Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director
Many of us are in shock with the national political news; others of us may feel pleasantly surprised.
It was helpful to me to listen to Margaret Manning morning show out of Geneva with "Sixty and Me," a global network of women whose organization would like to support cohousing, with her positive message of working together.
I hope everyone takes care in the next several days as we work through what this all means.
I am pleased that we will be offering a "Cohousers in Politics" facilitated discussion with Eris Weaver at the 2017 National Cohousing Conference. Please join us.
Below is a response to this message, posted on the cohousing email discussion list serve, first from Ann Zabaldo, who has been a beacon of inspiration and energy in cohousing's growth, and second from Katie McCamant, who started our cohousing resilient community model here in the U.S.
Dear Alice —
Leave it to you to find a way to direct our thoughts and energies this morning! This is what a leader does. Thank you, Alice.
I applaud your words and I’m delighted to report I’m now a member of the Sixty and Me community.
Last night at 1:45 a.m. my neighbor Carrie and I packed up the projector and the computer and headed home. We were the last two waiting out the results.
You might consider the emotions I might be feeling at that juncture in the election results would be sadness, anger, confusion, bemusement, bewilderment, anxiety, depression, etc. Instead, I felt profoundly lonely. I haven’t sussed out all that that might mean yet. May take a while.
But when I woke up this morning at 5:30 a.m. I was profoundly grateful. I live in cohousing. Now, it’s not just that I have all my neighbors so I won’t be lonely. It’s something bigger than that. A lot bigger.
Cohousing allows me to tackle the issues I want to tackle. I’m not waiting around for “The Government” to deal with issues around aging. Or the challenges single parents face (and two parent households, too!). Or, environmental and energy challenges. Or, latch key kids. Or any of many dozens of other social challenges facing society today. I have a blueprint for how to tackle these issues: Cohousing Communities. I don’t have to wait around for a government program. I can just keep building more communities.
So on this morning after the night before, I am moved to say how grateful I am to Katie McCamant and Chuck Durrett for giving me this blueprint. From the day I read the first paragraph in the first edition of “Cohousing” I have never wavered in my belief and commitment that community has the power to change the world — one cohousing community at a time. That’s a gift, Katie and Chuck. Thank you.
As I heard one Wellesley graduate say on NPR early this morning: we wake up, we pull on our pants suit and we start again. (Editorial note: only I don’t have to “start again.” I just have to wake up, pull on my pants suit and keep doing what I’m doing.)
Thank you to everyone on this list. We are a community also. Fred, our list serve manager, makes this community possible.
Let’s keep building cohousing!
Now, what color pants suit will I wear today …?
Takoma Village Cohousing
Thank you Ann, and Alice.
WOW…… apparently there is a lot of the world that sees it differently. But I agree, the only thing to do is to keeping doing what we are doing, better and broader. We must make sure our communities are not isolated islands, but rather beacons of hope of how people can work together respectfully, spreading love and hope rather than anger and fear. And most importantly, we must not let this discourage our efforts to create a more just and respectful world for all. The one thing we can count on now, is there will be no financial assistance from the federal government for the foreseeable future to create more affordable housing, protect our environment, or slow climate change. It is up to us to keep moving those efforts forward as best we can.
Kathryn McCamant, President
241B Commercial Street
Nevada City, CA 95959