Re: No Quorum
From: Jerry Koch-Gonzalez (
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2019 12:11:00 -0700 (PDT)
We let go of quorum many years ago with no negative effects.
Now with sociocratic governance, it is even less relevant since almost all
decisions are made in the work circles. We still have monthly meetings but
those are not for decision making. They are for giving feedback to circles
about decisions they are going to make, they are about doing community
education like about governance or nonviolent communication or EMFs or
anything relevant, and they are about community building like doing heart
circles/sharing circles/life stories, etc.  We do have an annual meeting
where we discuss and approve the budget and for that meeting, we have high
attendance so that quorum is also not a concern.
Jerry Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community, Amherst MA

Jerry Koch-Gonzalez  413-687-5444
, Sociocracy For All <> and  New England NVC
Founding Resident, Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community

To talk to me about sociocracy or NVC, go here:

On Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 2:53 PM Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> We had a discussion a few years ago about the community in Blacksburg, I
> think, that dropped their quorum requirement. Has anyone else done that?
> We discussed because I think our quorum count is fake because people are
> counted even if they show up, check in with the minute taker, and leave.
> But people felt that they were giving permission for any decisions that
> come out of the meeting in a positive way. Not just not showing up.
> But now we are getting a lot of resistance from new people. No meetings.
> They enjoy living  here and participate fully in the work and meals but are
> not interested in governance or resolving issues. We have one 2-hour
> meeting a month but it isn’t enough to do any discussion about a serious
> topic that we need to understand and make a decision. The current issues
> are paying for LCEs, Bylaws amendments, and Declaration amendments. When
> meetings happen once a month it's like children returning to school— we
> have to spend time reminding people what we did last time and bringing
> people who missed that meeting up to speed. We need a series of meetings
> every two weeks to complete these discussions and involve even half the
> residents.
> I realize that people are interested in different aspects of the community
> (we have rabid weeders just now). But refusing to schedule meetings because
> “no one” wants to talk about bylaws is incredibly frustrating for those who
> realize that for legal issues and avoiding future risk, they need to be
> updated.
> Expecting to reach consensus on issues requires that people be informed
> and contribute their knowledge to the discussion. If people really are
> happy with whatever the group decides, then there has to be official time
> for those interested to sort out issues. If there are 15 people interested
> in the bylaws amendments, why can’t they meet and decide?
> One of our members pointed out that compared to groups using parliamentary
> procedure our requirements are very high. For a membership of 60, Robert's
> requires 31 people to show up. And decisions pass with 16 people. Less than
> 1/3 of the membership. Some quorums are lower than that.
> With consensus 31 people have to show up and all 30 have to consent 50%
> plus 1. So to schedule a meeting the board and facilitators say the topics
> have to be of interest to at least 31 people. That it is their job to
> protect  residents from unproductive meetings.
> Having no quorum but (1) requiring strict notification of the agenda and
> decisions to be made and (2) the ability of members to have a topic delayed
> when they can’t attend a meeting. I feel that people should be expected to
> attend all meetings and to read documents ahead of time. But I’m feeling
> like it’s herding 9th graders and just turning them off to governance.
> No quorum would work better now that the community is established and
> decisions are neither emergencies nor will they change the lives of
> everyone here.
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