Why Philadelphia? There is plenty of rich symbolism in Philadelphia, the location of one of the first public banks in the colonies and the location where so many of the original documents forming this country were drafted, ratified, and signed. Even now, Pennsylvania has the distinction of having the first state-based lobbying organization to support a state-owned bank (see below). With the conference held in Philadelphia, we'll be able to showcase the leadership shown by the citizens of Pennsylvania and set the tone for one of the unofficial OWS events scheduled for July 4, 2012 in Philadelphia.
Leading up to the conference will be a series of audio conference calls, beginning in late winter, that will lead to a "Public Banking" draft version of the Economic Bill of Rights. Working closely with Occupy Philly, we hope to attract hundreds of people to these calls and use the output for other conferences and conventions throughout 2012. Read Ellen Brown's call for an Economic Bill of Rights here.
Also beginning in January, the "Democratizing Money" Project will be launched. It will develop models reflecting Bernard Lietaer's work on alternative currency systems and new lending systems coming out of Europe and South America, plus our own models of public banking at the state, county, and municipal level. The Democratizing Money project will give us a voice in the new banking and monetary systems as they develop.
Finally, Occupy Your Statehouse, a legislative initiative, will start nationwide and will include public banking legislation for every state. This is your chance to get involved and help take back your state's credit-generating capacity. Currently, 49 of the 50 state treasurers give away this credit -- billions of dollars worth -- to private banks for private benefit. The public's credit should be used in the public interest! This is what a democratic economy looks like.
For all that has happened this year and is coming up next year, we are truly thankful. These are exciting times.