Re: what is your vision of community participation?
From: Jennifer McCoy (
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 17:15:18 -0600
At Lake Claire in Atlanta, we solved the participation/guilt problem
like this:  

First, we surveyed people to see how many hours/month they had been or
were willing to put in, and we simultaneously estimated the number of
hours it would take to do the chores just to keep the place
running(cleaning common house, sidewalk sweeping, meal cooking and
cleaning, etc.).  Then we added some time for workdays to finish both
the site and common house, which two years into living here are still
not complete.  The whole exercise comes out to 12 hours/person/month
(this is 20 adults).

Second, we put up a monthly sign up for chores, workdays and meals.  We
agreed people would try to put in an average of 12/hours a month, but
there is no policing or sanctions.  

Third, we cut down our meeting times drastically -- to 1 business
meeting/month of two hours maximum.  We formed committees and gave them
power.  Everyone serves on a committee.  None of these meetings count
toward the 12 hours/month.

It's working pretty well.  Participation is not equal and people often
say they feel guilty for not doing enough, but with all the different
kinds of contributions and ebbs and flows in people's lives and
availabilities, it pretty much works out.


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