RE: Following agreements
From: Eileen McCourt (
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 11:53:01 -0600 (MDT)
I think regular attendance at meetings is definitely a requirement of living
in cohousing.  Not everyone agrees, although I would say we get about 70% of
households at our meetings.  We are just about to start construction, and
lots of money is involved.  Our meetings require most people to travel 3-4
hours at least once a month, but we still get good attendance.


Eileen McCourt
Oak Creek Commons
Cohousing in Paso Robles, CA
emccourt [at]

-----Original Message-----
From: cohousing-l-admin [at]
[mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at]]On Behalf Of Robert P. Arjet
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 8:40 AM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_Following agreements

cohousing-l [at] writes:
>This particular cohousing group regularly only gets
>30-40% of its members to attend  meetings, which meets the quorum
>requirements but apparently isn't enough to make some decisions actually
>work. (it was instructive to hear WHY people did not attend meetings)

I'd be interested in hearing more about  these reasons.  We're still in
the "forming" stage, so I'm not surprised that are a lot of people who
attend 50% of the meetings or less.  I've assumed, however, that once we
are a "real" group, with "real" members and money involved, that regular
attendance will simply be one of the duties of membership.  However, it
looks like in a lot of communities attendance is just not a requirement or
a social norm.

Maybe I spent too many years on football teams in Texas, but it seems to
me that if you don't show up for practice, you really can't expect to
play.  Am I right in assuming that any consensus-based group with a 40%
attendance rate has much bigger problems than who cleans up messes?  I
can't imagine trying to get compliance on a decision when 60% of the
affected parties weren't there.  To stretch my metaphor dreadfully, that's
like trying to run a brand-new play when only the quarterback, the wide
receiver, and a couple of the linemen were at practice.  60% of the
players aren't going to know what to do, it's going to fail miserably, and
all the people who weren't at practice will agree that the play was a bad
idea.  The worst part is that in cohousing, there's not even a coach to

I guess what's at the bottom of my curiosity is this: do other people
consider meeting attendance a central requirement of living in a
consensus-based community?  If so, then why is there so much trouble in
getting people to show up? What are those instructive reasons for people
not showing up, and do they generally hold water?


Robert Arjet
Central Austin Cohousing
where we have agreed to accept membership money, but until we have a
budget, we're not allowed to spend any...

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