The California Alternative Currencies Act

Support the Alternative Currencies Act!

The California Alternative Currencies Act (AB-129) updates California Corporations Code Section 107 to clarify that the issuance and use of alternative currencies is not prohibited in California.

This is an important clarification. The existing language of Corporations Code Section 107 is ambiguous and outdated, and might be interpreted to prohibit the creation and circulation of alternative forms of exchange - including community currencies, virtual currencies, frequent flier miles, rewards point systems, and other widely used and emerging forms of exchange.

After nearly two years of advocacy, Sustainable Economies Law Center and supporters across California are happy to see this outdated law clarified. If passed, California may go from one of the only states to potentially prohibit alternative currencies to the first state to explicitly acknowledge them! 

Read the full text of the Alternative Currencies Act here

Creating a Resilient Monetary System

Our centralized monetary system is fundamentally flawed. 97% of our money supply is put into circulation as debt by private for-profit banks, who control where that money first enters our economy. The vast majority of money flows toward housing and financial services when created by these banks as loans, bypassing the productive economy that provides essential livelihoods, goods, and services to communities. And once some of these Federal Reserve notes find their way into our communities, they tend to flow back out again through taxes and profits to out-of-town corporations. The US has one of the highest wealth inequality rates in the modern world: 93% of monetary wealth is owned by just 20% of the US population.

Communities across California, across the US, and across the world are creating their own forms of exchange that:

  • keep wealth circulating locally,
  • allow local businesses and community members to continue exchanging essential goods and services, 
  • promote community cohesion by re-grounding economic relationships in real human connections, and
  • are designed to solve specific social, environmental, and economic problems.

As part of a larger strategy to reform our monetary system, community currencies can make our local economies much more resilient to economic volatility, effectively empower economically-marginalized populations with an inclusive and accessible form of exchange, and contribute to the movement for economic democracy by giving communities the power to design and issue their own currencies! 

Read SELC's original Community Currencies Act proposal to remove California Corporations Code 107 altogether

How you can get involved

SELC has been advocating for this bill for nearly two years, and we need your support to finally make sure it becomes law! If you or your organization would like to express support for this bill:

Download a template letter here and take a few minutes to make the letter personal and unique to your or your organization's perspective. Make any and all changes to the template that you'd like. At the very least, please add a few sentences about your organization and why this legislation is important to you.

  • Please either email copies of signed letters to eileen.newhalls@sen.ca.gov and Cc: Chris@theselc.org, OR
  • Print and mail signed letters to:

    Senator Noreen Evans, Chair
    Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee
    Attn: Eileen Newhall
    State Capitol Room 405
    Sacramento, CA 94249-0007

    We encourage you to send copies of the letter to your Assemblymember and Senator as well. Don't know who your representatives are? Search here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

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