The proposal to create a public bank for San Francisco, in order to provide an alternative to big banks for the city’s investing and lending needs, is moving incrementally from concept toward reality. A group of experts in relevant fields, from finance to affordable housing, has been selected to start to devise a business plan for a public bank. Fernando Martí, co-director of the Council of Community Housing Organizations, and Sylvia Chi, principal co-author of AB 857, California’s Public Banking Act and a member of the California Public Banking Alliance, talked with “Civic” about how a public bank would work — including how it would be run and how it might help in the development of affordable housing — and how long it might take before such a financial institution is established.
A segment from our radio show and podcast, “Civic.” Listen at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 102.5 FM in San Francisco, or online at ksfp.fm,and subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify or Stitcher.
I host and report for “Civic,” a San Francisco public affairs radio show and podcast from the Public Press. I've been a multimedia reporter and producer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've reported on housing, health, immigration and homelessness for local news site Mission Local and produced conversations about local, regional and national current affairs for “Your Call,” a live call-in program on KALW-FM public radio.
Proposition C would change San Francisco’s tax policy to allow a one-time transfer tax exemption for owners of properties converted from commercial to residential use the first time they are sold following conversion, as long as the change of use is approved before Jan. 1, 2030.
San Francisco is pursuing strategies to reduce visible homelessness and drug use in several locations ahead of a fall filled with high-profile events, including the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting, which will put San Francisco in a global spotlight.
Sea level rise is forcing cities around San Francisco Bay to weigh demand for new housing against the need to protect communities from flooding. Builders say they can solve this dilemma with cutting-edge civil engineering. But no one knows whether their ambitious efforts will be enough to keep newly built waterfront real estate safe in coming decades.
Meanwhile, developers are busy building — and telling the public that they can mitigate this one effect of climate change, despite mounting evidence that it could be a bigger problem than previously believed.
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