Join WAPH!’s Nichoe Lichen at the Santa Fe Green Chamber Monthly Luncheon


During the 40 years Nichoe has lived and worked in Santa Fe she has taken leadership roles in helping: restore the Santa Fe River to a protected river corridor, the establishment of El Camino Real River Park and the protection of the Old Pecos Trail as an historic and non-commercialized entrance into Santa Fe.

Through her work in the NAACP she has demonstrated a long-term commitment to civil rights, economic justice and multi-cultural appreciation. It is this commitment to social and economic justice that led her to learn about public banking and other democratic economy models. It is her belief that public banking can help fund a more just, sustainable, local green economy in New Mexico.

Time and Place:

August’s Green Lunch, Friday, August 22nd, 11:30-1:00pm
Santa Fe Area Homebuilders,
1409 Luisa, Ste A, Santa Fe

$15 per lunch for SFAHBA and Green Chamber members who RSVP. $20 for non-members.
All are welcome. Seating is limited. To RSVP, email Raquel at or call 982.1774.
For more information call Glenn Schiffbauer 505.428.9123

Hosted by:



Participate with WeArePeopleHere! in the Banking on New Mexico Symposium: Funding Local, Sustainable Economies – Saturday, September 27, 2014

From Craig Barnes-



Greetings friends:

The evidence of plutocracy is still all around us. Our upcoming elections will again demonstrate the power of billionaires.  Anyone could be excused if he or she felt powerless. But we are not.  After two years of study, WeArePeopleHere!is finding more and more promise in the idea of a local public bank as a way to re-create democracy here at home.  It is a way to keep our money at work locally, to reduce the interest stream that currently finances the derivative markets of Wall Street, and to support community purposes such as education, health, infrastructure and small business. A public bank can also be designed to partner with community banks and credit unions, to reinforce them, and to counter the squeeze that is forcing them out of business all over the country. To do all this we don’t have to attack the plutocracy head-on, or overcome it, or wage a struggle against overwhelming power. With a public bank we can take the initiative, become self-responsible and do a great deal to support our own needs here at home.

Mayor Javier Gonzales is behind the idea. Other officials from around the state have become interested as well. We have planned a major symposium to introduce the idea to the public on September 27th of this year and the national organization, Public Banking Institute, is so impressed with our plans that they are now joining the Santa Fe symposium for their national gathering.

For a public bank to actually come into existence, it will require more than official support. It is going to require a groundswell of popular enthusiasm fueled by our urgent desire to re-create economic democracy at home. No mayor, city counselor, state legislator or other official can venture into this new territory without public understanding, support, and sufficient knowledge to be able to explain how this relates to the issues that we have been working on so long.

Please plan to attend the symposium on September 27th. It will be at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center and feature speakers from New Mexico, all around the country and even from Germany. It will include conversations about the needs of our local communities in areas of health, small business, and among Native Americans. It will offer a way for us to fight the despair we are tempted to feel because of the spreading tentacles of plutocracy. We can do something ourselves!

On September 26th, the Friday night before the Saturday symposium, we will present the dramatic reading which itself bears the title “We Are People Here!”  The last time we performed this show the actors received a standing ovation. It is an exciting tribute to the spirit and courage of those who have gone before and upon whose shoulders we now stand. Plan to come to this Friday night wonderfully entertaining dramatic presentation, and plan to come the next day to learn more about public banking, what you can do to help, and the steps forward to recapture a measure of economic independence here at home.

For details about the Symposium and to purchase tickets, go to our public banking website Sign-up; join us; help us carry the idea outward from Santa Fe to all of New Mexico.

Visit  and to learn more about public banking.

See you on September 26th for the dramatic reading, and we hope for you to spend the day with us on the 27th!



WeArePeopleHere! in the Press — City of Santa Fe issues RFQ to study a public bank

From The Santa Fe New Mexican:

City moving forward with study on public bank

Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 8:00 pm | Updated: 7:23 am, Wed Aug 13, 2014.

By Daniel J. Chacón

The New Mexican

The idea of creating a public bank in Santa Fe is gaining traction.

The city is seeking someone qualified to study the feasibility of establishing a publicly owned bank that would help finance public projects, provide better returns on taxpayer investments and reduce the risk of public funds in existing financial markets.

The deadline for interested parties to submit their qualifications is September, the same month that the Public Banking Institute and a citizen-led group pushing the idea will host a national symposium on the topic in Santa Fe.

“We are expecting some 900 people from across the country to see if we can pull off a public bank in Santa Fe,” Janiece Jonsin, a member of WeArePeopleHere!, which is advocating the idea, said via email.

“In New Mexico, one of the poorest states, the establishment of public banks could be a game-changer for local economies and a score in the battle against plutocracy, starting in Santa Fe,” she said.

The symposium is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. Tickets are $40, or $10 for students. For more information or to buy tickets, go to

The symposium follows an invitation-only meeting in June that Mayor Javier Gonzales organized to introduce city councilors and others to the concept of public banking. When he was running for mayor, Gonzales talked about public banking on the campaign trail and how it could leverage government assets to stimulate community investment.

Kate Noble, acting director of the city’s Housing and Community Development Department, said the request for qualifications for the feasibility study was issued Thursday. Respondents must provide in-depth answers to a handful of questions, including how a public bank could be executed and what “broad steps” would be involved.

“We don’t know what we’re going to get,” Noble said. “We have to keep learning and looking and understanding how something like a public bank might layer onto the community of Santa Fe.”

In its request for qualifications, the city said it wants a “preliminary comparison” on the city’s current financial model, specifically the benefits and risks of current banking and financing practices in Santa Fe, and other models in the U.S., including public banks.

City documents state, “Any analysis should take into account the financial and population demographics of the City of Santa Fe. It should also include measurable factors of city banking which include, but is not limited to, debt servicing costs, profits returned to the City, municipal and other tax revenue, and other key areas of economic concern.”

Contact Daniel J. Chacón at 986-3089 or Follow him on Twitter at @danieljchacon.


Post Office Banking — Another Institution that Could Help Move Banking from Wall Street to Main Street

A concept that is very closely related to a Public Bank is that of a Post Office Bank. They are both institutions that can help wrestle power away from the big Wall Street Banks and better support Main Street. Post Office Banks could be part of the transformation of our financial sector by providing services to those individuals in underserved communities for whom banking is not possible. One-in-four American households are “unbanked” — either partially or completely excluded from the current banking system. These individuals generally live in underserved communities that are routinely victimized by predatory payday lenders and where there is almost always a United States Postal Service (USPS) branch.

[Read more...]


The Bank of North Dakota — Its History and Operation

North Dakota has a public bank–a bank that has been owned and operated by the people of North Dakota since 1919. Because of the Bank of North Dakota, the state weathered the crisis of 2008 far better than most. North Dakota has not had a single local bank failure in more than 20 years. This documentary, produced by Prairie Public Broadcasting, presents the bank’s history, its current operation, and how it benefits the state.


Money and Banking 101 — Issues and Solutions (Part 3 of 3)

From time-to-time we will post items that we are calling Money and Banking 101. These come from various sources around the world. This is the first in that series. The three videos presented here come from the Public Banking Institute and the Pennsylvania Public Bank Project. This is the last post of three in this series.

The third of these videos shows us an important part of the solution to the problems outlined in the first two videos–the formation of public banks. Our cities are not broke. They are struggling with onerous interest payments to Wall Street bankers who are nothing but middlemen. These interest payments impoverish your communities, while enriching Wall Street. This video shows how municipalities, counties, universities and states can significantly reduce their interest payments by creating their own public bank. This has already been done and proven, and could cut the costs of public projects by at least half.


Money and Banking 101 — Issues and Solutions (Part 2 of 3)

From time-to-time we will post items that we are calling Money and Banking 101. These come from various sources around the world. This is the first in that series. The three videos presented here come from the Public Banking Institute and the Pennsylvania Public Bank Project. This is the second post of three in the series.

The second video informs you of perils your deposits face in large global banks — as set by law. People think that money is safe in the big banks because the FDIC will protect the deposits. This assumption is not based on fact. This video will show official government documents that describe the plans for confiscating deposits when (not if), a big bank fails. Individual, as well as public funds from municipal, university, county deposits are at serious risk. Your taxpayer money will disappear in the next crisis! Public officials in charge of taxpayer funds need to be aware of the dangers here. The loss of taxpayer funds and the inability to meet payrolls and obligations will certainly prompt a response that will both immediate and forceful.

For more information about current law and how it jeopardizes your bank deposits, see Legal Framework for Big Banks Puts Depositors at Risk by Steve Seuser, Co-Director, DC Public Banking Center.

Part 3 — Tomorrow


Money and Banking 101 — Issues and Solutions (Part 1 of 3)

From time-to-time we will post items that we are calling Money and Banking 101. These come from various sources around the world. This is the first in that series. The three videos presented here come from the Public Banking Institute and the Pennsylvania Public Bank Project. This is the first post of three in this series.

The first of these videos deals with money and money creation. People will work for decades to make the money they need to pay the bills and other necessities. Yet, fewer than 1-in-1000 people understand how this money actually gets into circulation and who benefits from our current system. After viewing this video, you will be one of those 1-in-1000 who understand this troubling issue in our current banking system. This is important knowledge. Please pass it on.

Part 2 — Tomorrow


Hanauer — The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats

Nick Hanauer, the author of this Politico Magazine Special Report is a member of the “1%”–well, actually the 0.01%! He is a longtime advocate of higher taxes on those like him, saying that, in fact, the wealthy are not the “job creators”, but it’s a healthy middle class, who create demand for items entrepreneurs like him produce. He does have an excellent track record in understanding and predicting trends. His warning in this article should not be taken lightly. The article is at The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats.

A recent, informative analysis of this article and its author can be found at The Tax Analysts Blog at Nick Hanauer Wants the Fat Cats to Save Themselves. Here’s Why They Won’t.


Craig Barnes’ Interview of Public Banking Experts

Craig Barnes, Gwen Hallsmith, Mike Krauss Listen to Craig Barnes interview two experts on public banking, Gwen Hallsmith, Executive Director of the Public Banking Institute, and Mike Krauss, a director of the Public Banking Institute and chairman of the Pennsylvania Project–an organization dedicated to the formation of Public Banks at the state and municipal level in Pennsylvania. They recently visited Santa Fe on behalf of We are People Here! to meet and discuss, with Mayor Gonzales, City Councilors, and other civic leaders of Santa Fe, the benefits and the formation of a Public Bank for the City of Santa Fe.