Re: common house tensions to resolve-this got long
From: Elizabeth Stevenson (tamgoddessattbi.com)
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 07:35:04 -0600 (MDT)
> 
> Elizabeth, would you say more about this.  In our community this is a
> conversation we have started, but not yet finished.
> 
> When you say you would block consensus, do you only mean outside people
> coming in to use the common house for commmercial purposes?  Do you include
> people in the community using the common house for their own commercial
> purposes?  Do you include Tupperware Parties?

I would block consensus if someone wanted to use the common house for any
commercial purpose. I say this, although we haven't had much actual
"blocking" for years. It would never get to that point. We have a habit of
building consensus before meetings, rather than at meetings. So I would end
up talking to the person first, and they would drop it if my concerns were
not addressed to my satisfaction.

Yes, I would include people using the common house for their own personal
commercial purpose. Since Tupperware parties are not a regular event, and
I've yet to know anyone who actually made money selling Tupperware, I
wouldn't bother to object to that. I've attended one in our CH, and it was a
fun community event. But if someone wanted to really make a living at it,
they'd have to go elsewhere.

But we had someone who wanted to hold regular Amway meetings in the CH.
(Another legal pyramid scheme!) That person was very angry when others
objected. Amway is not only commercial and not involving other cohousers, it
is a right-wing organization. People objected to it politically and
personally. I never want to go through that situation again. There are too
many ways it can go wrong. And there were hurt feelings. Her point was that
we allow all kinds of political groups to come here and speak, and she
shouldn't be silenced either. So we decided that no commercial enterprise
would be allowed in the CH, rather than have to make judgement calls on
people or organizations.

We recently had some Israeli Refuseniks housed here briefly, and since it
had a potential (however slim) for violence, the sponsoring person asked the
community if they objected. As far as I know, nobody did, and there were no
protests or violence. But it would have been the prerogative of anyone to
object and not allow a group to meet here. It hasn't happened, so I have no
idea how we would actually deal with it.


-- 
Liz Stevenson
Southside Park Cohousing
Sacramento California
tamgoddess [at] attbi.com

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