Senator Bob Hasegawa to Speak to City Council on Public Banking - 16 December

By On
• In Bellingham,

Update - Dec 18: Video of Sen. Hasegawa’s presentation to the Bellingham City Council on Monday, Dec 16. Bob speaks for 15 minutes and then answers questions from council members for another 20 minutes.

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Update, Dec 12: Sen. Hasegawa will speak at the afternoon city council session at 1:25 pm, next Monday, Dec 16. This is open to the public.


As he did before the Bellingham City Club and the Whatcom County Council, Sen Bob Hasegawa (11lth Senate District in Seattle) will speak to the Bellingham City Council on December 16th about the advantages of Public Banking. Senator Hasegawa is a long-time champion of public banks, the creation of which will allow the state, cities and counties to deposit revenues in a bank owned and operated by the government and not the private sector. Investment returns from public banking will accrue to the citizens where it will be reinvested or loaned out to benefit the public and not to enrich the already wealthy bankers.

I have written several articles about the advantages of public banking and the necessity of protecting government revenues in this time of financial instablity. Those pieces can be found at the end of this article.

It is not clear at this moment at which venue of the city council (committee meeting or regular session) he will speak, however, you can consult the city’s website on or about December 12th for details that can be found here. Click on the tab: Upcoming Meetings.

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Comments by Readers

Konrad Lau

Dec 14, 2019


It is well known fact that everything the government gets involved in works beautifully.

Just look how well “public banking” has worked in the college loan market.

We were told the costs would drop (along with student debt). The refrain is sadly familiar to “You can keep your doctor…” and “premiums will drop by $2000 a year.”

The only arena that government does a fair job in is breaking things and killing people. Even then, many times the wrong people are killed, and the wrong things are broken.

What else would you expect from a Leftist politician roosting in Seattle?

Then, we are supposed to view this “visit” as a good thing?

Gee whiz!



John Servais

Dec 18, 2019

We at NW Citizen do thank you, Konrad, for commenting.  Your values and perspective represent those of a distinct minority in our broader community - a total distrust of government and a disdain for those with different values and perspectives.  Most of us accept that public and private organizations are flawed because they are made up of humans.  Still we strive for corrective actions, improvements in how we deal with life and a respect for others.  Well, we strive for even that.  

A couple points.  The problems public banking would fix are those caused by our governments giving our tax dollars to private banks who then both make money for themselves from our taxes and invest recklessly and fail at times, losing all our money.  It is the private sector that has the track record of failing us.  A public bank is a solution to this problem. 

Another point is the government long ago allowed the private banks to run the student loan system and this has led to the abuse of our students and the huge interests and debts they suffer.  In your desire to show government as inept, you blame it for something it is not responsible for.  

I do respect that many have a legitimate distrust of how governments manage projects, spend our taxes and try to control us citizens.  Where I part company is in what to do.  My response is obviously to become a more active citizen and try to correct government screwups.  I have spent my life urging others to do the same.  I started NW Citizen in 1995 because the Port of Bellingham was wasting millions of our tax dollars and the Bellingham Herald was covering for them.  To condem the port would have been absurd as we need the port.  We need to improve it and make it work for us.  Not easy.  I value our governments and am glad to pay my fair share of taxes - and I want our governments to spend our tax dollars wisely.  For the most part,  I think our governments waste our tax dollars. Giving up is not an option if we want a decent community in the future.  

So, your perspectives are welcome.  Your facts may be disputed.  And I certainly do disagree with you about how to solve the problems.  I think public banking is one of the best ideas that we are ignoring. 


Todd Lagestee

Dec 19, 2019

I support a public option. But there’s a problem with the way this is presented and offered up:

At 8:55 Sen. Hasegawa states that SB 5995 (Establishing the WA Investment Trust) will be modeled on the Bank of North Dakota (BND). 

At 10:49 Send. Hasegawa states “the version of the bill is not based on the North Dakota model.”

He further states, “the version of the bill will be a skinnied down version.”

He states the bill will be broader in that other political subdivisions can participate. But then states it will be “narrower  in that it won’t be handling public deposits per se, all of the tax revenue…”

In the bill, page 7 line 7 titled “Deposit of Public Funds”  is directly in opposition to his statement paraphrased above.

Usually I say don’t let perfect be the enemy of good, but in this case a public bank is not being sold well…

Why don’t they just charter a credit union under current state law… credit unions are not for profit already.  The credit union bylaws could be structured so as to provide the benefits back to the state…

Just my 2 cents.



Konrad Lau

Dec 19, 2019

Thank you for your kind response.

While my opinions may represent a minority of those in “our broader community” (the last stronghold of communism in the United Sates), my opinions on this topic are most decidedly not the minority across the country.

I realize the imperfections of humanity; however, acceptance of those frailties does not automatically mean that we should continue along a road already proven to be fraught with failure. Student loans were taken over by the Federal government back in 2010 ostensibly to reign in “abuses” perpetrated upon unsuspecting students…you know, the best and brightest among us?

After almost a decade of stewardship, student debt has exploded under the federal government’s watch. According to CNBC (hardly a conservative news outlet) student debt has “exploded” 150% during their tenure. That is hardly what I would term a raging success.  

The Federal government has a very poor record when it comes to managing taxpayers’ funds. Case in point: Please recall poor Mr. Gore’s incorrect reference to the Social Security “lock box”. That alleged “box” was long ago plundered, broken and torn asunder and yet we had a Vice President cheerfully extolling the excellence of the government’s management.

How do you think we got to the infamous $640 toilet seat?

While essentially a free-trader and Libertarian at heart, I am strongly opposed to financial institutions having unlimited freedoms without regulation in exactly the same way I am opposed to our governments having free reign with our tax dollars.

I once read the difference between paranoia and reasonable suspension is whether the suspicion is based on fact (i.e. historical proof) or unreasoning fear.

I feel quite confident in my inherent, strong, unassailable fear of elected and unelected (you know the managers of a “public banking” program would be appointed) officials’ unbridled willingness to subjugate us financially.

Our last State budget income was exceeded by almost $4 billion dollars (Yes Martha, I said “billion” with a B.) At the same time our legislature passed additional taxes to far exceed the shortfall!

Enough is never enough.

This plan is simply more of the same.