Joani Blank
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2019 12:44:15 -0700 (PDT)
Hello All —

Joani Blank passed away two years ago today.  

Who was Joani Blank?

She was quite possibly the all time quintessential Burning Soul in the 
cohousing movement.  Actually,  there have been many all time quintessential 
Burning Souls who forwarded the movement and who have now left us.  This is 
just about one of them.

A “Jewnitarian” by her own description, she lived first at Doyle Street in 
Emeryville, CA and subsequently at Swan’s Market in Oakland, CA.  She served on 
the first CohoUS Board of Directors. She gave the first large 5 digit donation 
to the newly formed board.  She was intractably good humored and positive as 
the then new board gathered its sea legs.  Joani volunteered her money, time 
and energy into moving the cohousing football forward 10 yards at a time.  
Always forward.  With her short, black, before it was fashionable purple 
streaked hair she embodied the values of cohousing.  Cooperative yet 
independent.  Self initiating yet aware of others' input. 

Joani reached out a hand to many.  Often the outstretched hand had a check in 
it for cohousing groups struggling to get going.  She monitored the requests 
for information that came into the virtual coho national office. She often 
asked me to answer the queries.     

Joani believed in collaboration in both life and work.  She was a successful 
business woman who turned her business into a worker’s collective selling her 
interest to her former employees.  She took that money and invested in other 
small businesses.  She was generous and kind and completely, unabashedly "out 
there" when it came to romantic affairs.

I miss you, Joani.  And I’m grateful for the foundation you helped to create 
for all of us out here in cohousing-land.

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Member, Board of Directors
Mid Atlantic Cohousing
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church, VA

I’m …

 “it’s 8:30 pm and you want to start a movie this late?” 

… Years Old.  

(From a series of DIY embroidery quotes by The Twilight Sewn)

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