differences reconciled into one common bill. From there, if Legislators hear enough public interest, work sessions will be scheduled to shape the bill and move it forward.
We need your help to build support for a State Bank of Oregon and our Legislators need to hear from you.
How You Can Help
- Sign our online petition at Change.org.
- Attend the public hearings on March 30th in Salem or call your Legislators that day to urge their support.
- Share this page with your friends and contacts using the Facebook “Share” button below or the “Email this page” link at the bottom of a page. We need to get as many people as possible excited about this effort.
- Join Oregon Rural Action or make a donation to this campaign. Your support helps us to build momentum around this effort and our other work to create strong rural communities in Oregon.Join us!
- Do you have stories about how you’ve faced difficulties getting financing for your business, farm or ranch? Share those stories and why you think an Oregon State Bank would help in either the comments section below or on our Facebook page.
- Check our Take Action page for other opportunities to make a difference in getting a State Bank of Oregon and helping put our money to work for us.
UPDATE April 20, 2011:
Thanks to your calls and petition signatures in concert with the broader Oregonians for a State Bank coalition, we’ve won a couple key victories in this campaign. First, although the Senate committee was not able to vote on the bill on Tuesday, we secured an important guarantee that any bankers on the State Bank advisory board must represent banks and credit unions with at least 75% of their branches in Oregon – as opposed to Wall Street-focused banks.
Then, today the potential for the bill dying in committee was a real possibility. But our coalition sprang into action sending messages to Senator Shields asking him to use his position as Chair of the Senate Committee on General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection to guide the bill through. 1,007 messages later and the committee passed the bill on a bi-partisan 4 to 1 vote!
Now, as the bill heads to the Senate Revenue Committee and we wait for the chance to take further action, you can tie a nice bow on this by adding your name to a thank you letter that will be hand delivered to Senator Shields and the Legislative Fiscal Office.
Media Coverage and Research
- Yes! Magazine, “7 Ways to Transform Banking” (November 11, 2011)
- American Public Media’s Marketplace, “Banks that support communities” (November 18, 2011)
- Center for State Innovation, “Oregon State Bank Analysis” (PDF) (December 2010)
- The Oregonian, “Small business owners back state bank, survey says” (January 12, 2011)
- The Oregonian, “Why creating a ‘virtual’ state bank is a better idea” (February 9, 2011)
- KPOJ 620 AM, “Interview with Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler on Oregon State Bank Proposal” (February 12, 2011)
- Baltimore Chronicle, “Restoring Economic Sovereignty: The Push for State-owned Banks” (February 15, 2011)
- KUOW 94.9 FM, “Alternative to State Bank Gains Traction” (February 19, 2011)
- OregonBusiness, “State bank idea evolves” (March 2011)
- KEZI News, “Oregon State Bank Supporters Hold Forum” (March 3, 2011)
- Yes! Magazine, “A Choice for States: Banks, Not Budget Crises” (March 25, 2011)
- Gazette-Times, “Tuesday forum is on proposed State Bank of Oregon” (March 28, 2011)
- Demos, “Putting Oregon’s Money to Work for Oregon” (March 29, 2011)
- Canadian Business, “Oregon lawmakers look at using state bank accounts to invest in local businesses that expand” (March 30, 2011)
- Statesman Journal, “Legislature hears two bills that alter state lending” (March 30, 2011)
- The Register-Guard, “GUEST VIEWPOINT: An Oregon state bank is the answer for struggling farmers” (March 30, 2011)
- Ashland Daily Tidings, “Oregon ponders state bank for investments” (March 31, 2011)
- Bloomberg Businessweek, “Ore. ponders investing state funds in local firms” (March 31, 2011)
- US Banker, “Reluctant Role Model” (April 2011)