Re: Work participation success stories (Elizabeth Magill)
From: fernselzer (
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 2021 11:42:21 -0800 (PST)

Hi allSorry, I don't know how to simply add to the thread so I am just matching 
the subject line.
New Brighton Cohousing has been here 13 years and rehabilitated an aging 
townhouse complex.  So our needs and the capacity of members are very different 
now that when we made our original participation agreements.  
Right now we are trying to make a major change to our work participation 
policies, to come up with something that is more flexible with pay/work options 
and more pointedly focussed on the work being enjoyed and sociable.  It may be 
time to give up on trying to please that person who doesn't do any work, please 
the people who complain about the lack of fairness, etc.   What will work 
besides flexibility, leniency, and acceptance of others' lifestyles and 
During this process,  we have spent time hearing people's feelings about what 
is needed, what is not seeming fair, how they are burned out, or just don't 
have the capacity or interest, etc. We also brainstormed some ideas of how to 
proceed.   Next step has been for the community care committee to work with a 
paid consultant/facilitator (from outside the community but an experienced 
facilitator who lives in an intentional community) to prepare an agenda to 
bring to the community where we can come to some agreements. 
This is the kind of change we could accomplish in our yearly retreat, but, 
because of COVID, we are moving forward in two hour ZOOM meetings spaced out 
I have been really interested in this discussion, as our community has been 
grappling with this for many years and I believe we will be making a major 
shift in the next few months.  And I think all the responses I have read should 
be really helpful to communities starting out.
Fern SelzerNew Brighton CohousingAptos, CA

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