State of the Network Address 2016

Point A has been busily working since it’s inception in July 2014 to cultivate a network of ambitious engaged egalitarian income sharing urban communes in the cities of the East Coast (just like it says in our tagline). In that time we’ve expanded from an idea being talked about by three people to an actual project operating in four cities with communes launched and launching. We’ve picked up hundreds of friends, allies, and curious onlookers (in person, via the newsletter, and via Facebook). We’ve started to meet people who have already heard of us by the time we get to them. Obviously, this is an idea worth spreading.

We’d like to take this moment, much like our President, to report on the state of the network.

 

Point A DC

Point A DC was the first branch of the project to get started and for the last two years we’ve been slowly and steadily building the foundation for a brand new commune. At this point, we have five people ready to make the leap of faith and become the founding members of the commune. With help from the University of DC Community Development Law Clinic we’ve set up a legal framework for organizing the commune. Our property search has yielded a few promising possibilities that we have been doggedly pursuing. With the help of The Keep we have hosted a long string of meetings, discussions, and visits by other communards who have shared their wisdom and experience with us (if we must make mistakes, after all, we’d rather they be novel and interesting mistakes). We have our first retreat coming up next weekend to bring together the founding group, other potential members, and a few allies to push this thing into existence.

We continue to seek new members and new allies. Shoot us an email or plan on coming by one of our meetings, evening discussions, or book club meetings (see calendar for schedule).

Point A NYC (or PANYNY)

Point A NYC continues to slowly build momentum towards creating an income sharing community within the 5 boroughs. Over the past couple of years we have done numerous meetings at collective houses as well as mini-communities conferences and public presentations on topics related to community living. Ganas Community on Staten Island has been the host of several of these talks and continues to support the Point A project by hosting out of town activists who regularly come visit.

Point A NYC continues to work with Smiling Hogs Head Ranch (SHHR), an urban gardening project in Long Island City (which is in Queens). We have worked together on SHHR’s visioning exercise which was held at the Flux Factor in Queens as well as introducing people to the project.

Point A NYC is working using an ACT model: Agitation, Creation, and Teaching. We are supporting anti-gentrification efforts in the city, as well as making sure our own efforts to build community do not exacerbate this problem. In creation mode we are helping new residential community projects get started, specifically we have worked with Catalyst Community and the Fae also on Staten Island. Our teaching profile includes the many workshops we offer from Community in Crisis to Transparency Tools.

Quercus Community (Point A Richmond VA)

Quercus community has been in action since October 2015. We continue to organize educational and cultural events, host Food Not Bombs RVA, participate in ASWAN, a homeless-led coalition group, make improvements to our post-punk house using mostly palette wood and other salvaged materials, and more. We aspire to demonstrate less energy consumptive systems and appliances in an urban setting, such as our bicycle powered wash machine and associated laundry to landscape greywater system (pictured below) and heating the house solely with wood from palettes. Some future projects we’d like to work on include finishing our attic with palette wood for greater DIY/maker space, movement room, and a free store; building a 55-gallon drum biodigester to turn excess compost generated from Food Not Bombs into methane to cook with; and building a bike-powered cell-phone charging station for laptops and cellphones. Upcoming events include a Transparency Tools workshop (Jan. 20th), a Non-Violent Commuication work group (every Thursday), and a house show/benefit dinner Jan. 27th. Find us on Facebook for most up-to-date info.

Emmett and Dustin pose by their newly completed bicycle powered wash machine

Emmett and Dustin pose by their newly completed bicycle powered wash machine

Darles cooking for Food Not Bombs

Darles cooking for Food Not Bombs

Baltimore Free Farm (Point A Baltimore MD)

Baltimore Free Farm has been working hard to renovate the house we purchased (as Horizontal Housing) back in May, that’s how we’ve been spending most of our time these last few months! We are moving right along, we hope to be finished in February. Besides working on the house, we’ve been expanding our food rescue efforts. As you may know, we have been hosting Food Not Bombs in our space, and have now expanded the project from one day per week to three days per week! We hosted a number of events this fall including an acorn flour making workshop, and film screenings on gentrification and honeybees. We are excited for the upcoming growing season as we delve more and more into permaculture and medicinal herbs!

Upcoming events:
Volunteer work parties on the Horizontal Housing project, experience or not, we’d love your help! Various days and times, call 443-453-6780 if interested.
Baltimore Free Farm’s 5th Annual Fancy Dinner is on January 29th from 5-9pm. Yummy food and libations, live music, and raffle and auction prizes! Tickets available at our website www.baltimorefreefarm.org

Drywall gets hung in Middle House

Drywall gets hung in Middle House

Kenny and crew cooking for Food Not Bombs

Kenny and crew cooking for Food Not Bombs

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