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  1. TopTop #1

    Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Is anyone researching this? Momentum is growing for cities to divest from the big bad banks to oppose DAPL.
    https://www.divestyourcity.org/#home
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  3. TopTop #2
    SonomaPatientsCoop's Avatar
    SonomaPatientsCoop
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    I honestly don't know where the city banks. But I also don't really think it makes a lot of difference...

    A lot has been made of Seattle moving to divest "billions" from wells fargo- yet the reality is their daily balance, which is what matters, is only around 10 million- a drop in the bucket.

    This debate has gone on for decades- not only with banking but investments- particularly state pension funds and the like. And major university trusts.

    And while I'll say it generates some "news" and a flash of public awareness- I can't point to a single instance in my lifetime where such moves have accomplished anything.

    I'm sure you're aware of the phrase "too big to fail". I'd argue they are also "too big to feel"
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  5. TopTop #3
    KWinter
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Quote SonomaPatientsCoop wrote: View Post
    I honestly don't know where the city banks. But I also don't really think it makes a lot of difference...
    A lot has been made of Seattle moving to divest "billions" from wells fargo- yet the reality is their daily balance, which is what matters, is only around 10 million- a drop in the bucket.

    While withholding 10 mil from Wells Fargo, for example, may be a drop in their bucket, adding 10 mil to a local bank (such as Community First, Luther Burbank, Redwood Credit Union) would be a much larger drop in a much smaller bucket. Why not do it for the positive local effect?
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  7. TopTop #4
    SonomaPatientsCoop's Avatar
    SonomaPatientsCoop
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    A few quick points-

    I was talking about Seattle- a major city- Sebastopols finances will be far smaller.

    There are important legal differences in what a CU and A bank can do. There are also important differences in what a national or multi-national bank is capable of doing vs a small regional bank.

    And finally- many small banks as well as credit unions are not set up to handle the constand and high volume transactions of governments or major corporations.

    Sometimes reality gets in the way of best intentions....

    Not to say sebastopol can't, or for that matter doesn't bank ethically. Though my gut guess is they are somewhat tied banking by the realities of the state, and their financial realities.
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  8. TopTop #5
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Initial word is that Sebastopol maybe using West America bank. Trying to get that confirmed....
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  10. TopTop #6

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    All (peaceful) resistance actions have validity. Boycotting products and retailers has long been an effective way to bring about change. Now there is a movement to divest from banks. Very few actions could affect change in and of itself ~ the momentum comes with numbers of people coming together. Why make a statement to say that divesting is not 'effective.' These are unique times in our history. Different people resonate with different actions. I think that economics is where the loudest voice will be heard.

    As of early January, 30M had been divested from banks ~ and that only includes those who have reported to #DefundDAPL... not including Seattle and Davis. Minneapolis and Philadelphia are moving towards divesting. It counts. It all counts. What doesn't help is discouraging forms of peaceful resistance.
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  12. TopTop #7
    rachanna's Avatar
    rachanna
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    I don't know about sebastopol, but I found out where Santa Rosa banks by contacting a city council member a few days ago, and asking.
    I was told most of our money is in Wells Fargo, the very bank Seattle made news by divesting 3 billion dollars from, because of it's connection to and support of DAPL

    Finding out the answers to these questions, and acting on them, is the next step in the movement to shut down DAPL and other similar pipelines.

    Let's do it folks ....
    Last edited by Barry; 02-17-2017 at 12:40 PM.
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  14. TopTop #8
    rachanna's Avatar
    rachanna
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Never forget how the international divestment movement helped bring down apartheid in South Africa. I can point to that example, in my lifetime, when divestment accomplished a lot. Maybe you were born after the fall of apartheid? There were many naysayers at that time as well, regarding divestment. I believe we need to utilize every nonviolent tool available to put pressure on the institutions wreaking havoc on our world.

    Quote SonomaPatientsCoop wrote: View Post
    I honestly don't know where the city banks. But I also don't really think it makes a lot of difference...
    Last edited by Barry; 02-17-2017 at 12:41 PM.
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  16. TopTop #9
    beshiva's Avatar
    beshiva
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Quote rachanna wrote: View Post
    ...I was told most of our [Santa Rosa] money is in Wells Fargo, the very bank Seattle made news by divesting 3 billion dollars from, because of it's connection to and support of DAPL...
    Let's do it folks ....
    This question of SR divesting came up long ago- during Occupy
    SR City Council
    Will not divest - quite disappointing, disturbing and disgusting.
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  17. TopTop #10
    rachanna's Avatar
    rachanna
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Thanks for your feedback. Actually we have quite a different city council now than we did then. I think it's in all of our best interest to imagine them doing the right thing this time around.

    Quote beshiva wrote: View Post
    This question of SR divesting came up long ago- during Occupy
    SR City Council
    Will not divest - quite disappointing, disturbing and disgusting.
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  18. TopTop #11
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Quote rachanna wrote: View Post
    Thanks for your feedback. Actually we have quite a different city council now than we did then. I think it's in all of our best interest to imagine them doing the right thing this time around.
    Don't "imagine", demand it! Write letters, emails, and show up at meetings to demand it in the public comments portion at the start of the city council meetings.
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  20. TopTop #12
    beshiva's Avatar
    beshiva
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    won't happen. Do you know SR City Council? Won't happen. sorry, just a reality....wish it were different.

    Quote rachanna wrote: View Post
    Thanks for your feedback. Actually we have quite a different city council now than we did then. I think it's in all of our best interest to imagine them doing the right thing this time around.
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  21. TopTop #13
    rachanna's Avatar
    rachanna
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    Don't "imagine", demand it! Write letters, emails, and show up at meetings to demand it in the public comments portion at the start of the city council meetings.
    Absolutely!

    I mentioned "imagine" as an alternative to not doing anything and being disgusted and disappointed. Also, imagining a positive outcome is a good way to begin taking action. IF we assume we will be disappointed, I think it increases the odds that we will be (just a personal opinion there)

    As for action, I found out who Santa Rosa banks with by contacting my city council member, and welcome and encourage anybody to follow up on that, now that we know it is Wells Fargo. Additionally, I haven't heard back from the Sonoma County Supervisor I contacted to see who our county banks with. IF you have a connection with a county supervisor, finding out where the county banks could be very helpful.

    Onward
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  23. TopTop #14
    rachanna's Avatar
    rachanna
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank? Action 2/24, non-violence training 2/18

    This is the first time in my 24 years in SR that we have a progressive majority and an awesome mayor.

    I don't quite understand why you would choose to discourage effort in this direction. Even if a divestment movement isn't successful, there would be education happening in the process of trying, and many more citizens would learn that they can divest themselves individually. after the incredible effort the water protectors have exerted, I feel honored to do anything at all that they have requested of us that could potentially reduce the financing of DAPL .

    BTW, I hope everyone knows about the action in Mill Valley on the 24th, aimed at drawing negative attention to a hedge fund connected to Oasis petroleum that plans to use DAPL to transport their oil. Details are on Sonoma County Solidarity with Standing Rock Face book page and in Wacco events section. Civil disobedience training tomorrow at the Peace and Justice Center. There are so many ways to try to bankrupt this nightmare project.

    Let's spend more time taking action, and less time debating whether or not someone should take a particular action.
    Quote beshiva wrote: View Post
    won't happen. Do you know SR City Council? Won't happen. sorry, just a reality....wish it were different.
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  25. TopTop #15
    beshiva's Avatar
    beshiva
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank? Action 2/24, non-violence training 2/18

    i am not going to argue the merits of demanding the City Council divest. if people wish to push their efforts making the City Council realize how important it is to divest, go ahead. I know what will happen, that's all i'm saying. i'm not a predictor or anything, not a psychic. i watch behavior, i watch what people do...i've done this dance...i know what our elected officials will stick their necks out on and what they won't. i wholeheartedly support direct action too. i'll rest
    Quote rachanna wrote: View Post
    ...I don't quite understand why you would choose to discourage effort in this direction. ...
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  26. TopTop #16
    SonomaPatientsCoop's Avatar
    SonomaPatientsCoop
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    There is a lot to consider here beyond the "feel good" of "divesting".

    How much money does a town actually put through the bank, and more importantly- their average daily balance. The # may seem like a lot to us- but a multi-national bank it's pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

    What are the other options? Because most small local/regional banks, as well as CU's, do not offer the services a city needs to run smoothly. And for the big banks that are able to handle such accounts...well, I'd have trouble finding one that shouldn't be divested from for one reason or another.

    What are the costs? Often we are talking hundreds or thousands (for a large city) of bank cards , checks, online accounts for everything from contractors to direct deposit to employees, to IRS and Health insurance payments that need to be changed.

    There is some benefit- in terms of publicity, of major cities doing this. And I assume major cities have enough power to get a new major (and equally evil) bank to compete for their business. Offsetting at least some of the real costs. If Seattle has actually gone through with divestment (rather then just a vote) anyone know who they switched to?

    Anyone able to find any info on past city divestments- and who they switched to?


    Can anyone point me to a case in modern years where divestment has changed things? (Outside of federally/internationally mandated divestment coupled with seizure of funds).
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  28. TopTop #17
    Jaylo
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Can anyone point me to a case in modern years where divestment has changed things? (Outside of federally/internationally mandated divestment coupled with seizure of funds).
    I highly recommend the documentary, A Force More Powerful, "a two part documentary series on one of the 20th century's most important and least-known stories- how nonviolent power overcame oppression and authoritarian rule. Reviewing a century often called the most violent in history, this series is the story of millions who chose to battle the forces of brutality with nonviolent weapons- and won."

    There is extensive video of the times and places including: 60's civil rights in American South, 1930's Gandi's India, South African apartheid, Denmark in 40's, 1980 Poland, 1983 Chile. Yes, I believe it can still be very relevant today.

    I was personally impressed with how effective the business boycotts were in the American south and South Africa. Interrupting money flows is extremely important in attaining results. It does help to be organized and focused with perseverance. We're all voting with our money every day. It does matter.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-19-2017 at 08:16 PM.
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  30. TopTop #18
    Chuck1's Avatar
    Chuck1
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    There is a group working on establishing a Public Bank owned by the City of Santa Rosa. As a Public Bank there would be the ability to have more control on where money is invested, and the return would be kept locally instead of going to shareholders of large or out of state based banks. One major advantage of this bank would be the ability to bank the North Coast cannabis industry. This would greatly improve public safety by taking cash out of the system. Oakland is also working on a starting a similar Public Bank.
    As for where Santa Rosa banks, it isn't only where they have their primary banking relationship but where they have their investments. As is typical for many cities, the investments are all over the place with some invested in banks, investments that support the Dakota pipeline, as well as even a large drug company. I'm sure smaller local banks also invest their excess funds into similar investments.
    Supporting a Public Bank that keeps money local and serves under or unmet banking needs would be great. Hopefully this will come to fruition.
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  32. TopTop #19
    podfish's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Quote Jaylo wrote: View Post
    ...I was personally impressed with how effective the business boycotts were in the American south and South Africa. Interrupting money flows is extremely important in attaining results. It does help to be organized and focused with perseverance. We're all voting with our money every day. It does matter.
    Yet another example of strange bedfellows. The corporations are easier to get on board than the government. See: north Carolina and even the pipelines
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  34. TopTop #20
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    Initial word is that Sebastopol maybe using West America bank. Trying to get that confirmed....
    Confirmed!

    From the Wikipedia entry for WestAmerica Bank:

    Westamerica Bancorporation is the holding company for Westamerica Bank and its subsidiaries. The commercial and regional community bank, headquartered in Fairfield, California, has $4.7 billion in assets and more than 90 branches in Northern and Central California.
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  36. TopTop #21

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Nice work, whomever did this. And now to find out where WA's money goes. I'm a WA client - perhaps I'll just ask!
    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    Confirmed! ...
    Last edited by Barry; 02-22-2017 at 10:56 AM.
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  37. TopTop #22

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    http://westamerica.com/index.php/sha...ancial-results

    I couldn't locate anything useful on the website aside from the fact that they have some properties for sale, another consequence of the failure of the American Dream. I'll call WA tomorrow and see if they'll email me a list of where they put their money.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-22-2017 at 10:56 AM.
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  38. TopTop #23
    SonomaPatientsCoop's Avatar
    SonomaPatientsCoop
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Quote Jaylo wrote: View Post
    I was personally impressed with how effective the business boycotts were in the American south and South Africa. Interrupting money flows is extremely important in attaining results. It does help to be organized and focused with perseverance. We're all voting with our money every day. It does matter.
    I both agree and disagree. Soth Africa- as with many other examples, came with the force of laws of many nations barring investment and doing business with them. A far different thing.

    And with the american south (and elsewhere), the force was, in large part, locals...who businesses relied on, refusing to do business.

    Whether we are talking divestment from banks, or divestment of stocks, I am unable to find any evidence of such actions having a meaningful effect. Yes, they raise awareness, for a brief period. And certainly cause a small financial ping. But I can't for the life of me find any evidence such moves have ever changed anything in recent times...at best causing a % of a % decline in a corporations profits.

    And while we are on the subject- where does Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, etc invest? My understanding is a lot of the state and local retirement funds, healthcare, trusts, etc are heavily invested in tobacco. oil. etc.

    And again- divestment, on moral grounds, is a good idea. But it will likely come at a real financial cost, and won't effect any real change.
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  40. TopTop #24
    SonomaPatientsCoop's Avatar
    SonomaPatientsCoop
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    There's a good article in the Seattle Times regarding their vote to divest from Wells Fargo, and why it won't happen anytime soon (if it ever does).

    Interestingly not only does Wells Fargo not see any harm to themselves- they have offered to actively let Seattle out of its contract and spend their own time and money helping them move to another bank.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-...d-wells-fargo/
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  42. TopTop #25
    rachanna's Avatar
    rachanna
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Hi SonomaPatientsCoop,

    You seem to know a lot about government, and about finance, and have shared quite a bit about why you don't support divestment.
    I'm wondering if you are willing to share what you think WOULD be a good course of action to stop DAPL (assuming you are not in favor of DAPL.... if you are in favor of it, kindly disregard this post). Additionally, if you have some ideas for positive action, I would like to encourage you to post them here and consider joining up with our local action groups. Thanks for all your informative posts.

    Quote SonomaPatientsCoop wrote: View Post
    There's a good article in the Seattle Times regarding their vote to divest from Wells Fargo, and why it won't happen anytime soon (if it ever does).,,,
    Last edited by Barry; 03-12-2017 at 11:35 AM.
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  44. TopTop #26
    SonomaPatientsCoop's Avatar
    SonomaPatientsCoop
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    Quote rachanna wrote: View Post
    ...I'm wondering if you are willing to share what you think WOULD be a good course of action to stop DAPL ...
    I wish I had the answer. I don't. I don't believe there IS one in the short term.

    Let's be honest- all the costs of the protests, legal challenges, government maneuvering, etc... they will all be passed onto the consumer.

    Legal challenges sometimes succeed. Often not. But even when they do it seems a short time before something new comes down the pike. Capitalism.

    Divestment and such moves are rarely if ever successful except in cases where they carry the wight of multiple nations and government sanctions. South Africa is a success story in this realm. Cuba, N. Korea, etc are examples of failures.

    As much as we might want instant gratification- change takes decades. Sometimes centuries. As turbulent as the times we live in may be... I never thought I'd see the day where gay marriage is legal as widely as it is. Same for cannabis. Where solar is now a major employer and commonplace in much of the nation. Where wind power has outstripped coal. Where you find organics and minimally processes quality foods in Safeway, Target and even Wal-Mart. Restaurants that actually try to provide healthier food...

    The big fights are often going to be lost. But they do raise awareness...plant a seed. This is invaluable - but carries the danger of disheartening the most well-minded people.

    The changes come not at once. But by lots of little nudges over time. Support the life you want, even if it means hardships for yourself- because, to be clear- this is often what we are asking of others. Not to take the cheapest or easiest way...but the right way.
    Last edited by Barry; 03-12-2017 at 11:37 AM.
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  46. TopTop #27

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    I honestly don't know where Sebastopolites bank. But I do know where I bank and that is Redwood Credit Union. Damn good financial institution and it is a nonprofit!

    Many years ago we used to do our banking with Exchange Bank, which is not a bad choice except that they lost many millions of dollars when the financial bubble burst back in 2008 as a consequence of their lending out huge numbers of subprime loans. The president of Exchange Bank, responsible for this horrible policy, quietly resigned and Exchange Bank had to temporarily cancel the grants program it had supplied SRJC students for over a half century. I believe it is called the Doyle Scholarship. Exchange Bank has not been quite the same since then; it's not back up to 100% and it may never get back to what it used to be.
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  48. TopTop #28
    american dream's Avatar
    american dream
    Supporting Member

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    I agree; Redwood Credit Union is great! They were the only ones to offer me a car loan when I first got here many years ago and needed a car. Free checking, good rates for everything Very user-friendly..

    Quote Edward Mendoza wrote: View Post
    I honestly don't know where Sebastopolites bank. But I do know where I bank and that is Redwood Credit Union. Damn good financial institution and it is a nonprofit!...
    Last edited by Barry; 03-15-2017 at 10:05 AM.
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  50. TopTop #29
    pat m
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    We dumped the big banks and use our local credit unions here in Sebastopol since they support the local communities they serve. There are lots of ratings of banks on-line, here is one I like;

    http://betterworldshopper.org/r-banks.html

    A bit off topic here; Besides banks, these folks rank many "goods and services" and the businesses that provide them, for their "social and environmental responsibility." I use them often since there is so much research already done for me, and it's free to everyone.
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  52. TopTop #30
    Jude Iam's Avatar
    Jude Iam
     

    Re: Where does Sebastopol bank?

    I changed from Bank of the West several years ago, when I found out that it was owned by a French multinational outfit - below is just one of the reasons why switching to local is vital. jude
    ********************************************

    Only a small population of ocelots remain in the United States — about 50 in South Texas. Already a victim of climate change, this species is facing a life or death assault by both the fossil fuel and banking industries. In just a few months, the last remaining population of ocelots in the United States could be decimated by an outdated and disastrous dirty energy project — a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. These ocelots are already listed as an Endangered Species, yet the Texas LNG project, is putting quick profit over their survival.


    The Texas LNG project is supported by a French bank called BNP Paribas — you may know them through their biggest U.S. subsidiary, Bank of the West. Destruction of coastal wetlands and wiping out animal populations sharing those lands mean nothing to these banks — but these ocelots are national treasures that need our protection.

    Your tax deductible donation today will support Rainforest Action Network both on the ground and behind the scenes in our efforts to protect these ocelots. Challenging corporate power, especially within the fossil fuel industry, is something we cannot do without the support of our courageous donors. Pledge to be a protector of the critical ocelot population in the Rio Grande Valley by making a tax-deductible donation today.

    At RAN, we partner with an extensive network of climate fighters and allies within the growing, powerful movement that is challenging corporate power that threatens the environment. Our network will stop at nothing to protest, block, delay, disrupt and cancel greedy bank deals and the construction of dangerous fossil fuel projects. Last year alone, thanks to our donors and allies, we were able to prevent the exploitation of tens of thousands of acres of biodiverse habitats within the United States. Our methods of peaceful direct action are working and we strongly believe we can do it again to stop this LNG terminal — we and the endangered ocelot just need your help.
    For the ocelots of the Rio Grande Valley,
    Jason



    Jason Opeña Disterhoft
    Senior Campaigner, Climate and Energy Campaign
    Rainforest Action Network
    http://www.ran.org/
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