Municipal Bank of LA: Democratic Governance Frameworks

May 11, 2023 | by
  • Description

This briefing explores how a municipally-owned financial institution could directly incorporate citizens' input into investment decisions.

Noting Los Angeles's historical inequalities, the briefing highlights the need for a direct public voice in the day-to-day governance of a public financial institution. In describing the shortcomings of elections, public comment, and other well-established modes of democratic practice, the briefing makes the case for the use of deliberative democracy or decisions taken by randomly-selected groups of citizens to fill this need.

Using contemporary and historical examples of deliberative democracy from Paris, East Belgium, Bogotá, and Ancient Rome, the briefing goes on to propose a new governing architecture for a bank in which key governance functions are performed by these citizens' panels.