From Banksy-themed bank notes to a policy that allows businesses to pay their taxes in local currency, the high-tech, mainstream Bristol Pound has been shaking up the somewhat worthy, idealistic image of local currency schemes.
That looks set to continue. As reported at The Guardian, George Ferguson, the independent candidate just elected mayor of my hometown of Bristol, England has elected to take his entire salary in local money:
Of his salary – currently £51,000, though the figure could change – Ferguson said he would take it in Bristol pounds, a currency introduced this year and proving a success. Thanking the voters for entrusting him with the "ultimate project", Ferguson said Bristol had a minor link to London but a more important link to the rest of the world. "We are a proud provincial city," he said. "We are pretty self-contained and we are independent."
Besides this major gesture toward a sustainable, localized economy, Ferguson's campaign promises also include a hefty commitment to an integrated transit system and a promise to make parts of Bristol traffic free on the first Sunday of every month.
Let's see how he does.