Updates for September 2022
July Trustee Meeting [July 30-August 1, 2022] – New York City
- Technology / Communications / Services (TCS): The Committee discussed the inclusion of QR codes that refer to www.aa.org on all pamphlets and agreed to continue the discussion at the October 2022 meeting.
- The Technology team has made great progress and is using NetSuite’s native Support Case functionality to support translation and license requests (four complete for A.A. India, five in process for A.A. Japan).
- AAWS Publishing: Publication Operations: Printing updates
Back in Stock:
- Big Book hardcover, English (B-1); Big Book, French hardcover (FB-1)
- Big Book, Spanish softcover (SB-30)
- Big Book, large print, abridged English (B-24)
- Big Book large print, English (B-16)
- Big Book, large print, Spanish (SB-16)
- Big Book, large print, abridged French (FB-24)
- As Bill Sees It, Spanish (SB-18)
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, French (FB-14)
- A. in Prison: A Message of Hope (B-13) [Retitled edition]
- Living Sober, French (FB-7)
- Came to Believe, French (FB-6)
Backorders and Estimated in-Warehouse Dates:
- Big Book, abridged pocket softcover English (B-35) – October
- Big Book, pocket edition Spanish (SB-35) – February 2023
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, large print English (B-14) – December
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, large print Spanish (SB-14) – September
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, softcover French (FB-15) – August
- Daily Reflections, English (B-12) – early August
- Daily Reflections, large print English (B-19) – early August
- Daily Reflections, Spanish (SB-12) – mid-January 2023
- As Bill Sees It, English (B-5) – August
- As Bill Sees It, large print English (B-27) – September
- Came to Believe, large print English (B-26) – September
- Living Sober, large print English (B-25) – August
- Pass it On, hardcover English (B-9) – November
- Bob and the Good Oldtimers, hardcover English (B-8) – January 2023
- Group Services: The topic of developing a policy and procedure surrounding A.A. Group names as it relates to listing Groups is being discussed at the Staff and Board level.
- AA Grapevine Upcoming Magazine Topics through 2022:
- August: Sober Travel,
- September: Young and Sober,
- October: Relapse (prevention), and
- November Gratitude and Fun in Sobriety.
Upcoming Grapevine Books, Currently Available:
- Fun in Sobriety.
- The A.A. Grapevine Board considered a 73rd General Service Conference proposed agenda item PAI8 from the Easy Does it Group, Area 23: “Motion is made that the revision to the A.A. Preamble replacing the words “Men and Women” with the word “People” at the 71st General Service Conference by advisory action, be rescinded and the original wording restored.” The Board tabled this discussion until October 2022.
- AA La Viña Upcoming Magazine Topics (2022):
- July – Aug.: Prison Issue,
- – Oct.: No Matter What, and
- – Dec.: La Viña Short Stories.
Instagram Update, thru June 30, 2022:
- AA Grapevine has 7,868 “followers” and La Viña has 936 “followers.”
Grapevine Podcasts: Come check us out, Mondays, at: https://www.aagrapevine.org/podcast
- General Service Board Working Retreat was held on Friday (July 31) with all Trustees in attendance.
The working retreat allowed new and continuing GSB members to have a shared opportunity to develop an understanding of various items based on information shared by all of us. This is part of the effort to utilize the information from the “strategic planning” in January which highlighted the need to improve communication generally and then, especially among Board members.
- Public Information (PI): The Committee reviewed current reports for “Sobriety in A.A.: My Drinking Built a Wall” and “Sobriety in A.A.: When Drinking Is No Longer a Party.” There have been approximately 34,833 English TV airings and 16,956 Spanish TV airings. As of this report the Canadian PSAs aired an additional 1,209 times, bringing total airings to 4,078. See also: https://www.aa.org/downloadable-videos .
- Membership Survey: The work of the survey is progress and will be sent out mid-September.
- Finance and Budget
Contributions – Unaudited: The board accepted the Finance department reports in March, June and July, highlighting the following information: Year-to-date contributions (six months ending June 30, 2022) are $5,011,648. This represents 50% of the 2022 budget of $10,000,000 (with 50% of the year elapsed) and is $35,332 more than last year. Year to date, 22% of contributions have been received online. On average, a contribution made online costs $2.67 less to process than a contribution made by check.
Literature – Unaudited:
Year to June 30 gross literature sales are a little over $5.8 million (rounded). This represents 52% of the 2022 budget of $11,000,000. But there’s more to the story – our “cost of goods sold” continues to rise because of the increased cost of paper, postage, publishing, and other supply chain-related expenses.
Expense – Unaudited:
- Year to June 30 payroll and benefits expense (for our valued GSO employees) is a little over $4.7 million, which is 47% of the budget amount with 50% of the year elapsed (so, we’re pretty much on budget).
- Total operating expense year to June 30 is around $8.2 million (a little more, actually) which is also 47% of the budget amount with 50% of the year elapsed.
Overall Deficit or Surplus:
Our overall operating deficit year to June 30 is around $114,000 compared to a budgeted
deficit of $797,000. All things considered, we’re ahead of budget.
- Reserve Fund – Unaudited:
- As detailed by Kevin Prior, our non-alcoholic Treasurer of the General Service Board, our Reserve Fund continues to hover at just under 8 months (7.65 to be more specific) and we’ll be reforecasting our General Service Board, A.A. World Service Board, and A.A. Grapevine Board budgets, respectively. Early estimates are that our Prudent Reserve will decline slightly due to overall increased expenses (which all of us, on Trustees’ Finance and Budget, are tracking).
- Trustees’ Committee on General Service Conference: The planning and implementation phases of the second year of Equitable Distribution of Workload (EDW) process is underway. The committee reviewed all the Conference feedback noting what worked well along with those and practices that will benefit from improvement. The Subcommittee on Process Improvements (SPI) was requested to give particular attention to developing an approach to accommodate Conference member participation in the event of a Covid breakout, and other possible situations, which might result in members not being present in meeting rooms during Conference week.
- Review Draft 2023 Conference Week Schedule: The Committee reviewed the 2023 Conference Week schedule, which includes the reinstatement of the Area Highlights in alignment with a 1961 Advisory Action.
- Although it is customary to alternate annual visits to our GSO/Grapevine Office and Stepping Stones, the Committee agreed to schedule the Tuesday GSO trip – during the 2023 Conference week – while deferring the Stepping Stones trip to 2024.
- The committee discussed three requests for representatives from general service structures
outside of the U.S./Canada structure to attend the 2023 GSC as observers and recommended Daniel Gutarra, trustee member of the Peru General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, or their substitute, and Gonzalo Teodoro Montaño, General
Custodian of the SouthernTerritory for Central Mexico General Services of Alcoholics
Anonymous, or their substitute, and an International Delegate, on behalf of the Poland General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, be approved to attend the 2023 U.S./Canada General Service Conference as an observer.
- Trustees’ Committee on Literature
The Literature Desk has been working with the GSO Technology Services department to create a dedicated story submission page for the Fourth Edition of the Spanish Big Book, Alcohólicos Anónimos, and the “A.A. for the Black and African-American Alcoholic” pamphlet update. The submission tool features easy-to-find writing guidelines and a story upload function, and is available in English, French and Spanish on the aa.org. website.
Submission of personal stories for the Fifth Edition (Due October 31st) – An announcement was widely shared through Box 4-5-9 and through Conference communication channels that story submissions are being accepted. We are delighted to invite A.A. members to contribute your stories of recovery to the Fifth Edition of the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous. the trustees’ Literature Committee is seeking a wide range of A.A. experience, strength and hope from the Fellowship. The deadline for story submissions is October 31st.
- Big Book
- An order for jacketed (with the “dust cover”) English-language Big Books (B-1) is currently in process and scheduled to ship August through October. After the board’s approval, implementation has begun on the new jacket-less format for the next printings of the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
- The first printing of the new cover format English-language Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, is scheduled to start printing in mid-October, to be completed November/December 2022.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
The next print run for the “Twelve and Twelve,” in English-language and French-language
editions, to receive this same jacketless format switchover.
The first printing of the new format is expected in November or December 2022.
- Trustees’ Committee Nominating
Foreshadowing April 2023, the positions of Northeast Regional Trustee, Southwest Regional
Trustee, and Trustee-at-Large Canada will be up for rotation.
- Trustees Committee on International Convention/ Regional Forums:
Regional Forums: See: www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_rf_calendar-poster.pdf .
Updates were given on the two successful in-person Regional Forums have taken place in
Canada already: Charlottetown, PEI, in May and Winnipeg, Manitoba, in June. We look forward to the Pacific Regional Forum slated for Salt Lake City in September and the Southeast Regional Forum planned for New Orleans in December.
- International Convention:
The first dispatch of the 2025 International Convention Member Engagement Survey (Survey to help us to better plan for the International Convention.) proceeded Friday, July 29, with a Fellowship-wide distribution including, but not limited to, Conference members,
Intergroup/Central Offices and International GSOs. Originally, it was understood that the question regarding closing the “Big Meeting” with the Lord’s Prayer would be added to the 2025 International Convention Membership Engagement Survey. However, it was decided after the General Service Conference to launch a separate survey dedicated to this specific question. It was also reported that the Metro Vancouver Convention; Visitors Bureau created a special video highlighting Vancouver as a destination and tailored for the 2025 IC. The video will be added to the IC 2025 portal on aa.org website.
- Trustees’ Committee Treatment Facilities / Accessibilities/Loners and Internationalists
In response to a Conference Committee consideration, work has also begun on gathering more stories for the pamphlet “A.A. for the Older Alcoholic” with a goal to have a broader, more diverse representation of A.A. experience.
- Online Groups: Virtual Groups continue to grow – currently we have 718 virtual Groups that have listed with GSO and are participating in the US/Canada General Service Structure. Out of those 718 virtual Groups, there are 558 GSRs and 143 alternate GSRs. There are, as of now, 371 meetings in “Area 95” (i.e., miscellaneous file). Group Services, the International Desk, and the Staff Coordinator are communicating with these Online meetings to ascertain whether they would like to be listed as Groups and if they would like to participate in the US/Canada General Service Structure.
- The Conference Committee discussed the request for a progress report from the General Service Board’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Participation of Online Groups in the US and Canada service structure be included as background for the Conference Committee on Policy/Admissions in advance of the 73rd General Service Conference. As such, the chair of the Ad Hoc Committee confirmed that this request will be met.
- Trustees’ Committee Cooperation with the Professional Community (CPC):
The LinkedIn page now has 2,036 followers. Several new posts were shared, which can be seen at https://www.linkedin.com/company/aaworldservicesinc
- Trustees’ Committee Archives
- A newly revised Archives Workbook (M-44i), encompassing about three years of changes, was printed (English version, so far) in July. The workbook contains new shared experience from local archivists, revised policies, and other miscellaneous updates. The Spanish and French translations are already in progress.
- The Committee discussed the section “Conducting Interviews of A.A. members in American Sign Language (ASL)” in the draft “Archives Guidelines for Conducting Oral Histories.” Considering concerns expressed around anonymity and filming full faces when working with A.A. members who are Deaf, the Committee requested that Michelle Mirza, our non-alcoholic Archivist, provide more information on this topic from nationally recognized ASL associations.
Updates for MSCA09!
- 2025 International Convention member engagement survey. As many of you may know, planning is already underway for the 2025 International Convention that will be held July 3-6, 2025, in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. (All responses are anonymous.) Please respond by October 31, 2022 https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/UhCs6p
- The 72nd GSC Final Report 2022 (English and Spanish) is available on the MSCA 09 website. Print copies may be available to mail/ship the three print versions of “2022 Final Conference Report” the end of October.
- A.W.S. is looking for your stories for the 4th Spanish and 5th English Big Book editions and you can submit them online through aagrapevine.org and emails. Details are on flyers linked from the area website under GSO Announcements (04/08/2022).
- A reminder. The General Service Board is implementing the second year of equitable distribution of the Conference workload, all proposed Agenda Items must be submitted by September 15, 2022 and the form has been posted on the website under GSO-Conference Materials.
Activities within the Pacific Region
- The 2022 National A.A. Technology Workshop is wrapping up today. It was help September 9-11, 2022 as hybrid with in-person in Tukwila, WA and I attended the online portions.
- I will be presenting on Digital Archiving at the National A.A. Archives Workshop in Little Rock AR on September 22-25, 2022. Also attending will be Area 09 Archivist, Gerry W., and Archives Committee member Raul C.
- Bridging the Gap Conference – San Diego CA – Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2022
News from New York:
- The Pacific Regional Forum will be held on September 16-18, 2022 in Salt Lake City UT hosted by Area 69. There is no registration fee for the event that will held at the Marriott Downtown @ City Creek 75 W Temple St., Salt Lake City, Utah.
Honored to be of Service!
Mitchell B., MSCA 09 Panel 72 delegate
Cell: (949) 278-8263