1. The term “co” will be used in place of “he or she” or “him or her.” The term “cos” will be used in place of “his or hers.”
2. “Sustainable” means operating in such a way that resources are not consumed faster than they are replenished.
Commentary: We acknowledge that within the modern industrial economy there is no model of perfect sustainability, yet we strive to make choices that bring us closer to this ideal to the extent possible without isolating ourselves.
1. Categories of membership
There are three categories of membership: provisional, full, and child.
A. Provisional Membership
When an adult first joins the community, co becomes a provisional member. A provisional member has rights and responsiblities equal to those of a full member, except the community reserves the right to make limitations.
B. Full Membership
A full member is anyone who has spent at least a year in residence as a provisional member and to whom the full members have agreed to grant that status.
C. Child Membership
A person who is born into community or who joins the community prior to being considered an adult is a child member. The community determines the rights and responsibilities of child members. The decision on when a child member becomes an adult is at the discretion of the child and the full members. To the extent possible, child members are encouraged to take an active part in community affairs, and adult members are expected to treat seriously the opinions of child members. However, children are not guaranteed equal say in community decisions.
The community will establish an explicit procedure for admission of new members. Legal minors (as defined by the state of Missouri) will not be admitted for membership unless accompanied by their parent or legal guardian, or with their express approval.
A member cannot be expelled from the community unless the following conditions are met:
A. The remaining full members have reached consensus to expel the individual in question.
B. There is a meeting at which the individual is notified of the behavior upon which the expulsion is based.
C. The individual has been given a reasonable length of time after the aforementioned meeting in which to change cos objectionable behavior.
D. After the aforementioned reasonable length of time has passed, the remaining full members are still in agreement that the individual should be expelled.
All members are expected to contribute a reasonable amount of work toward group efforts, relative to an individual's abiltiy to work. It is expected that this will be measured in terms of effort and not in terms of output. Moreover, where some members possess skills which the community relies on and that others do not possess, the skilled members are expected to make a reasonable effort to teach their skills to interested unskilled members.
2. Income and Expenses
All money earned by individuals once they are members is considered group income and goes into a common treasury. This includes not only wages, but also interest or rent earned from money or other property held privately with the following two exceptions:
A. Members will be allowed to keep gifts, inheritance or royalties from works produced prior to becoming a member, and
B. Child members will be allowed to have a trust or its equivalent established for them by people outside the community without any interest from them being considered group income.
In return, the community assumes responsibility for meeting all individual needs for food, shelter, medical expenses and education.
All members are expected to refrain from using or spending any personal assets held by them while they are in residence in the community. Exceptions may be approved by consensus.
4. Expenditures and Business Relationships
We actively support the development of strong, independent local economies. We strive to avoid products and services from exploitative nations and corporations, shopping at small locally-owned and/or cooperative businesses wherever possible.
5. Energy Policy
We feel an obligation to minimize any harmful impact we might have on the air, land and water, and so will pursue sustainable, clean and renewable ways to provide the energy that we consume.
6. Land Use
We consider the effects of our land use decisions on the health of the planet and its inhabitants. We do not believe that human activities are inherently harmful to the environment and so we do our best to live in a way that benefits biodiversity and ecological health.
All major decision-making will be done by unanimous consensus of full members. Provisional and child members are encouraged to take part in discussions, and their opinions are valued, but they may not block consensus. The group may delegate decision-making on minor matters at its discretion.
Any amendment to these bylaws must be made by consensus of full members.