Political diversity
From: Larry Israel (lisraelaa.net)
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 1996 23:06:49 -0500
Hello All,

Larry Israel here, of Puget Ridge Cohousing in Seattle.  2 or 3 years ago I
was a subscriber and very occaisional contributer to this list, but since
actually *living* in cohousing I didn't seem to have the time (or interest,
really).  Now, 2 years after move in, I've recouped my energy for it.  I've
been lurking for several months, and am ready to add a few thoughts from
time to time.

Something has been on my mind for a long time and the whole discussion of
diversity reminds me of it, tho it is perhaps not directly tied to the
intense discussion which has recently been occuring.  I would like to point
out a type of diversity which has, in my estimation, been pretty well
overlooked by the cohousing "movement": political diversity.

Most cohousers, myself included, share the value of living in a diverse
community.  Cohousing groups usually aspire to live amongst people of
different cultural background, race, age, gender, sexual orientation,
religion, and income.  But I have heard nearly no expressed desire to live
in community with people who have a wide variety of political views.  This
is true here at Puget Ridge, as much as anywhere.

While I am glad that I live primarily amongst other left liberal types, I
had hoped that when we were still adding members we would have gotten at
least one token Republican.  Unfortunately I don't think we did.  I enjoy
discussing politics and current events with people from a broad spectrum of
perspectives, and am somewhat disappointed that, unless someone is in the
closet about their political views, we are all at various points to the
left of center.  I wouldn't be suprised if this was true in many cohos,
perhaps most.  But no one seems to say anything about this lack of
diversity, or view it as a shortcoming of their community.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.  Do you aspire to live in a
politically diverse community -- including (shudder) Republicans?  Is
everyone in your group somewhere left of center?  Do you agree that
political diversity has been overlooked as a shared value amongst
cohousers?  Why is no one talking about this (or have I just missed it)?

Larry Israel
Puget Ridge Cohousing
Seattle, Washington

"As the most participatory form of mass speech yet developed, the Internet
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      -- Judge Stewart Dalzell, U.S. District Court, June 11, 1996

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