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“If Washington state will not create a public bank in the model of North Dakota, Seattle should create a municipal bank, which would give the people of Seattle some democratic control over how the city’s money is invested.”

—Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council member

“To deal with the housing crisis we have to drastically increase our commitment to building public housing, and the only way that we can do that is through a public bank. It’s the only way that we could finance it.”

Bob Hasegawa, Washington state senator

“Here in Washington, the attorney general has a very clear opinion that a city can’t create a bank.… Seattle seems to be saying, ‘Darn the laws, full speed ahead!’ with these policies that clearly violate state law.”

Duane Davidson, Washington state treasurer

“Certain types of business models have a higher risk factor than others, and so it’s I think imperative that…[the city] really hone in on exactly what that bank is for. Because one thing we do not want is to establish a public bank that fails—that would be bad for the city.”

—Carlton Seu, government affairs director, Seattle City Attorney’s office

“Apart from the question of whether the city has legal authority to do this, and it probably does from a technical standpoint…the main issue is the state constitutional prohibition of lending government money to private persons, except in aid of the poor and infirm.”

—Hugh Spitzer, University of Washington law professor

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