July 26, 2023

Public Square – Where “We The People” Go Public – with Christina Werner – [Ep. 178]

Public Square – Where “We The People” Go Public – with Christina Werner – [Ep. 178]

For too long, Americans have been unwittingly subsidizing the very values that are destroying our freedom, but people are waking up to create a rising, and much needed, parallel economy – one that does not cancel people due to religious or political...

For too long, Americans have been unwittingly subsidizing the very values that are destroying our freedom, but people are waking up to create a rising, and much needed, parallel economy – one that does not cancel people due to religious or political beliefs, and one that does not force people to support causes in which they do not believe. How can “We The People” use our resources to help our country and protect our freedom?  Each of us can make a difference as we join together to preserve our nation, and even the smallest actions – like buying goods and services – can make a huge impact. You will be inspired by Linda’s interview with Christina Werner, SVP of Strategic Partnerships at Public Square (PSQH on the NYSE), the nation’s largest platform for connecting businesses and consumers who share traditional American values of faith, family, and freedom. Public Square is committed to putting “We The People” in charge of our nation once again. In the war for freedom, your wallet can be your weapon. Listen to learn how you can use that weapon wisely to vote with your dollars and support the patriotic, parallel economy and businesses that share your values.

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Linda J. Hansen:  Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen, your host and the author of Prosperity 101- Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics Online course, the book, the course and the entire podcast library can be found on Prosperity101.Com. I seek to connect boardroom to break room and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs. My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement and retention, and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit Prosperity 101.Com.

Thank you for joining with me today. If you are a regular listener, you know I cover an extremely wide range of topics and try to help listeners understand how each issue affects their lives. I also try to include positive action points. I believe the policies of freedom, as outlined in our Constitution and in the Judeo Christian principles that have guided this nation, will also guide us to restoring the greatness of America, but only if we work to promote and protect them. How can we, the people, best promote and protect our freedom? How can we use our resources to help our country? Each one of us can make a difference as we join together to preserve our nation, and even the smallest actions like buying goods and services can make a huge difference. I've spoken about the rising and much needed parallel economy, one that does not cancel people due to religious or political beliefs, and one that does not force people to support causes in which they do not believe. For too long, we have been subsidizing the very values that are destroying our freedoms, but people are rising up and saying, enough is enough.

One of the ways we can save our country from tyranny is to vote with our dollars. I have interviewed many guests who are pushing back against the woke ideologies and are joining in the patriotic economy. We can see from recent boycots and the resulting stock prices that our dollars can often speak louder than our words. I'm very excited to share with you one of the most successful stories related to the growing parallel economy. Today I want to introduce you to the inspirational story of Public Square, also known as Public Sq, the company that took we the People public. Founded in January of 2021 with the goal of creating a marketplace for companies with patriotic values, the company now has millions of active users. Businesses and consumers can join for free and can be assured they will not be canceled if they have conservative values. What a concept. The founder and CEO Michael Seifert wanted to create a sense of community among businesses and consumers who share the same values. He set out to create the largest business directory for those who want to support the traditional values that made America strong. Think Amazon. But for conservatives, the demand and growth was incredible. And now Public Square public sq is truly public and we the people can invest in a growing company that supports our values. You can now find psqh on the New York Stock Exchange. And if you watched or listened to the opening bell on Thursday, July 20, you would have felt the excitement in the air as Michael Seifert rang the bell and the crowd chanted USA. USA. It was truly electric. With me today to tell the public Square story is Christina Warner, the senior vice president of strategic partnerships at public Square. Christina, welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much for joining with me.

Christina Werner: Thank you so much for having me. It's such an honor to get to be here.

Linda J. Hansen: Be oh well, your enthusiasm and your story are going to inspire the listeners as well. But I know Michael's schedule is jam packed today. We're hoping he would be able to join in on the interview and he may pop in and surprise us for a few minutes, which would be great. But since he may only be able to be here for a couple of minutes, I'm going to start, of course, with you. You and I first connected over a year ago and I have truly enjoyed our growing friendship. I appreciate your faith, your energy and your love of country. Your role at Public Square has been critical to the growth of the company and you were able to celebrate that growth when you had the privilege of being present at the New York Stock Exchange when Michael rang the bell. I understand it was your birthday. That was quite a birthday present. Tell us about how that felt.

Christina Werner: I think I'm still pinching myself. It honestly felt very surreal. We have worked hard. We started with just a small crew of us, right? Just friends. This was all Michael Seifert's idea and he wanted to run with friends that he knew were like-minded and in this for the right reason. Not because I'm a tech developer, but because of the value, fast-forward almost two and a half years later just to see where we've been. It has been such a journey. It really is just the starting point for us, it honestly is. But to have worked so hard and so fast and just to know the reason we are where we are is solely because the Lord has gotten us this far. I mean, it really feels like our journey has been miraculous. So it was just this little god wink on the side when the day that we get to ring the bell happened to also be my birthday. So it was quite a birthday gift. Yes. Still reminiscing about that right now and really grateful for the opportunity just to bring Public Square to we the people. I had a family member, she had sold her home in La and she was moving to the East Coast to be with her grand kids. And I remember when she said, you know, Christina, I believe in you, I believe in this company, I know you guys are going to go far. I have X amount of dollars. I think it was $50,000. Can I invest? And I had to say to my aunt, I'm actually not sure, I think you need to be an accredited investor. And all I know is you and I aren't. So now just to be able to get to say to America, anybody that wants to participate and get to be a part of this that they can and you don't have to have some title and a certain amount. So it's great. It's been a joy.

Linda J. Hansen: That's exciting. It really is something that has brought this investment and this parallel economy, the patriotic economy, to the people in a new way. And I heard Michael on an interview talking about how one of the brokers, I believe it was, talked to him on the floor and said, I want you to know that 99% of us are fully in support of what you're doing and we love Public Square.

Christina Werner: Yeah, there was one broadcaster that day and that it's gone out through social media that he was not as excited as everybody else. And it was I don't want to say gratifying, but it was actually really fun just to see, you know, what, America does love America. We appreciate these values. People are excited for this to go public. People are excited to support these conservative, small, family run mom and pop shops. This is the backbone of America. And so it really is fun to know in the beginning, are we just making this up or no, we're really not. You can see the support and you could hear the support that day with the USA chant was pretty amazing.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, I invite listeners to go online and just search for Public Square at New York Stock Exchange and you'll see various videos that show really it was electric, it was beautiful. It was just something that it was an American moment. And I think it gives us all hope that we can save this great nation from the tyranny that has come from the Oligarchs and from the World Economic Forum and the World Health Organization and all the global tyranny that is happening. It's exciting to think that we all can make a difference and we can make a difference with our dollars. So for listeners, sometimes I hear people say, well, I can't do that much. I don't know what to do. Here's one thing you can do. You can go to Public Square and you can find people that offer the goods and services that you need and you can vote with your dollars, support businesses that support your values.

Christina Werner: Yes, we are retaking the country through the power of commerce. And just like you said, you actually get to vote with your dollars and your wallet. This is one of my favorite sayings, your wallet is your weapon. And it so is true. Where money goes is where power is right. And so you can actively be a part of this. Everybody listening actively gets to be a part of creating this parallel economy with us and help us build it.

Linda J. Hansen: It's very exciting. I know that Michael said when he started Public Square was that he doesn't like to just complain about problems, but he likes to provide solutions. I know many of us are like that. And so founding Public Square was a solution for a problem that he saw and he decided to build a positive and patriotic platform that would allow people to shift their dollars to support traditional values such as love of God, family and country. What led him to start Public Square and what was his journey that brought him to the New York Stock Exchange that day?

Christina Werner: Sure, that's a great question. There's actually a few different stories I could tell, but I can say that a good ten plus years ago he really saw that our values were under attack. But any business, any person that is willing to stand up for our traditional American values, people will go out of their way to support them. And one example was the national boycott Chick-fil-a Day. It was, I think, 2014. He's driving past, it's not the morning, it's not lunch, but he sees a line out the door and the long story short, he looks it up and he goes, it's National Boycott Chick-fil-a Day. But there's all these people going out of their way to support Chick-fil-a. I'm sure the sandwich was good, but they weren't there just for a chicken sandwich. It's because they saw their values being stood up for? And you can even look at this in the other examples where let's say Goya Foods. I don't know if you remember when the president of Goya Foods says who he votes for and then AOC decides to say, well, we all need to boycott Goya. Well, the next few weeks, every mom walking down the aisle sees a can of black beans and just decides to buy it, even if you don't need black beans just to support Goya. So it was kind of this concept where he saw the need and then people that hold our worldview on a local level have also started to feel alone, right? But there's way more of us than we realize.

So he also had a faith based political podcast at the time that he had started a few years ago. So just seeing the need that people feel alone, although you're really not. And then the second issue also, people want to support these like-minded businesses, but just don't know necessarily where to find them. There's plenty of us that do not want to go to Starbucks, but where do you find your local coffee shop that's veteran owned or maybe donates their time to the Pregnancy Resource Center? Or maybe they're just serving coffee and they don't get political about it. They feed their family with that. So that's kind of the basis of how it started. And then during the pandemic, him and his wife had a list of 20 plus businesses that they felt comfortable supporting and wanted to share that with their friends. They knew the business owners personally knew, that they weren't going to be enforcing any type of medical mandates or masks or vaccine mandates. And so kind of started from there and said, we just have to build this. We have to build it now. This is a need. And yeah, again, total God story. It just took off super fast.

Linda J. Hansen: It's very exciting and it does it shows the need and the demand for it. People are fed up with being fed up with having these liberal Ideologies shoved down their throats at work and everywhere they go. And I think that the American people are waking up and that through the parallel economy people are seeing, we can have a difference. We can do something productive and positive. Before the broadcast was recording, we talked about the Bud Light boycott and how it doubled your users. I thought that was so exciting. And then when Target came out with their trans clothing for babies, it doubled your users again, or the numbers went crazy. Could you share with us the growth numbers that occurred as people responded to these companies that were pushing these Ideologies down the consumers throats?

Christina Werner: Yeah. Well, if these stats don't help, I mean, this should just give you some hope. So after the Bud Light incident, I want to say the statistic was we had a 700% increase in the search term for beer on our app.

Linda J. Hansen: That is amazing.

Christina Werner: Yes. Everyone's like, I am not supporting Bud Light anymore. Just stop. This is nonsense. Right? Same thing with Target. So I know a lot of conservative people kind of had and everyone has their different comfort level and convenience level. That's another fun topic to talk about. But some people still were going to Target. Other people kind of stopped a while ago when they did these gender neutral bathrooms, but this just was the thing that took most of the parents and consumers over the edge, like, I am not going back. We're not doing this Tuck bathing suit. We're not having all this gender ideology being pushed to my children just because I want to go grocery shop. So we climbed the charts worldwide on the App Store, got to number three and stayed there for quite a few days. As well as reached over, well over 1 million active consumers on the app just because of Target. So I would like to call Target Employee of the Month for what they did for us. I am not happy that they chose to do that, but I am happy that America put their foot in the ground and said, no, we are not going back there. We need to support an alternative economy and a company that supports family values. So that is one of our core values, is we are very much pro-life. We're pro family and pro freedom.

Linda J. Hansen: Exactly. And I loved how you said that you'd like to make Target Employee of the Month. You mentioned Goya foods before. And I remember when the whole Goya boycott happened and AOC came out against Goya and then their sales skyrocketed and the president of Goya Foods made her Employee of the Month. I thought it was just the best.

Christina Werner: Exact same concept, but that just shows, you know, this is America and this doesn't fly here. So you can do these things because of esg and try to placate to the Blackrocks and the Vanguards of the world. But that's not who's shopping at Target, right?

Linda J. Hansen: Well, and we see it now with country music Jason Alvine and his song. I mean, it's amazing how people have risen up. Even people who weren't country music fans are now buying that. And these songs that have climbed to number one on all the charts, these patriotic songs with American values have really, I think, shown the marketplace that there's a large group of consumers, there's a large group of patriotic citizens who love our country and love the freedoms that we have in America and we will support them. So I just think it's exciting. So you mentioned about being a pro life company, a pro family company. And one of the things I absolutely love about Public Square is that in an age when so many companies are paying for abortions or they're offering to send people across state lines for abortions, because these companies, they would rather do that and have the mother abort kill her baby instead of paying for maternity care or parental leave or daycare or any of these other things. It's, of course, less expensive to pay for the abortion. Right? But Public Square does just the opposite. They put their money where their mouth is. And I cheered. When you announced the baby bonus for employees. Could you tell the listeners about the baby bonus that you offer to Public Square employees?

Christina Werner: Yes. Because we celebrate and because we love life, we decided to offer any employee or their spouse. So it doesn't just have to be the mom or the woman that's hired by Public Square. If they choose to have a child or adopt a child, that we would give them a $5,000 bonus per child to support them and support their growing family. This is what makes America so special, right? Families. And so we want to champion those people. We want our employees to know how special they are. They are not just a cog on a wheel, they are not just a part of a production line. We don't need them to. It really is devastating to me to think of the companies that choose to make their employees feel like almost like a product, like you are more important here in this line, not prioritizing your family and to actually actively be a part of that and tell people to pay to abort their child, I mean, it's disgusting. So we're so thrilled we've had so many employees take us up on it. We actually had I just saw a new picture today of a baby being born. There was one born last week as well and I think two weeks before that. So we're just joking in the office that we're going to need like a daycare or a home school pod or something for all these Public Square babies.

Linda J. Hansen: And that's great. That would be great. What a way to celebrate life, celebrate families and to let people know that they have value beyond their workplace too. Our families are eternal, right? And we just are so thankful for the companies and individuals that promote life, promote that parenting and the family unit. And so thank you to Michael, to all the Public Square team, just thank you for promoting that and for the adoption bonus too. I mean, that really shows that you care about life. So many people say, well, these babies are unwanted, that's why they're aborted. No, babies are wanted. Babies are wanted everywhere. And to support and promote adoption is just incredible. So listeners, as you think about this, listen to the beautiful things that Public Square is doing. These are things that you could do with your company. These are things that you could promote with your company. I mean, maybe you're just a very small company and you don't have enough money to offer $5,000 to everyone who's going to have a baby, but what could you do to support their families? What could you do to show them that you support them having those babies or you support them having the choice when it comes to goods and services and you support their ability to be an active citizen. Maybe if they want to run for office, they want to run for local school board or local city council or serve as a volunteer in some way, how can you support that? So we can all be active citizens and Public Square is a great company that's showing a wonderful example for everyone and their faith, their patriotism and their enthusiasm and their can do spirit is just inspirational for all of us. Before we close. So there's a couple other questions I want to ask you. I saw in some interviews where Michael was questioned about the going public. Like if going public was kind of selling out and how is he preventing the selling out of Public Square? By going public. And I know the answer, but I'd like you to explain it because he really did reassure people that the core values of the company would not change and the core mission of the company would not change even though now it's on the New York Stock Exchange. This is also a way of operating differently and I love it. So could you explain for the listeners how that is being protected?

Christina Werner: Absolutely. I can say we did our due diligence on our end to make sure that our values will not change and to make sure that our board is protected and our staff. So the best way I can say it without getting into all the legal stuff is if you go to Publicsq.com, you can go to our blog and we share everything we can publicly about how this whole transaction happened, the voting rights on our board, all of that kind of we are a very transparent company. We want to be open with the people that want to be supporting us and for them to realize that we have done our due diligence to make sure that this stays in the hands of we the People and stays in the hands of our board. And even to see who Michael has chosen to surround him I can say this because he's not on here right now, but to see who he has chosen to surround himself by and I have known him prior to Public Square is just really beautiful. I mean, it's just amazing. The wise counsel and the people that he is choosing to bring into his life and even just to have that accountability. So not only do we have that legal accountability and it's actually written out that the values will stay and it cannot be bought up by, well, could someone come in and buy up enough? Could it be a vanguard? No, it absolutely cannot. So structurally you can go to publicscue.com, to the blog and you can see all that and read all that. But it's great just to know that our entire leadership team is choosing great accountability for ourselves individually. And Michael as the CEO.

Linda J. Hansen: well, and Listeners, if you would like to see a webinar that they did shortly before going public that is also available@publicsq.com and you can see the investor webinar. It was very informational, it was exciting, it was inspirational and it explains kind of your whole mindset of making sure the mission and values of the company stay true throughout the whole life of the company. So it's just great. What would you say to employers or employees who want to convince others in their workplace, whether it's the employer talking to the employee or the employee convincing the employer or other employees about the need to participate in the patriotic parallel economy?

Christina Werner: Oh man, do we have all day? I have so many things I could say. One thing I'll say is when you look at your local community and let's say right around the corner from my house, it's called the Hilltoppers, and it's where the kids play Little League. Who is sponsoring the Little League teams? It's not Target. It's not Walmart. In my particular Little League, it's a church around the corner, it's a pizza shop. It's the local hardware store. So if you really want to change the world, it starts in your backyard, right? It starts in your local community. So my encouragement really is just think about this. What could change about your local businesses or financially if they're doing better, or your local economy, or your school boards, or your city council, if you were more connected, if you locked arms with these people and financially is part of that, right? This is voting with your wallet, and you could really make a difference in your community. So ultimately, if you even look back through the pandemic, who was keeping kids masked up in schools besides parents choice to have them in or not a school? Was it the president? No, it really wasn't. This is your local school board. This is your local politician. So things really do start locally. And although we have gone nationwide, what I love about Public Square is we still focus, hyper focus on your local community. So to build that out, if there's any action I can give people to help continue, this is I knew the coffee shops in my neighborhood that I could get on Public Square and would want the support and get the support of our community. But I don't know your neighborhood, right? So if you know a business that stands for freedom, that stands for family values, that stands for life, and they would want the support from America, well, then it's my charge to you to get those businesses on so that you can be a part of this change in your local community. And we would be oh so blessed by that.

Linda J. Hansen: Definitely. And it is exciting to watch the growth and the amount of businesses. And I love what you do. There's something that you do that it's like if you usually buy this, you may want to buy. So it's like offering the alternative. And I think that's great because people go in and they're like, well, how do I find know what I normally buy at Target or on Amazon or something like that? How can I find this from an American made manufacturer or a local company? And you give these options and it's kind of exciting. So I'm just going to put a pitch in. Prosperity 101 is on Public Square. And so if you are an employer and you typically buy training materials or something and you're frustrated with the fact that they may have ESG CRT DEI, I mean, all these woke ideologies integrated into these training materials, wouldn't you love to offer something to your employees that supports the values that made America great.

So I invite you to take a look at the Prosperity 101 break Room Economics course. Online course, short course, you can share with your employees, but you can get a 10% discount if you use the code PSQ ten. So use the code PSQ ten when you buy the course. And we would love to be part of building a parallel economy and also, like, a new narrative in the workplace. The left has dominated the workplace. They have taken over the narrative. And I'm saying no. Like, I want to build a movement of employers who are boldly standing up for the values that made America great, and they're not afraid of doing so. This is what we need. We need every workplace to be bold about the values that made America great and not be shy about supporting capitalism. We don't have those little leagues that you mentioned. We don't have those book fairs, things like that. If we do not have capitalism, we have to have capitalism so we can build wealth, we can share wealth, and we can then really help others prosper too. So, businesses, individuals, please sign up for Public Square. It's easy, it's fast. You'll be so glad you did. And I'm just so glad that you, Christine, have had time for this podcast interview. Do you have any other closing thoughts before we end this particular interview.

Christina Werner: Would just like to thank you because we have the platform, right? But really, people like you and businesses like yours, you really are the brave ones that have chosen to get on there. And we wouldn't exist if it wasn't for businesses and people like you that have chosen to stand up for your values, that have prioritized freedom in the marketplace, that have chosen to not infringe upon the rights of their customers and employees and want to thrive with minimal government intervention. So thank you for being a part of this solution. Right, so we built it, but there's people that are willing to stand up for these values. And so I'm so grateful. Every business I wish maybe someday we'll have something on the profiles that really maybe could pop up in a video and just share the stories of these businesses because it is so much more than just a transaction. Like, even when I met you, you just get to know people and maybe that's just because I'm such an extrovert, but I'm like, oh, she's so awesome. And you just get to know these people that share your values and are just incredible. So I have shopped with so many different Public Square businesses and they've left and they didn't know I'm a part of Public Square. They saw that I used maybe their promo code to get 10% off. And so then they leave a little note in there and saying, oh, thank you. This was handmade in Idaho. I hope it's amazing. If there's any issues, we will refund you right away. I mean, just the most precious small business owners. And I feel like it's story after story like that with most of my purchases. And so just so grateful for all these businesses just like you. So thank you so much.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, thank you. And every business represents a person or may represent an entire family or many families. And when we support these local businesses, we are supporting that. And it's great. And I do remember when we first met and it was supposed to be a short call about Public Square, and I think we were on the phone for like, an hour and a half. We ended up praying together, talking together. I mean, it was great. And it's like when you find like-minded people who share your values and your enthusiasm for revival and for saving America, one business, one individual, one person at a time it's really exciting. So thank you to you, Christine. If people want to reach you, how should they do so?

Christina Werner: Sure, you can find me on my email. Christina@publicsq.com. And that's Christina. Christina@publicsq.com or I am on Instagram as Public Square. Mom Bear, that was my husband who picked that name out for me. But public sq. MamaBear. And I'm not a super huge social media person, but I would just say what I'm doing with that is just showing you daily how I've used my purchases. So whether it's one thing and actually here's a good charge and a last thing to say to people is I'll get asked this question all the time. Well, it's overwhelming. My hat, my shoes, my car, my house, my mortgage. Where do I start? Just start with one purchase. Just stop doing Starbucks. Find a local coffee shop that supports your values, or the next time, your product. I'm not asking you to take everything in your closet and throw it away. You don't have to throw away your shampoo, Colgate, toothpaste and all that stuff, but maybe when it runs out, look at an alternative the next time around. Right? So I was even just looking in my bathroom this morning, and I was looking at the products that I slowly, over time, have shifted and changed. And I need to be financially savvy as I do it. But you can do it just with one small purchase here and there. So that's what I tend to do on my Instagram account, is just show the small things I've purchased here and there and how you can actively be a part of shifting this economy, even if it's just a $5 purchase here or there.

Linda J. Hansen: Perfect. And like you said earlier, our wallets can be our weapons. Yeah, we can do that. Thank you, Christina. We really appreciate it. And listeners, I remind you again, if you go to the Prosperity 101.com website and you want to purchase a course, you can get a 10% discount with PSQ ten discount code. And you can find Prosperity 101.com on the Public Square website as well. So we're just really grateful to do business with you to be part of this growing patriotic parallel economy. And may God bless America and may God bless your efforts. Thank you, Christina.

Christina Werner: Thank you so much.

Linda J. Hansen: Thank you again for listening to the Prosperity 101 Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share, and leave a great review. Don't forget to visit Prosperity101.com to access the entire podcast library to order my newest book, Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck or to enroll you or your employees in the Breakroom Economics online course. You can also receive the free e-book, 10 Tips for Helping Employees Understand How Public Policy Affects Their Paychecks. Freedom is never free. Understanding the foundations of prosperity and the policies of prosperity will help you to protect prosperity as you become informed, involved, and impactful. Please contact us today at Prosperity101.com to let us know how we can serve you. Thank you.