by Raven and Gil of Cotyledon
On November 26th, 2018, the Cotyledon community celebrated our first year in Astoria, a lovely neighborhood in Queens, NY, with the founders having dinner together, and the next weekend throwing a party for ourselves.
Some good things from this past year include, surviving our first year (not all communes do), becoming an official Community in Dialogue with the Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC), becoming a Not for Profit corporation in the State of New York, and having fun along the way. Some of that fun was organizing events: we have hosted monthly “Idealist Days” which have included an NYC cooperative house mixer, some game nites, a few workday/potlucks at Smiling Hogshead Ranch, a waterfront cleanup, and a community mandala making event.
We also co-created the “Communes and Communities” Meetup group which regularly brings together a broad swath of New Yorkers to explore community topics and share lived experiences. Over the Labor Day weekend, DNA, Gil, and Raven traveled together, with a couple other New Yorkers, to attend the Twin Oaks Communities Conference in Virginia. We meet weekly to discuss house happenings, develop our framework, plan future events and deepen our interpersonal relations.
We currently have three very passionate people committed to building community together, and two more wonderful folks who like living with us and we adore living with even if they cannot commit to staying with us for the long-term or share income. And, surprisingly, we are doing fairly well financially.
As an FEC Community in Dialogue, we are striving towards meeting the seven principles of Egalitarian Communities. In doing so, we are actively working in our neighborhood and various communities. We are currently engaging in the struggle to block Amazon from entering our community. We also enjoy working on urban fairs and organizing around food justice.
The biggest drawback for us is that we are still only three income-sharers. The three of us had been talking about creating this for two and a half years before we actually made the move and rented a place together, so we’ve been fleshing out and organizing around our principles for three and a half years now, watched a bunch of people come and go, and it’s still just the three of us.
If you know anyone who is up for the challenge of building an income-sharing community, an act that considerably helps buffer the impacts of living in one of the most expensive cities in the country, wants to continue developing the gritty details of agreements and structure while helping move towards creating a cooperative business (or two), and has ideas on how to keep the money flowing in while all this is happening, please send them our way and they can be part of our second year here.
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Deep gratitude to all of our patrons:
- Acorn Community
- Compersia Community
- Cotyledon Community
- East Brook Community Farm
- The Federation of Egalitarian Communities
- Twin Oaks Community
- Sumner Nichols
- Tobin Moore
- Kai Koru
- Bryan Utesch
- Jenn Morgan
- Jonathan Thaler
- Nance & Jack Williford
- Julia Evans
- William Croft