Informal Updates from the 2011 WSBC

As is tradition, the announcement of the new Chairman of the Board was made at the banquet last night. Teresa K from Region 4 was chosen! I think she will do a marvelous job.

By the way, at the banquet, we were entertained by a play that was written by Rozanne and put on by about 20 delegates – it was really very good. I’m glad I was there to see it!


Hey all,

I thought it might be helpful to have a post with the results of all the motions in one place. So, here you go! These are in the order they appear in our delegate binders handed out at conference. 

Item A-a – Grant Conference Seal of Approval to revised Recovery Checklist pamphlet. ADOPTED

Item A-b – Move to remove Conference Seal of Approval to the pamphlet If God Spoke to OA DEFEATED

Item A-c – Move to grant Conference Seal of Approval to the new pamphlet A Common Solution: Diversity and Recovery ADOPTED

Item A-d – Move to grant Conference Seal of Approval to the revised pamphlet The Tools of Recovery ADOPTED

Item B – Allowing OA service titles on flyers, etc. ADOPTED

Item A – Rescind Matching Grants program ADOPTED

Item F – Allow WSBC 2012 to be webcast DEFEATED

Item C – Include the Tools of Recovery pamphlet in the OA Conference Policy Manual ADOPTED

Item K – Bestow the title of Founder to Rozanne S. ADOPTED

Item L – Amend definition of abstinence to include text about maintaining or working towards a healthy body weight ADOPTED

Item D – Rescind the ninth tool: Action Plan DEFEATED

Item M – Change the title of Action Plan to “A Plan of Action” DEFEATED

Item E – Remove all AA literature except Big Book and AA 12 & 12 from OA-approved literature. DEFEATED

Item 15  – Amend Bylaws to change text about trustee nominees CONSENT (ADOPTED)

Item 4 – Amend Bylaws to add text “service boards” to OA group composition CONSENT

Item 12 – Amend Bylaws to change trustee vacancy policy to allow regions to affirm a nominee in a manner they choose CONSENT

Item 3 – Amend Bylaws that changes the procedure to amend the Bylaws CONSENT

Item 6 – Amend Bylaws to change region composition to allow language service boards to affiliate with a region that it spans ADOPTED

Item 7 – Amend Bylaws Region Assemblies section to not allow for Region Nine to be different than the rest of the Regions ADOPTED

Item 14 – Amend Bylaws to change the notice of annual Conference to include virtual service boards CONSENT

Item 17 – Amend Bylaws to allow for virtual service boards to send delegates to the Bylaws Committee at WSBC ADOPTED

Item 21 – Amend Bylaws to increase pool of eligible trustees that may be appointed as virtual services trustee CONSENT

Item 9 – Amend Bylaws to have service bodies submit their Bylaws for review whenever they are updated (not just when significant changes happen) and whenever their statement of purpose changes ADOPTED

Item 13 – Amend Bylaws to allow countries with no service body to send delegates to WSBC CONSENT

Item 19 – Amend Bylaws to ensure groups are also guided by the 12 Concepts and are registered with the WSO ADOPTED

Item 1 – Amend Bylaws with an updated statement of purpose for the Finance Committee DID NOT GET TO

Item 2 – Amend Bylaws to provide for the filling of vacancies in the nominees for regional trustees DID NOT GET TO

Item 11 – Amend Bylaws to clarify that trustees may also counsel and guide members or service bodies, not just new or existing groups  CONSENT

Item 20 – Amend Bylaws to allow virtual service boards to submit motions to amend the OA Bylaws  CONSENT

Item 10 – Amend Bylaws to clarify trustees may also counsel service boards or regions regarding non-adherence to the Twelve Traditions or Twelve Concepts. Also updated language of “violating” Traditions to “non-adherence”.  CONSENT

Item 16 – Amend Bylaws to add service boards to the list of service bodies that may respond to the agenda questionnaire.  CONSENT

Item 18 – Amend Bylaws to include all service boards to the list of raising funds for DID NOT GET TO

Item 8 – Amend Bylaws to have regions submit their Bylaws if they change their statement of purpose ADOPTED

Item 5 – Amend Bylaws to have Intergroups submit their Bylaws if they change their statement of purpose  ADOPTED

Last one!!!!!

Proposal Item 19

Question of Privilege: Request to divide the consideration and vote into two with section a) 1) as the first item and a) 5) as the second. No objection.

Reference Committee did not consider this item.

Proposal Item 19 a) 1)

The maker of the motion was the first Pro.

Con: At group levels – many groups when the first start out, they just deal with the 12 Steps & 12 Traditions. If they can not be defined as a group because they don’t know the 12 Concepts, that’s a problem. This is excessive for new groups. They need to focus on recovery. 

Pro: When members complain their voices aren’t heard, they don’t realize the Concepts cover that. I’ve been at business meetings where the Concepts have been dismissed. This is unacceptable. We need to use them in our groups so people are familiar with them. The sooner the groups use them, the better. They belong at the group level as well as the business level.

Con: The Concepts are something that service bodies should be using. The groups need to be guided by the 12 Steps & 12 Traditions only. This is too heavy a load and will be ignored.

Pro: What’s really important about this is the group conscience. The word “guided” is in the motion which means groups just have to refer to them. The Concepts say we trust our trusted servants. Groups need to believe in that principle.

Con: This is wonderful for service bodies, but not a good idea for the group level. At the groups, people are striving to become abstinent and focus on the Steps & Traditions. 

Point of Information: If this passes, would the suggest meeting format need to be amended?
A: Yes, but keep in mind the format is a suggestion only.

Point of Information: Will these Concepts have to be read at the meetings?
A: No, it doesn’t say that; it just says “guided by”.

Point of Information: Have the 12 Concepts been included in the New Group Package in the past?
A: Yes

Point of Information: Why were the 12 Concepts developed in the first place?
A: Outside of the scope of this motion

Point of Information: Is there some type of literature that explains the Concepts that might guide the groups?
A: Yes, there is a Concepts pamphlet

Point of Information: How can I find out about “substantial unanimity” other than if I’m guided by the Concepts?
A: You wouldn’t. Substantial unanimity is something that is specific to 12-Step programs. 

Point of Information: Are there registered meetings that have a special focus of the Concepts?
A: None registered right now

Point of Information: Would this encourage Concept meetings to register and be publicized?
A: I have no idea and can not answer

Point of Information: Would passing this motion cause meetings to believe they have to read the Concepts at their OA meetings?
A: Possibly, but it says “guided by”. Currently we have meetings that don’t read the 12 Steps or Traditions, but the existing definition says they meet to practice them.

Vote by standing vote. Motion was adopted by 2/3 majority vote.

Proposal Item 19 a) 5)

The maker of the motion was the first Pro.

Con: I think this is a wonderful idea, but I have a concern about the unaffiliated groups. We have them in my area. They aren’t affiliated, but they’ve been coming for years and they are recovering. I wish they would affiliate, as well, but I am concerned for them.

Pro: There’s often a lot of groups that aren’t affiliated to an Intergroup, but they are affiliated to the WSO. A lot of members of groups don’t realize that their group isn’t affiliated or registered. There are social media “spoof” groups exist that are called OA. To my knowledge, those “spoof” groups aren’t affiliated with OA so it doesn’t affect OA as a whole. 

Con: None

Pro: We need these groups to register with the WSO so members can find them. If they’re a true OA group, then they should register with WSO. 

Con: I’m on a sub-committee for unity with diversity. The last sentence talks about registering with the WSO, and the groups (sorry, lost this).

Point of Information: Is this registration form available in Spanish or only in English?
A: Only English

Point of Information: Could you please define the difference between unaffiliated at WS level and unaffiliated at Region level.
A: An unaffiliated group means a group that hasn’t attached itself to an intergroup or other service bodies. It doesn’t mean they aren’t a registered group. 

Point of Information: Do the virtual groups currently register or will they have to?
A: Yes, they will have to

Point of Information: If there are known, unregistered groups, will someone contact them to ask them to register?
A: The only way that someone finds out about an unregistered group is if someone says something. I would hope this would be addressed at the local level first. If no traction there, they can enlist the Region Chair and/or Trustee.

Point of Information: Are there benefits to registering with WSO that meetings would not receive if they don’t register?
A: The benefit is that you are affirming that you are part of – and you will be listed on the OA website, you get group mailings

Vote by standing vote. Motion was adopted by 2/3 majority vote.

And that, ladies & gentlemen, was your business for the WSBC of 2011!! We have brief committee meetings this afternoon and our dinner/dance banquet this evening. Tomorrow I fly home. I can’t wait.

Before we started with more amendments, there were two questions.

Question of Privilege: What happens to the 7th Tradition collection taken here?
A: It helps my clothing budget. 😀  Actually, it goes to help the Fellowship as a whole.

Question of Privilege: Has Rozanne been notified of the results of last night’s vote?
A: I can bet she has been called, but I will make sure to do so as well this weekend.

Proposal Item 7

Only strike “with the exception of Region Nine” instead of “inter groups, national/language service boards” and do not include “service bodies”.

No Pros or Cons to the amendment.

Voted by show of hands. Adopted by majority vote.

Maker of the motion was the first Pro.

No Pros or Cons or questions (a first!!!)

Voted by show of hands. Adopted by 2/3 majority vote.

Proposal Item 17

Nothing of note in Pros/Cons/Questions

Voted by show of hands. Adopted by 2/3 majority vote.

Proposal Item 9

Pros & Cons were given. General consensus of Pros was that most service boards don’t know the definition of “significantly”, so this is to simplify things. Also, the Bylaws Committee at the Board level has no problem with reviewing the Bylaws from service bodies if this means more will be submitted. General consensus of Cons was that by removing “significantly”, service bodies would have to submit their Bylaws every time they make a change which is cumbersome.

There was Q&A, but I did not record it. Less than an hour to go and I’m running out of gas. 🙂

Voted by show of hands. Adopted by 2/3 majority vote.

Proposal Item 8

We voted on this item immediately after the previous one and voted with no Pros, Cons, or questions since it dealt with same issue, just in different places in the Bylaws.

Voted by show of hands. Adopted by 2/3 majority vote.

Proposal Item 5

We voted on this item immediately after the previous one and voted with no Pros, Cons, or questions since it dealt with same issue, just in different places in the Bylaws.

Voted by show of hands. Adopted by 2/3 majority vote.

We now move onto the Bylaws Amendments.

Bylaws Amendments

Proposal Item 6

The Reference Committee did not consider this item.

The maker of the motion was the first Pro.

Con: I don’t like the word “approval” in the amendment.

Pro: We already use the word “approved” i.e. Board-Approved literature, Conference-Approved literature. 

Question of Privilege: Can we please raise the temperature? (Loud applause followed. Have I mentioned how cold it is in this hotel???? Or how crappy the wi-fi is???)

Point of Information: How will this affect Region 8 when 75% of it is Spanish-speaking? How would this affect the Region structure?
A: It is a language service board. They can span more than 1 Region and they MAY choose to join one of the Regions.

Point of Information: How many people are on the LSBs?
A: It’s difficult to answer because of the range.

Point of Information: What is a language service board?
A: Region 9 Trustee answered: When a country like Germany speaks German, they set up a LSB. (The answer didn’t explain much to me.)

Point of Information: Since when do the LSBs exist?
A: They have been around for a very long time. Somewhere around 1994. 

Point of Information: Under the structure of LSB, do meetings fall under that structure?
A: The LSBs are geographically based as far as Regions are concerned. (Sorry, this isn’t very clear to me and not being explained well enough for me.)

Point of Information: Are LSBs the same as an Intergroup?
A: Sort of. LSBs were created to help facilitate people who have the same language better communicate with each other.

Point of Information: Can a group belong to an Intergroup and a LSB?
A: Yes

There are Language Boards and National Service Boards. (Oh boy… making it even more confusing!)

Point of Information: If groups/delegates can belong to two different (Region or LSB), how is it determined how delegates are sent to WSBC?
A: The Chair read from the Bylaws to explain, but I was past the point of following along here, sorry.

Voted by show of hands. Adopted by 2/3 majority vote.

Proposal Item A-d – Move to grant Conference Seal of Approval to the revised pamphlet, “The Tools of Recovery”

The maker of the motion was the first Pro.

Con: I’m not comfortable with some of the wording. Lines 128-129 dealing with finances and addressing mental health issues. Financial issues reminds me of DA which is an outside issue. We don’t all have money issues. We don’t all have mental health issues (clinical psychiatric issues). If I’m a newcomer, I would be very overwhelmed. 

Missed a couple of Pros & Cons here, sorry.

Pro: The sub-committee that wrote this language was addressing the 2nd part of Step 1 – all the ways that our lives had become unmanageable. We want to give members guidance as to what an Action Plan is.

Con: If we’re going to have specific examples, make them about how to work the 12 Steps, make them relate to the other 8 Tools, etc. Don’t make them about outside issues.

Point of Information: If this is defeated, what happens next?
A: It will go back to the CLC and a questionnaire is sent to delegates to ask what needs to change.

Point of Information: If this is adopted, what happens to the old versions of the pamphlet?
A: It depends on the amount of stock. In the past, when we’ve had a lot of stock, we’ve done an insert. If there isn’t many, we can destroy them.

Point of Information: If the pamphlet is approved, and a lot of comments come in for suggestions for changes, who makes the decision to put this into rotation to be revised?
A: The Board of Trustees makes that decision based on a large number of factors.

Point of Information: Request for written ballot.
A: Okay, but we have limited amount of paper.

Point of Information: The placement of the tool within the pamphlet – is there a reason why it was placed where it was?
A: The committee believed it was most appropriate there and the BOT agreed.

Point of Information: Since this pamphlet is in Newcomer packets – what will we do with our existing ones?
A: If there are a lot of them left, we can insert a sheet with new info like we’ve done before.

Point of Information: If this is defeated, can we suspend the actual Action Plan tool until it’s defined in the literature?
A: There would have to be a motion to remove the tool.

Point of Information: If this is defeated, can local groups use this as a piece of locally produced literature?
A: No

Question of Privilege: Call for previous question. Seconded. Passed by 2/3 majority vote – debate closed.

Balloted vote. 181 votes cast. 148 Yes. 33 No. Adopted by 2/3 majority vote.

Business Meeting Five

We are done with the business meetings for the WSBC 2011! Considering the large number of items on the agenda, we got through a surprising amount of business. Here’s what we didn’t get to: 

Proposal  Items 1 (withdrawn), 2, 18, and a proposed emergency new business meeting, committee meeting reports, Ask It Basket (will be asked to be posted to OA site).

The morning’s 7th Tradition collection was $675.94 for a total amount of contributions being $3,208.74. Not bad! 

At the very end of the meeting, right after the Green Dot ceremony, I was going through my notes and mistakenly thought we didn’t have the results from one of the balloted votes. I went to the center mic to ask and the center mic monitor also thought we didn’t have those results, so she sent me up with a Point of Personal Privilege card. I asked, and was told that the results had been given. I sat back down and found them in my notes almost immediately. Talk about wanting to crawl into a hole. 😦 Oh well, I guess now everyone knows I’m not perfect!

I’ll follow with individual posts about the business we worked on this morning.

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