Delegate's Bulletin Board
Delegate’s Sharing Session 15 March 2020
Area Service Committee via Email Only (event cancelled)
Health and Safety
• On March 11, Ryan provided notices in English and Spanish from General Service Office suggesting a few measures to minimize transmission of the coronavirus, including (1) Contacting your national, state/provincial and local health authorities for appropriate information. (2) Some groups have discussed making changes to customs at their meetings. Some examples have included: avoiding shaking hands and handholding; making sure meeting hospitality tables are sanitary; or suspending food hospitality for the time being (maybe have hand sanitizer at the coffee station). Regardless of group decisions, each individual is responsible for their own health decisions. (3) Visit www.aa.org for up-to-date information regarding G.S.O./A.A.W.S. coordinated events. Please be assured that the health and safety of attendees is a priority.
• We felt that it was socially responsible and in keeping with input from local health centers to cancel the ASC on March 15, and the Boot campers quickly followed suit for their event on March 14 to be sure we keep our members out of harm’s way. Going forward, we will continue to post information as we receive it on safe ways to practice our principles while keeping everyone healthy.
• Please note that you can keep abreast of the latest health and safety information for AA coming out of the General Service Office (GSO) by checking the “What’s New” tab on our aa.org website.
• It’s ironic that on page 50 of the February 2020 Grapevine, entitled, “Getting Through Tough Times,” my story is published about the Sober Voices Group (“Tony, Darryl, Jan, Joe, and Nancy”), which indicates you can find call-in information online by looking up “AA phone meetings”
• As of today, March 14, 2020, the following upcoming events are still scheduled and have not been cancelled: April 5 Pre-Conference Workshop, International Convention in Detroit over the July 4th weekend, August Regional Forum, all Area ASCs and Assemblies, and all delegate report-backs (covered below).
MSCA 09 Rocks!
• I’d like to personally thank Ryan W for not only presenting a great paper at PRAASA, but continuing to work on updates to the website; facilitating communications with Districts, including sending approved Board minutes to DCMs and DCMCs (first time this has happened since 2012); and reaching out to all Area 09 central offices and asking them if they want to receive MSCA 09 eblasts.
• Thanks to Rozanne P, District 18, for providing the table of contents to the 95+/- Conference Agenda Items. I believe that Ryan eblasted this, and I also shared it with GSO mailman to be available to the other 92 delegates.
• Mitchell also took the lead on drafting Chapter 52, which I assume is one of 52 chapters archives has written over the years about PRAASA planning, which contributes the background information for how Area 09 planned for and hosted PRAASA 2019. Chair, Joe B and others pitched in with information.
• Area 93 is hosting the Four-Area DCM Sharing Session, at a place to be determined, on May 30. Ruben and Nancy are Area 09 liaisons if you want more information.
• At our Board meeting on February 16, Jerry S of District 11 and several others visited with us to talk about revitalizing District 11. Charles and Barbaradee are also involved in this effort, and the Board offered its full support – to be sure that District 11 is available to its members rather than absorb it into District 8. I (and likely a few other Board members) are scheduled to meet with them following our Board meeting on 3/29/2020.
PRAASA 2020 Rocked!
• I participated in my second and last PRAASA Delegate’s Advisory Board conference call on February 24, serving as secretary, and helping Jeff G prepare for the business meeting, particularly the motion to provide for enhanced translation and hearing-impaired equipment.
• It was my pleasure to present a 7-minute paper on the pros and cons of changing the first 164 pages of the Big Book. Afterwards, a longtime AA member came up afterwards and told me she’d changed her mind; not so much there should be a revised Big Book, but that she would remain flexible and open to discussions.
• I also made a 2-minute presentation on Area Highlights, which I will also present in New York; and, as the 2019 PRAASA secretary, read the minutes recorded in Irvine to the alcoholics assembled in Tucson. I also visited Sabina Canyon with Trustee Kathi and about eight other delegates on March 5th; shared my two-bed room with Ron E and Matt from Area 93.
• Evan T, for the fifth year in a row, has taken our PRAASA MSCA 09 group photograph. We expect that these photos will be made available at an upcoming Area Assembly or ASC so that Evan can be sure everyone has a photo without printing extraneous ones.
• Having met a young man at PRAASA, I was invited to speak at the Grupo Estrella del Desierto meeting tomorrow night, which was my very first non-rehab AA meeting in August 2005. The topic is “How to give back to AA.”
Preparing for the Conference
• As per Ryan’s email on 3/14/2020, the physical Conference in New York has been cancelled, and replaced by a remote Conference in which we will attempt to meet as Committees and the Conference, so I expect to be busy for the week of April 19 through 25, just here in California rather than in New York.
• Our Pre-Conference Workshop, which will be conducted by Hiro with a series of round tables is still scheduled for April 5th, at the Walton Intermediate School, 12181 Buaro Street Garden Grove.
• Hiro is working on a series of tables that will reiterate summary information from Area 06, and will provide voting and commenting spaces for your input at the member, group, and district levels. Please encourage all members to provide informed opinions, which generally requires reading the background information or being instructed by group leaders who have read the materials and can brief them. If the Pre-Conference Workshop is cancelled, we will at least have these tables, which will be eblasted and posted, available to capture your input.
• Area 5 would like to invite you to join them at their Pre-Conference Workshop April 4th and 5th in Pasadena, although we are hoping that you go only on Saturday, as our Pre-Conference Workshop is on Sunday, April 5th. Breakfast and lunch is to be served.
• The background information on agenda items was dispersed to Ryan for eblasting and to a dozen Hispanic leaders on 3/14/2020 so they can be shared as soon as possible.
• I continue to review background information, and have finished review of my own Literature Committee, and the committees for Agenda, Cooperation with the Professional Community, Corrections, Finances, Grapevine, Policy and Admissions, and International Conventions/Regional Forums. This has taken 22 hours so far, and I still need to review Public Information, Report and Charter, Treatment and Accessibilities, and Trustees background information.
• I was really touched by reviewing the Too Young, cartoon pamphlet in preparing for my PRAASA presentation on changing the Big Book. This taught me that AA is committed to producing literature that speaks to all existing and future members in languages that are most effective in portraying our message of recovery (and compassion).
• One of the considerations for International Conventions/Regional Forums is what kinds of prayers we should or should not say in Detroit, for example. Also, it’s cool that they have the agenda outline in there for the past few Internationals.
• So far, I have scheduled delegate’s report-backs with the following districts: Please listen closely to be sure these are right: Districts 1 & 3 on May 14; District 2 on May 27; 4 on September 2; 7 on August 10; 10 on August 5; 12 on June 3; 17 on July 14; 19 on June 13; 20 on May 11; 22 on June 16; 25 on June 8. Please let me know if a date is wrong, and if not already scheduled, please let me know asap the best date to schedule my visit with your district.
• Our Panel 70 book marks and buttons have been produced and I’m inquiring with GSO about how we may still share these materials, perhaps at the International delegate’s luncheon.
News from New York:
• On 2/12/2020, about 10 of 15 PR delegates participated in a two-hour conference call with PR Trustee, Kathi F. There was another conference call at 6 pm on 3/12/2020 concerning cancellation of the face-to-face Conference in New York, but I did not get the message until 9 pm that night.
• Kathi’s entire trustees report has been posted to the Delegate’s Bulletin Board, and thanks to Jesus for translating it!
• In her quarterly Trustee’s report dated 2/5/2020, Kathi F shared that by the end of January, over 28,000 people had registered for the International Convention in Detroit, July 4th weekend. This is tracking with past Convention numbers and we expect to reach our goal of approximately 48,000. Please register asap as the pre-registration price is good through April 15th. After that it will go from $115 up to $140. There are a lot of hotel rooms left and shuttles will be provided.
• I contacted Kathi on Ruben’s behalf, and found out that if you have preregistered for the International, you should receive the Program and other materials in April.
• At the International Convention the 40 millionth copy of the Big Book will be presented to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
• Group and member contributions for 2019 hit a new record of 8.8 million dollars. Thank all the Groups for continuing to support AA’s services!
• Registrars are able to continue group registration work via “My Portal,” there are new numbers being assigned to groups but your “legacy GSO numbers” are easily cross-referenced, and until the ERP system is up and running, Emily can still register groups with hard copy registration forms.
• Receive an email on February 21 saying that the March date to have “My Portal” up and running has been further postponed.
• The 2020 National AA Technology Workshop is scheduled for September 11-13, 2020 in Seattle (Bellevue), Washington. Registration is $65 before July 31 and $85 afterwards.
• On March 12, 2020, Alain, our GSO “mailman,” shared links to 15 scientific and media sources citing a recent study showing AA to be somewhat more effective at recovery (22 to 37%) compared to other approaches (15 to 25%). This email is available to anyone wanting it (contact me).
My Latest Lies (for which I apologize)
• As given above, the Spanish-speaking district was correct in stating that the old GSO numbers are being discontinued – which I said was not going to happen. As given above, your old GSO numbers can still be used as a “legacy number,” but groups are being assigned new numbers in the new system, which is not yet functional.
• I had told you in February that there was an agenda item that would completely remove the three chapters, To the Wives, To the Employer, and The Family Afterward. Having now read through the background material, these chapters are not to be cut; rather, they are to be substantially changed to be gender-neutral and inoffensive to some of AA’s culturally diverse groups.
Delegate’s Bulletin Board
• My 2020 PRAASA talk, entitled “Updating the First 164 pages – Pros and Cons” was posted to the website on 2/25/2020.
• I’ve also attached Ryan’s talk, entitled “Carrying the message inside A.A. - Unity | Intergroup participation in the General Service Structure,” which is good information on the relationship between Central Offices, Intergroups, and General Service entities, including the Area.
• Thank Jesus for his very quick translations of all Delegate’s Bulletin Board postings and Rainer for posting these materials, usually within hours, and always on the days they are submitted.
• Young and Sober in A.A.: From Drinking to Recovery, A.A.’s newest Young People Video, is now available for viewing on the G.S.O. website by going to “What’s New” on www.aa.org. To view the new video you can also go to the videos/audios page on AA.org in the “Young People’s Video” section.
• I contacted Racy J., PI coordinator in New York and found that the video has Spanish subtitles. Racy also indicated “We would welcome a Young People video to be submitted in Spanish from young people in Area 09 for consideration to be then approved by the General Service Conference.”
• The video will also be available on the AAWS YouTube Channel. A DVD version will also be made available for purchase through the A.A.W.S. Online Store by next month.
Conscious Contact with God
• Several years ago, a young man misread the 11th Step to say “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contract with God,” which was a major paradigm shift where our prayers became my vows. Now when I say the 3rd, 7th, and 11th Step prayers, I’m reaffirming my contracts/vows with God.
• Having listened to The Beatles continuously for the past three years, I now see that their love songs work equally well when I sing them to God. Consider “Eight Days a Week:” Ooohh, I need your love, Lord, guess you know it’s true. Hope you need my love, Lord, just like I need you. Hold me, love me, hold me, love me. Ain’t got nothing but love, Lord, eight days a week!
Thanks for letting me be of service,
In Love and Service, Ed. L,
MSCA 09, Panel 70 Delegate