It's been a good week for supporters of wealth-building. On the last day for this year's bills to make it out of committee alive, California's Banking Development Districts bill was voted out of the Senate Appropriations committee yesterday, on a 7-4 vote.
Today's press release highlighted the support of Republican Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado and several of the Commissioners for Economic Development, of which he is the chair. AB 2581's author, Assemblyman Steven Bradford, presented on the bill and its role in economic revitalization to the Commission's quarterly meeting, with the Asset Building Program's Olivia Calderon on hand to take questions.
The Commission stated on its website following the meeting that, as part of an overall recovery strategy, "the Commission needs to get creative and tap into its robust networks and resources to promote our state and convince business owners and investors that our state is a viable and lucrative place for business development and investment."
Great start, Lt.G!
As my colleague wrote just this Monday in the post "More Banks, More Jobs," encouraging financial inclusion and capital investment in underserved areas is just the thing California communities need to sign onto the Federal government's larger recovery plans.
This is not just a big deal because of the broad bipartisan support that brought this policy to its farthest point ever in California (which is still ahead of any state, other than New York).
And it doesn't just matter because a state program could reinforce the effectiveness of the groundbreaking local ordinance approved in Los Angeles last year.
Even the potential of BDDs to bolster the success of other efforts (like Bank on, Payday plus, and financial inclusion) isn't what makes this matter most.
It's that the 1.5 million unbanked Californians who have been left out of economic recovery plans (and left to be served by payday lenders) may now actually see investment in their communities that focuses on an extremely high-potential asset: 1.5 million Californians.