Re: Kids, decision-making and hierarchy
From: Jessie Kome (
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2020 06:20:26 -0700 (PDT)

Here at EVC, this has played out different ways. One way is the “nothing about 
us without us” path. So we make an effort for all decisions that directly bear 
on the kids (messy toys in the courtyard, noise at dinner, selecting a new play 
set for the roof) to have at least one facilitated kids meeting to discuss and 
get their input and ideas and energy and suggestions and buy in.

Another way is that a young individual sometimes asks to attend our full 
membership circle meetings or Board meetings or sign up for the community 
mailing list. Which is fine. They can post and speak in meetings if they 
choose. One was even an assistant Board member for a while.

One of our kids asked to help facilitate meetings, starting when she was about 
13. She turned out to be good at it, pursued training (some with Laird at the 
cohousing conferences) and has a masters degree in conflict resolution. (Full 
disclosure: proud mama here.) She occasionally still does guest facilitation 
for EVC, when we have tricky issues or situations. Most recently, she helped us 
transition our facilitated meetings to zoom.

Kids also take part in community work days and meals and community care and all 
manner of social events.

Jessie Handforth Kome
Eastern Village Cohousing
Silver Spring, Maryland 

> On Sep 22, 2020, at 8:04 AM, Natalie Franz <eilatan5445 [at]> wrote:
> Hi all!
> Asking this mostly out of curiosity. I was wondering if anyone could share
> about their experiences and approaches with kids (whatever age) and
> community decision making. It seems that most communities seek to have a
> flat power structure when it comes to community decisions, and I was
> wondering if any communities extend that power sharing to children and
> teens in their community, and to what extent?  How interested were they in
> participating, and in what capacity? How did/do you approach addressing
> concerns of young people who, after all, didn't themselves choose to live
> in that setting?
> Cheers,
> Natalie

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