Unpacking Your Financial Ecosystem – Links & Resources

“The first white men of your people who came to our country were named Lewis and Clark. They brought many things that our people had never seen. They talked straight. These men were very kind.” `Chief Joseph, Nez Perce leader

By Catherine Austin Fitts

For our webinar Unpacking Your Financial Ecosystem, I asked Dr. Allison Bingham to serve as knowledge manager. See her resume at the end of this post. Dr. Bingham will be joining me on the live webinar to help with documentation. She has helped me prepare this collection of links.

I chose Lewiston, Idaho as the city we would use in the webinar to demonstrate accessing information about the flow of resources in a local area. Consequently, the majority of links below access information about Lewiston and its environment. You should be able to find comparable sources of information for any location in most developed countries.

Below the links on Lewiston, there are also links to other related Solari Reports and information.

A community and a local economy are living systems. There is a dynamic relationship between all the people, living things and natural resources within a place. Living systems perpetually grow and change.

The Valley Quest program is an award-winning, place-based education program based in Vermont that uses treasure hunts to celebrate community, natural history, cultural sites, stories, and special places.

Learning about a financial ecosystem that is part of a dynamic living system is a journey – there is always more to learn. That is why it is so important that you enjoy your journey.

Financial systems are man-made systems designed to govern, own, transact and manage resource allocation. They operate within legal jurisdictions and systems.

One of the benefits on learning “how the money works” around you is to ensure you understand your financial obligations and liabilities as a citizen and find opportunities to reengineer the financial system to better serve you and your local living systems.

When government budgets were under great stress in the 1980’s, a group of Brazilians implemented participatory budgeting in which the citizens took an active part in developing local budgets.

I will never forget the budget director of New York City telling me that the city was spending $150 million on cleaning up litter. If the citizens would be willing to stop littering that money could do so much good in educating children or helping with health care in the poorest neighborhoods. The trade-offs she was managing were truly tragic. She was right – an informed citizenry could have done much more for themselves with the available resources. The person who threw their fast food bag on the sidewalk could not connect that with the fact the local hospital could not afford a treatment for their child as a result.

Thousands of such opportunities appear the higher the financial IQ of a community.

In a time of change supporting the best local leaders with the best local intelligence regarding how to use our resources wisely can make an enormous difference. Indeed, it could rebuild our economy and create millions of jobs. When and where we unleash the group intelligence, miraculous things can happen.

So, let’s dive in and take a look at Lewiston, Idaho!

Please post your questions and comments for the webinar here. All discussion welcome!

Case study: Lewiston, Idaho. Unpacking the local financial eco-system of the City of Lewiston, Idaho

Unpacking the physical environment of Lewiston, Idaho

Data Point Link to Information
Overview: Physical location https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewiston,_Idaho
Overview: Geography – prominent features https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewiston,_Idaho
Snake River Basin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_River
Clearwater River Basin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clearwater_River_(Idaho)
Natural resources (climate, wildlife, geology) State and County https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewiston%2C_Idaho

Unpacking culture, people, and history of Lewiston, Idaho

Data Point Link to Information
Local history and culture https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewiston,_Idaho
Local demographics and population data https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewiston,_Idaho
Other Interesting Features
Nez Perce Tribal website http://www.nezperce.org/index.html/
Lewis & Clark State College https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_and_Clark_Expedition


Churches, temples, synagogues, mosques http://www.city-data.com/city/Lewiston-Idaho.html
Schools http://www.city-data.com/city/Lewiston-Idaho.html
Recreation http://visitnorthcentralidaho.org/things-to-do/city-of-lewiston-parks-recreation/

Unpacking the governance structure of Lewiston, Idaho

Data Point Link to Information
What jurisdiction do I live in?

  • What does jurisdiction mean?
  • What is a municipality?
  • What is a county?
  • What is a state?
Lewiston governance structure https://www.cityoflewiston.org/
Lewiston schools and city services https://www.cityoflewiston.org/
Community Development https://www.cityoflewiston.org/content/850/1066/default.aspx
Nez Perce county jurisdiction & governance structure http://www.co.nezperce.id.us/
State of Idaho jurisdiction & governance https://www.idaho.gov/
Clerk of the Idaho Supreme Court and Court of Appeals https://isc.idaho.gov/
Idaho State Judiciary https://www.idcourts.us/repository/start.do
Law enforcement /security (city, county, state, federal) https://www.cityoflewiston.org/content/850/888/default.aspx
National Guard Armory
Federal and state land management/strong>
Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests (United States Department of Agriculture- National Park Service) https://www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater/
Wallowa- Whitman National Forest https://www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman/
Idaho Department of Water Resources (Snake river and Clearwater river basins) https://www.idwr.idaho.gov/
Idaho Water Users Association http://www.iwua.org/Resolutions/2017%20Resolutions.pdf
US Department of Interior-Bureau of Land Management (Federal waterways) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_the_Interior
Other local governing boards http://www.iwua.org/Resolutions/2017%20Resolutions.pdf
City Council https://www.cityoflewiston.org/content/848/864/default.aspx
Port of Lewiston http://portoflewiston.com/

Debt and Unfunded Retirement Costs as a Share of State Personal Income, 2013

Unpacking the local economic engine and finance flows in Lewiston, Idaho

Data Point Link to Information
Lewiston Business Development https://www.cityoflewiston.org/content/856/1157/default.aspx
Comprehensive annual financial report, budget and financial statements https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehensive_annual_financial_report


Lewiston schools and city services 2015 – https://www.cityoflewiston.org/filestorage/551/615/1356/1416/2015_CAFR.pdf
Lewiston: Strategic plan https://www.cityoflewiston.org/filestorage/551/601/Lewiston_Strategic_Plan.PDF
CEDS Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
State Revenues & State Underfunded Pensions, Debt, Heath Care Liabilities (run query on Idaho)
Bonds – Municipal Filings for State and Local Governments and Public Agencies and Authorities
(run search on Lewiston, Idaho)
Stocks – SEC Filings for Public Companies https://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html
Center for Responsive Politics – Official Site http://www.opensecrets.org
Search Campaign Finance Data by Individual Contributor http://fec.gov/finance/disclosure/norindsea.shtml
Contributions to All Other Political Committees Except Joint Fundraising Committees http://www.followthemoney.org
Urban Renewal Agency https://www.cityoflewiston.org/content/848/6585/default.aspx
Commercial & Savings banks
Credit Unions
Mortgage banking
Brokerage firms
Insurance Agencies
Health Care
Nurse Practitioners
Physical Therapy
Real Estate
Property Owners & Managers
Home Improvement
Brokers & Appraisers
Sports & Recreation
Airports http://www.airportflyer.com/lws/
Roads and Bridges
Transit http://ridethevalley.org/
Utilities https://www.cityoflewiston.org/publicworks
US military installations

Unpacking the local food ecosystem

Data Point Link to Information
Agriculture/horticulture http://www.agri.idaho.gov/AGRI/
Local Farmers markets http://www.localharvest.org/lewiston-farmers-market-M17170
Terminal markets
Local farm associations
Local farms
Local garden clubs
Local Weston A. Price club
Local Ranches
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) http://www.localharvest.org/lewiston-id/
Grocery stores and Cooperatives
Farm Credit Bureau
Grange http://www.grange.org/idahostate/
Hunting, Fishing, and Wildlife https://idfg.idaho.gov/region/clearwater

Related Solari Reports

Solari Report: Can We Make America Great Again? with Jon Rappoport

Solari Report: Agenda 21 with Rosa Koire

Solari Report: Who’s Your Sheriff?

Solari Report: Rebuilding a Local Economy

Subscription only: Rebuilding a Local Economy: Outline & Links

Investment Related

Solari Report: Organizing the Legal Structure for Your Start Up

A Review of Existing Media Capital Structures

Term Sheet for Recent Start Up Advised by Catherine using the Solari A/B Share Stock Model

Solari Report: Startup Financing for the Rest of Us

Study on Financial Returns of Angel Investors

In-State Equity Crowdfunding Offerings as an Alternative to Federal Jobs Act

Crowdfunding & the Legal Pathways to Raising Capital

1998 Backcasting: Popsicle Culture: A Backcasting as a Report to Shareholders

Solari Tool: http://silverandgoldaremoney.com

The Guernsey Experience

Solari Report: Creating Liquidity in Your Neighborhood & Networks

A Design Book for Solari Stock Corporations

Related Reading

Mapping Your Local Financial Ecosystem

Want to Have a Real Impact? Shift Your Time to State and Local Politics

Helping Your Local Community

Follow the Money: A Citizens Guide to Local Government, American Institute for Economic Research

Wikipedia: Participatory Budgeting

Who is Responsible to Make America Great Again?

Economics 101

Living History

Karma Means You Don’t Get Away with Anything

The Field by Lynne McTaggart

A Solari Report – Can Our Own Communities Serve as Financial Safe Havens in Troubled Times?

Open Letter to My Congressman


Dr. Allison Bingham is an independent consultant and provides technical and strategic program implementation support to organizations both domestically and globally with a focus on low resource settings. Dr. Bingham provides strategic support to set organization strategic direction, develops, designs, implement and manage evidence -based public health interventions, generates evidence for proof of concept, program effectiveness and feasibility, build processes for decision making, and create feedback loops between key stakeholders. In her work, Dr. Bingham helps to foster a culture of data utilization for programmatic and business decision-making, and for measurement and evaluation. A medical anthropologist and public health specialist by training, Dr. Bingham has worked as a program development specialist and research scientist in the international health and development sector for nearly 30 years with over 30 scientific publications.

Dr. Bingham recently completed a career with PATH, an international nonprofit organization and leader in global health innovation aimed at saving lives and improving health, especially among women and children. Over her professional life, Dr. Bingham has served as a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on health and development-related applied research studies and program evaluations aimed at bringing new health initiatives, products and technologies to developing country/low resource settings. Over her tenure, she has been supported by funding from Fulbright- Hayes Fellowship program, Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes for Health, USAID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlett-Packard Foundation, Buffet Foundation, Exxon Mobil foundation, Glaxo-Smith Kline, and Merck among others.

These team-based initiatives were multi-disciplinary and generally included stakeholders from public agencies, large and small business sector, the media, as well as consumers and other key constituents, often in community settings. She has lived and worked in Latin and South America, Africa, India, SE Asia as well as in urban dense areas of the Eastern United States. Dr. Bingham received her PhD in the Program for Applied Medical Anthropology and Public health at the University of Connecticut in 1998, her MS at Georgia State University in 1987, and BS from Brigham University in 1982. Dr.Bingham currently resides in a very small mountain community in Central, Washington and enjoys mountain sports, gardening, traveling, and raising German Shepherd dogs.

Listen to a Recording of the Live Seminar

You can listen to a recording of the seminar of Unpacking Your Financial Ecosystem here.

Make sure to follow along with the seminar on this page.


  1. Great format. Although I will not be alble to participate in the live webinar, this is a fantastic way to get closer to your subscribers. Look forward to listening to the recorded webinar and hope that one day I can talk to you in person. I live in the Mpls metro area with ties back to farming in North Eastern North Dakota (Grand Forks to be exact). Currently working with the Holland Company (Chicago based) that services the rail industry and my son works in Wilistion, ND as an employee for Nabors Drilling in the Bauken oil batch. So the Lewis and Clark theme means quite a bit to me. From my perspective, your theroy of business 2.0 moving to 3.0 is spot on! I am seeing it first hand.

    Keep up the great work.

    Larry Stoltman

  2. Center for Responsive Politics – Official Site

    Political Action Committees. … Select an amount to make a donation. $25; $50; $100; Other; Donate … The Center for Responsive Politics has made itself into an …

    Donor Lookup · Lobbying · Politicians & Elections · PACs · Personal Finances · Get Local

    Search Campaign Finance Data by Individual Contributor

    Contributions to All Other Political Committees Except Joint Fundraising Committees This section includes contributions made by individuals, …
    FollowTheMoney.org – Official Site

    See comprehensive 50-state campaign contribution details for candidates, political parties and ballot measures at FollowTheMoney.org.

  3. 7 areas of opportunities in place

    1. Improve/Support Local Leadership
    2. Human & Intellectual Capital Investment
    3. Privacy
    4. Cost of Equity Capital
    5. Community Strategy
    6. Reengineering Government Flows
    7. Shifting Bank Deposits and Other Flows Local

  4. Why all the security to read the EMMA stuff? “You must acknowledge having read this information and must accept the terms and conditions of use for the EMMA web site – including restrictions on the use of third-party proprietary data – before accessing the data and document pages of this web site.”


  5. The central Texas Solari circle proposed to do this analysis for that metro area.
    It obviously takes a commitment of time.
    This outline and instruction provides a great deal of momentum to find the most interesting steps to start with!


  6. I have a employee/ friend (Graduate of Lewis and Clark College) who is semi-retired and lives in Boise. The Idaho Department of Labor makes our association onerous for his few bucks a year, so don’t think you’d be escaping bureaucracy.

    Fun facts: I do know all the words to Hot Rod Lincoln, which Wikipedia notes was set in Lewiston, ID.
    The eponymous Meriwether Lewis allegedly met an untimely end for publicizing his findings about pre-Indians who were eight feet tall and had red hair, something repugnant, it seems, to the Smithsonian Institution. I have several books on this matter.

    • Yes, the fee thing is everywhere. I don’t mind it as much in TN, as the performance is usually much higher than I experienced in DC or NY.

  7. My county has great GIS data posted online. Any tips on which maps I should overlay in order to illuminate a local ecosystem? I see great categories of maps for demographics, population density, and zoning. But I still don’t understand why five of the seven subsidized housing units in my county are geolocated within a mile radius of my downtown. It’s like gentrification never happened…how can I see through the shinny pretty maps to the city’s strategic planning? Thanks Catherine!

  8. Charts are great- as we are listening- Steve and I are going through some of our local information on the county seat town we live in. Great resource! This is very exciting and an excellent framework!

  9. What happened to the venture pool for local food?

    Restaurants will lie about having local food, because the demand far outstrips the supply.

  10. I am (in addition to my business) a local elected official and I have to note that the unionization of municipal labor does make costs quite high. Electors don’t seem to understand that most of them are on the opposite side of the table from unionized government workers. How do we undo this? The end result of all the grabby union negotiating is exactly what California has: insolvent state employee pension funds, etc.

  11. I am interested in helping college students find ways to successfully navigate their future. This training is inspiring me to see additional ways I can engineer collaborative relationships between college students, city government, faculty members and local decision makers.

    I’m the kind of person who has a dozen great ideas before breakfast. But I sort of jump all over the map. So my question is, looking at the collection of goals and action steps below do you think I am moving in the right direction?

    Goal 1. Design a system that will allow college students to have a personal (and successful) experience working in local government (even if on a limited basis).
    Action step- College class and City Code Enforcement day – pilot program
    Action step- Sponsor local organic farmer teaching college students about clean food and entrepreneurial options in small farming
    Action step- Sponsor a Q and A between local sheriff and college students

    Goal 2. Identity and connect academic talent (faculty) who would be willing to assist local government in program design and strategic planning.
    Action step: Identify and connect academic talent to city government paying particular attention to Marketing and long range forecasting.

    Goal 3. Work with small groups to teach them how to read “the map” and how to interface with local programs to create a more livable community.
    Action: Work with city manager to implement the Citizen Academy locally. This program identifies Chamber of Commerce talent and shows them how they can participate in local government.
    Action: Work with citizens like church members or neighborhood groups to teach them how to integrate their work with larger community goals such as innovative ways to deal with homelessness or the needs of dependent children.

    • See these links here https://solari.com/blog/rebuilding-a-local-economy-outline-links/

      V. HOW TO
      Link: Moneychanger: Steps to Rebuilding Your Local Economy

      High School and Summer Internship Programs

      Angel Networks and Equity Pools:
      A/B Share Models
      Existing Businesses: Buying out the boomers
      Venture Fund
      Real Estate – REITS
      Community IPO
      Databank – IT aggregator
      Local Crowdfunding
      Link:Solari Report: Organizing the Legal Structure for Your Start Up
      Link:A Review of Existing Media Capital Structures
      Link:Term Sheet for Recent Start Up Advised by Catherine using the Solari A/B Share Stock Model
      Link:Solari Report: Startup Financing for the Rest of Us
      Link:Study on Financial Returns of Angel Investors
      Link: In-State Equity Crowdfunding Offerings as an Alternative to Federal Jobs Act
      Link:Crowdfunding & the Legal Pathways to Raising Capital
      1998 Backcasting: Popsicle Culture: A Backcasting as a Report to Shareholders

  12. Catherine: New subscriber. Is there a way to look into the CAFRS and see where communities are outsourcing versus using local resources? THANKS

  13. Why in the world is Alaska in such bad shape with unfunded pensions and debt? All that oil income… I don’t get it. Theft?
    Thank you so much for this. Illuminating.

  14. Very entertaining evening. Lots of positivity in the group. Let’s do it again soon.

    PS. Hot Rod Lincoln was a hit song by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. Ca. 1975

    My pappy said, “Son, you’re gonna drive me to drinkin’ if you don’t stop drivin’ that Hot Rod Lincoln…”

  15. Thanks Catherine. I enjoyed the presentation and gained some insight into a few areas to explore in more detail in my town. I especially appreciated the reminder of Lynne McTaggarts book – it’s an area that’s always fascinated me.

  16. Catherine, Thank you for the wonderful framework for better understanding and engaging in our local places. I enjoyed the live format with its intensity of focus…I do have a lot to digest!

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