I'm breaking up with my bank, or, why I'm joining a credit union
I'm breaking up with my bank. Now, don't think it's anything that she did, lord knows she's been good to me. 24 hour customer service, flashy website, free bill pay, even an iphone app! You really couldn't ask for more. Sam, my banker at 16th/mission, is the nicest guy you'll ever meet. Always takes care of fees for me, and helps me out whenever I visit. Every time I walk into that venerable institution I'm greeted with a smile.The problem is, we don't agree on one thing, what they're doing with my money. Although they're really just holding it for me, the reality is that they use it more often than I do. Every hard won dollar I make, from a dinner, created with 14 hour days of planning, prepping, foraging, and cooking, they invest in for profit detention centers. For a wild food walk, whose very purpose is to help people get more connected with their local environment, to know what is edible around them, they invest that money in...I don't even know. I had to google that first example, because the reality is that I have no idea where my money goes.
I spend my life focused about food. Where I get that food, how I cook it, what I think about it, and at the core of those thoughts is a sincere belief that local food is better food. It's better for many reasons that if you're reading this post you probably already agree with, but I think one of the most important reasons is that through a robust local food system, we can create a robust local economy. An economy of people doing something they love, and helping each other out along the way. That's what its all about. That's what local is about. That's what the Underground Market is about. It's the center of all the ideas I have.
It's time we realize that food isn't the only area that we need to focus on. If we want to build something real and lasting, we need to look at who holds our money, and what they're doing with it. Sure, convenience is nice, but at least for me, I can't ignore the rest of it anymore.
Today is Bank Transfer Day. Join millions from around the country and transfer your money out of global banks and into local credit unions, run by locals, for locals. I put my money in San Francisco Federal Credit Union, but here are some links to a couple others to peruse.
If you want to take it one step further, there is going to be a protest to support Bank Transfer Day today (Saturday), at Justin Herman Plaza (right across from the ferry building) at 3pm. Hope to see you there. If you checked out the protest or transferred your money, let us know in the comments section or on twitter.