Striving for acceptance
From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 18:11:45 -0500
Racheal wrote:

>But it disturbs me that 
>in cohousers' efforts to gain that acceptance, they often join the 
>mainstream in denigrating other types of shared housing.  This ranges 
>from the classic "Cohousing: It's not a Commune" motto to getting upset
>when a reporter erroneously calls a cooperative household "cohousing".
[Rob Sandelin says]

Yup we do that.  When I talk to a bank cohousing is just a special condo
project, no big deal.  When I talk to the planning department rednecks I
tell those good ole boys, Sheeeet, We aint no commune guys, (they are
all guys by the way) We're just some friendly neighbors trying to get
along.   When I talk to prospective members I describe the actions and
attitudes which make us a community and never mention the word condo

I have found there are times when its very useful to have people beleive
what you want them to. Especially if those people have a say over
whether your project gets built or not.  When you stand before the
planning board, and all those hostile eyes are on you, you want to be
concilliatory, ease their fears, make THEM happy. Even if it means
telling only part of the total story.  We all put our best foot forward
when we go into these situations, its natural.  The advantages are
obvious, the rewards great. If telling the bank that we are all upright
middle class citizens is what it takes to get that loan, hey don't think
twice, even if you KNOW you're a radical in disguise under that tie.
It's ok to do this, it's how the game is played.

Go to a planning department meeting wearing shorts, long hair and an
attitude and you might very well not get what you want, just because
they don't like the looks of you. That's the way the game is played. 
They make the rules, you need to understand them. Go to the same meeting
in a suit and tie, be organized, friendly, polite, humble - You still
may not get want you want, but odds are its not becuase they don't like

If your gonna be a developer, you got to learn the rules of the game.
And like it or not, if your creating cohousing, you are a developer.

Rob Sandelin
Going to meet a developer for dinner
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