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 Blog Post | November 15, 2016

 

Dear family and friends,

Aftermath Was Prologue

We face some pretty unpleasant facts in the aftermath of the election. First, the values espoused to win this Presidency are antithetical to our own as a values-driven bank and the stated objectives of our new President would be dire for climate and social justice, which are central to the bank's mission. Second, the fact that seven million fewer votes were cast in this election cycle than in the last was determinative and represents a travesty of democracy, not a triumph. Third, in most states, voters routed whom they believed to be liberal elites from the top to the bottom of the ballot. And they did so in favor of a perceived populist outsider. While the outcome came as a shock to progressives and pundits, the level of frustration and desperation that produced it does not. And to this bank, the dangerous underpinnings of the election results have never been out of focus, much less out of sight. Marginalization that has long plagued our targeted and treasured communities has now spread to enough of the electorate at large to change the outcome.

Beneficial State Bank and Foundation were born to address injustice, inequity, and disrespect by their very DNA. Our collective mission is to change the banking system for good. Alignment with the public interest is built into our design, our practice and our transparency. We are committed to human dignity and an economy based on people not just profit. The motive in launching such a bank model stemmed from the civil rights movement. Our country has not yet reconciled with its deeply troublesome origins. The legacy of slavery, native genocide and less than full personhood for more than half its people is still a rare, and uncomfortable, national conversation. Reckoning with our past requires acknowledging this and empowering all people, especially those whose families of origin just came here, or always were here, or didn't choose to come here in the first place. At Beneficial State Bank, we promote fair and transparent financial participation that produces powerful people, strong families, vibrant communities, and a resilient ecological commons. Those are hallmarks of this country's roots as well.

Desperation has turned out to be extremely expensive to our political process, our planet, our social justice, and our moral standing. Desperation, especially the kind stemming from longstanding lack of true opportunity, is what we actually must rout. This bank's mission requires that we extend financial security to all, especially those with the least bargaining power, enabling them to build the world they actually want to live in -- a world that's fully inclusive, racially and gender just, and environmentally resilient. Achieving that mission just got harder, but it got way more important too. It's mission critical for our very survival. So we will work even more diligently to empower our customers, to finance a just economy and healthy planet, to change the banking system for good, and to make America truly great for all.

 

In community,

Kat Taylor, Co-CEO, Beneficial State Bank
Dan Skaff, Co-CEO, Beneficial State Bank
Salvador Menjivar, Executive Director, Beneficial State Foundation