Tony SirnaGrowing up in suburban Detroit, I never thought I’d end up living in an ecovillage in rural Missouri. Most times I had no idea what I’d do with my life, but when I went to my 10-year high school reunion, no one seemed that surprised where I ended up. Born in 1972. Middle Class. White. Catholic. Italian-Irish. Youngest of three (two older sisters). Loving family (parents are still happily married). My family wasn’t very political, but they certainly voted Republican. The turning points in my life were getting a skateboard (8th grade), and seeing the Grateful Dead (10th grade). The first taught me rebellion, and the second showed me there was an alternative to the mainstream.

Wanting to see more Dead shows, I headed to California for college, and ended up at Stanford University. There I was introduced to the concept of intentional community, living at Synergy co-op. At Synergy I was politicized (feminism, ecology, class, race, etc.), taking my desire for a different path and adding a desire to change the world. That’s when I fell in with Dancing Rabbit and soon was part of the core group.

It was also at Synergy that I fell in love with my partner, Rachel Katz. She and I have been together since 1994 and in 2000, we celebrated our commitment to each other with a ceremony with family and friends joining us at Dancing Rabbit. I certainly didn’t know back at Synergy that our love would grow this strong and our relationship would be one of the most fulfilling and magical parts of my life (not that we don’t have issues, like everyone else).

After Graduation, I worked as a computer programmer for a few years in the Bay Area, saving money for DR while we planned our community and looked for land. Since moving to DR, I still do some computer work, but most of my energy goes into helping Dancing Rabbit grow and thrive. I seem to split my time between outreach and education, village planning, and building infrastructure at DR. For the latter, I have been active in designing both our old and new Common Houses, setting up the BEDR power co-op and helping to install our solar micro-grid, designing and building many of the village roads, and was also the main building coordinator for Skyhouse, a 6-bedroom strawbale building. I am currently working as Dancing Rabbit’s Development Coordinator, helping our non-profit get support for its educational mission.

For fun I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee and hockey (in the winter), blues dancing,  sing-a-longs, and just hanging out or playing games with friends. I also must admit I enjoy accomplishing things, having a really good meeting, and creating a really nice spreadsheet (call me a geek if you will).

Another passion of mine is community networking. For 17 years I worked with the Fellowship for Intentional Community as a Board member and managing the Intentional Communities Website. I enjoyed the chance to meet with other community activists from around the country and see how DR is part of a larger cooperative living movement.

I see my life at DR as a chance to live out my values while working on what I see as the key issues of our time: climate change and sustainability.

Tony- 5/14