National CoHousing Association
From: Zpaiss (
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 16:27:02 -0500
Dear CoHousers Everywhere:

The members of the Rocky Mountain CoHousing Association RMCA have begun a
discussion over the past couple of months around the future of our

In April of 1991, the RMCA was born to help in the creation and development
of cohousing in the rocky mountain region.  Now some six years later there
are five completed communities, three under construction, seven groups with
sites under control and almost a dozen others in the early planning stages.
In the past six years cohousing in the Rocky Mountain region has become a

Is it possible that the RMCA has completed its job and is no longer needed?

The question which was raised by the RMCA Board was this:

Is it time for the RMCA, with its experienced board of trustees, a newly
granted 501 (c)(3) status, informational materials and history of success, to
merge with the subscribers and extensive membership systems created by Don
Lindemann of The CoHousing Network, to form the first national, non-profit
organization dedicated to the promotion of cohousing?

Some of the questions which must be answered include:

1. What would be the goal of the national organization and how would it
differ from the current goal of the RMCA?

2. Who should the new board be composed of and how would they operate?

3. What staff possitions would be needed and who might be the logical
person/perple to fill those roles?

4. What would be Zev Paiss's and Don Lindemann's roles?

5. Who would do the month to month work of the organization?

6. What are the legal limitations of modifying the RMCA legal documents.

7. What steps need to be taken to consult with the RMCA membership?

8. What would be the national organization's relationship to the regions?

Some of Zev's Thoughts...

I could imagine the two organizations merging and literally combining
resources to form this new entity.  

The RMCA would contribute:
Its Board, Membership, 501c3 status, resource materials and expertise, 

The CoHousing Network would contribute:
Its database, publishing venture, subscription and renewal systems, and

The new national board could be composed of existing RMCA Board members, CoHo
Network Regional Editors and advisory board, and several additional active
Burning Souls around the country.  I imagine a large board of 15-25 people
who are required to meet once each year.

To deal with more ongoing issues, an executive board of 5-9 would meet
quarterly or monthly to handle more of the ongoing issues of policy and
operation. This could be all of or part of the existing RMCA Board.

I see the organization eventually needing an exceutive director, a
publications manager and a national marketing director.  At the beginning I
would propose that Don Lindemann become the publications manager and continue
to do the work it is now doing for the CoHousing Journal.  I feel it is
critical that Don be allowed to continue his current activities even if under
a different umbrella organization. After speaking with him, he confirmed that
he would like to continue editing the Journal and dealing dealing with
related tasks, being a phone contact for media and individuals, and
overseeing the subscription system which could be taken over by someone else
when funds are available.

This move also opens up the possibility for nationally coordinated marketing
and media events and a one stop information center for people and
organizations looking for information on CoHousing.

What is need at this time is specific feedback from all of you interested in
this topic.  This idea must be something the entire Cohouaing movement wants
and not an idea which feels in any way forced into being by the RMCA.

Please send your feedback to the list and to me (Zev) directly since I often
get behind (OK very behind) reading my daily CoHo-L digests.

It would be my hope that we could actually craft something to be presented
and consensed to at the Meeting of Burning Souls on September18th.

In Community,

Zev Paiss

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