I attended two rallies in the Portland mayoral campaign, last evening, January 26th. The first was in promotion of candidate Eileen Brady. The best part of that event was a talk by Paul Hawken, surprising in the clarity of a call for an Oregon State Bank, as a channel for keeping finance through our savings, local. Off Wall Street. Not gone to who-knows-where and maybe doing ourselves harm. The State Bank is a central focus of the new Oregon Working Families Party, and did not fare well in the Oregon Legislature 2011 session. I bet it is not a matter of passion, to Eileen Brady. Paul Hawken will remain an honored adviser, and will not expect much environmental or finance innovation through Portland's Mayor, whoever is elected.
I left the staid Brady event after an hour, for more-urgent attendance at a Jefferson Smith Party, a really joyous event. The Smith campaign makes no promise on the State Bank issue, yet it was Jefferson Smith who stood up for a State Bank, at a major Working Families Party event in Portland, February 1st, 2011. That attendance has earned my loyalty, to my State Representative. I was generously given opportunity to speak up in a Smith Town Hall Meeting in my neighborhood, on March 30th, 2011, before the dawn of the current mayoral opportunity. I will work very actively for the election of Jefferson Smith, to nurture whatever seed I have planted in a weatherization cause.
At the Eileen Brady event, I also wanted to study a relationship between Ms. Brady, and endorsers present, Jules Bailey, and Derek Smith, the City of Portland employee who elevated himself to run a new private business spending public funds for weatherization, Clean Energy Works Portland (now Clean Energy Works Oregon). More on this below.
I have my own view on utility of an Oregon State Bank, and see it has not before been posted here. It is as stated here in a May, 2011 email response to yet-another customer who declined my weatherization bid, for lack of up-front savings:
I imagine a radical escape from commercial banking, serving weatherization. A new Oregon State Bank could shuffle money for the work. The work with rapid payback gets done, and draw on the savings commences, in sustained higher utility bills or other repayment contract, with closeout at house sale. The contractor could draw from a liabilities account as needed, maybe leaving a lot in a retirement account. I see the important things we must do to survive, getting harder with each new catastrophe. This could apply not only where large energy savings are possible, but where hazards risk house destruction, as with faulty wiring or a failed roof.