Delegates Report 64th General Service Conference | June 3, 2014

From Your Delegate:

Here is the written Conference Report given at the June 1 Assembly. Please be aware I have a ‘slide show’ to accompany the report. I cannot send it out because full names and faces are included.

Delegate’s Report 64th General Service Conference Alcoholics Anonymous

Area 53 Assembly – June 1, 2014

To the Assembly and to all the groups in central and southeastern Ohio thank you for your trust in me. It is my belief that everything we do in general service or AA as a whole has a primary purpose of reaching out to the suffering alcoholic. The primary goal is to help make more and better 12-step work possible. Bill W. wrote “We must carry the message else we ourselves can wither and those who haven’t been given the truth may die.”

It is my hope the General Service Conference (GSC) and AA as a whole continue to carry the message to the still suffering alcoholic where ever alcoholics reach out for help. If you wonder how the General Service Conference, an AA group, district, or Area 53 event or activity is carrying the message, please ask me and I will try to explain. The GSC was held in Rye Town, NY, April 27 – May 3. There were 34 conference advisory actions that received 2/3 vote of the 133 voting members of the Conference. The following is a summary.

    • An updated video of Markings on the Journey was approved;

 

    • The video

It Sure Beats Sitting in a Cell

    • will be replaced at a cost of no more than $70K;

 

    • A revised

Circles of Love and Service

    • pamphlet was approved;

 

    • A new pamphlet titled

“Many Paths to Spirituality”

    • was approved;

 

    • Approved was trial electronic voting on all non-election votes for one day each year of 2016-2017;

 

    • The 2014 AA Survey Questionnaire will be changed in seven of the questions;

 

    • Two public service videos will be discontinued and a new public service announcement will be produced to not exceed cost of $30K;

 

    • A 2014 A.A. Membership Survey be conducted by area on a random basis;

 

    • Several revisions were made to the Service Manual that included ‘secretary and registrar’ and ‘advisory actions’ and ‘additional considerations’ descriptions;

 

    • Three revisions/updates were made to two CPC pamphlets aimed at informing professionals;

 

    • It was recommended the General Service Office report on how a plan to provide to all conference members access to complete GSC agendas and background material in English, Spanish and French;

 

    • Approved two new regional (Pacific Region and Eastern Canada Region) trustees to start in May 2014;

Approved ECR Trustee William F. from Marietta, Ohio to begin a 2-year term as A.A. Grapevine Corporate Board member;

    • Elected three non-alcoholic Class A Trustees to be officers of the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous;

 

    • Approved an anonymity protected photograph of the flag ceremony be taken at the 2015 International Convention in Atlanta and an encrypted anonymity-protected internet broadcast of same be produced;

 

    • In addition, clarifications were made to the AAWS policy on Publication of literature;

 

    • A revision was approved in the Corrections pamphlet ‘What A.A. does not do”;

 

    Set the 2017 GSC date for meeting.

Significant items not approved include:

    • No change to Questions and Answers on Sponsorship or to Bridging the Gap;

 

    • No Circle and Triangle on Conference Approved literature (it came up as a floor action and was voted down by 2/3);

 

    • No revision could be approved on the anonymity Card (F-20);

 

    • There was no vote to change the Alcoholism At Large section of the AA Grapevine;

 

    • A suggested book title for the Grapevine to produce is changing to a diversity title instead of using “People of Color” title;

 

    • There will be no ASL book of the Best of Bill produced;

 

    • The recommendation to re-affirm the right of Decision of AA Grapevine Board to make formatting decisions for AA Grapevine & LaVina failed;

 

    • There will be no change to the “Living Sober” page 5 reference to ‘addiction’ excerpt;

 

    • There will be no Blue Card change that would have inserted an excerpt regarding non-alcoholics and their participation in A.A. open meetings;

 

    The Literature Committee took no action on the proposal for a pamphlet for alcoholics with mental illness.

The mental illness issue came up again as a floor action that proposed ‘literature’ on the topic. There was a long discussion in which several conference members argued that this literature be produced because it might save lives of alcoholics who might hear in meetings to stop taking prescribed drugs for their mental illness. The proposal never got enough votes but it made me more aware of the information in AA pamphlets “Problems other than Alcohol” and “The AA Member – Medications and other Drugs”.

There was a great example of the minority opinion this GSC. The Blue Card service piece change that added references to non-alcoholics was approved in a conference vote of 82-41, exactly 2/3. Then a minority opinion was expressed. A person voting in the majority stood up to say they were changing their vote and then the vote was called again and by a vote of 62-61 the question went back to the floor to start a new discussion. When the question was called a second time the new vote was only 60-55 and the Blue Card proposal that was approved was then not approved for lack of 2/3 vote.

If you want a delegates report at your group or district or committee please contact me at delegate[at]area53aa[dot]org. For all information regarding AA in Ohio and AA as a whole go to the website at www.area53aa.org.

In Service,
Dave C., Delegate 2013-14

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