At WeArePeopleHere! we are addressing the threat to our democracy and our economic well-being posed by the large national and international banks (see our Home page for our rationale). It is a threat that gets far to little attention in the media and therefore is not well understood by the general public. Our first response to this threat has been to explore and develop initiatives for the creation of public banks. Such banks are in widespread use around the world and, rather than funneling fees and interest payments to the casinos of Wall Street, they can lend these savings to projects with public purposes. We call this initiative Banking On New Mexico
Our first step has been to educate ourselves and engage our elected officials, politicians, and fellow New Mexicans about the advantages and challenges of establishing a City, County, Tribal or a State Public Bank. Two very important resources for this are books by Ellen Hodgson Brown, The Web of Debt, and The Public Bank Solution. We highly recommend both of these books to help understand the problems within the current banking system and one solution that can help alleviate these problems. Please see the Resource section of this website for more information about our monetary system, banking, and the public bank solution.
Our initial external activity was to support legislation at the state level that would lead to a New Mexico State Bank, similar to the 95-year-old, and very successful, Bank of North Dakota. These efforts have thus far been thwarted by the strong banking lobby. From this experience we now understand that we could only be effective by starting at the county or municipal government level. To this end we began conversations with then candidate and now Mayor of Santa Fe, Javier Gonzalez, about a Public Bank of the City of Santa Fe. We are fortunate that he is open to the idea and we are active in supporting his efforts to pursue this.
In June 2014, WeArePeopleHere! and the national organization, the Public Banking Institute, with whom we are affiliated, briefed the Mayor and members of the City Council about public banking. The Mayor has called for a study to look at both the pros and cons of a public bank for the City of Santa Fe. As if September 2014, the City of Santa Fe is in the process of choosing a vendor to perform this study.
To further inform the ourselves, our elected officials, and the public, WeArePeopleHere!, in cooperation with the Public Banking Institute and the help of Mayor Gonzalez and the City of Santa Fe, is organizing a national symposium, the Banking On New Mexico Symposium: Funding Local, Sustainable Economies, to be held on Saturday September, 27, 2014 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. All are invited to participate. Please go to the Symposium pages on this website or BankingOnNewMexico.org for more information and to register for this symposium.
The membership of WeArePeopleHere! now includes New Mexican citizens from the City of Albuquerque who are actively working with us and citizen groups in Albuquerque to advocate for a Public Bank of The City of Albuquerque. We will continue to work closely with these groups to promote a public bank there. One interesting note is that the population of Albuquerque is about the same as the State of North Dakota. It is likely that a well-managed public bank in Albuquerque would be successful.
A second, important prong of the Banking On New Mexico initiative, we call Move Your Money, is to promote the idea that we should all close our accounts in the large National and International banks and open accounts in local, community banks. The principal reason for doing this is it increases the capital in the local, community banks, which increases their ability to support our communities through loans and other services, including charitable contributions to community civic and cultural organizations. For the average citizen of the community, the services provided by a local, community bank are comparable to those provided by a national or international bank, but with reduced or no fees for these services.
We include two videos here that give more details about our rationale for pursuing Banking On New Mexico as our primary initiative and give a little of the history of the effort to establish a Public Bank of The State of New Mexico.
Craig Barnes on U.S. Plutocracy & Financial Corruption — WeArePeopleHere! Town Hall Meeting, October 23, 2012
New Mexico State Representative Brian Egolf on a state bank proposal for New Mexico — Journey Santa Fe, October 14, 2012
We are an affiliate of the Public Banking Institute.
For more information about this initiative and/or to work with us, please Contact Us.