As we begin February and await the final Agenda Items, it is important to remember that when you are a general service representative (G.S.R.) “you have an even bigger responsibility: You transmit ideas and opinions, as well as facts; through you, the group conscience becomes a part of “the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship,” as expressed in the General Service Conference. Like everything else in A.A., it works through a series of simple steps.” P19 – G.S.R. General Service Representative
“I am responsible when anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help. And for that, I am responsible.”
We often speak about authority and who’s in charge of what, and who reports to whom. Ultimate authority and delegated authority and the like. But who takes responsibility for our work, and its results? If each of us shares a portion of that responsibility, how are we checking in with one another about how we’re doing?
The critical aspect of any role, voluntary or paid, is the responsibility that comes with it. Am I taking ownership of the mission of the organization and its overall success.
What do you think is your primary responsibility within your current role as a trusted servant or paid worker? How does that responsibility manifest itself in our work? How do you think we should gauge success, and by your metric are we succeeding?
Concept 1. Final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. World Services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.
Concept 4. At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional “Right of Participation,” allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.”
Concept 6. The Conference recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility in most world service matters should be exercised by the trustee members of the Conference acting as the General Service Board.
Concept 10. Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority well defined.
Concept 11. While the Trustees hold final responsibility for A.A.’s world service administration, they should always have the assistance of the best possible standing committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Therefore the composition of these underlying committees and service boards, the personal qualifications of their members, the manner of their induction into service, the systems of their rotation, the way in which they are related to each other, the special rights and duties of our executives, staffs, and consultants, together with a proper basis for the financial compensation of these special workers, will always be matters for serious care and concern.
Happenings in Mid-Southern California Area 09
The Final Agenda Items were received from GSO on February 10 and the Area 09 Webmaster Faith B. posted them to msca09aa.org under “General Service Office (GSO) – Conference Materials”. There are 85 final agenda items following the final approval at the January Trustees Meeting from January 2023. Of the 85 agenda items, with a total of 102 line items, I have identified 34 items where area member can comment and thirteen than may be of greater interest.
I registered for the 2023 PRAASA at http://praasa.org. Registration is $25 and there are dinner and lunch meals that can be purchased. PRAASA 2023 is scheduled March 3- 5, 2023, at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott, 5855 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045, adjacent to LAX and hosted by Area 05. I am in the process of recruiting Area 09 volunteers for possible speakers, moderators, readers, and Roundtable moderators and scribes.
Activities within (and without) the Pacific Region
NERAASA Northeast U.S. Feb.23-26, 2023. I will be attending the online portion. WERAASA is the Western Service Assembly on March 3-5, 2023, the same weekend as PRAASA.
Getting Ready for the 73rd General Service Conference
I am able to visit Districts, groups, or gatherings between Feb. 19 and April 14 in addition to the Pre-Conference Bootcamps and the Pre-Conference. Distinct 18 has asked for a Saturday pre-conference orientation and I have a pre-conference sharing at District 19 at 1 pm on February 19.
To help reach A.A. members in addition to in-person and District meetings, I will host Zoom meetings on Sundays between Feb.26 and April 16 as town halls and information sessions. They are intended to be Q&A with feedback the Delegate on agenda items or information for GSRs to take back to their groups. The sessions will be one hour 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. to have discussions with the Delegate on agenda items. I propose to have the following dates:
Skipping Mar.5 (PRAASA) and Mar.12 (ASC)
April 9 (yes, Easter Sunday at 4 pm, for those members that want to attend)
News from New York:
A statement was read at the January Trustee Meeting with the General Service Board and Delegate Committee Chairs on January 30, 2023:
“At the request of the board Linda Chezem has tendered her resignation as Class A Trustee and Chair of the GSB Board, effective yesterday, January 29, 2023. We would all like to thank Linda for her service to Alcoholics Anonymous.”
Digest of Pacific Regional Trustee Report – Reilly K.
Delegate’s Bulletin Board (DBB)
Contents of this Delegate’s Sharing Session will also be posted immediately after today’s Area Service Assembly.
General Service Office
During the last General Service Conference, the conference desk was asked to provide translation in all three languages (English, French, Spanish) at the same time when distributing the conference background this year. The department is thrilled to report that it is ahead of
Data collection for the 2022 AA Membership Survey has been completed. PI Service Cards update; we now have a workable digital template that will allow for local committees to input their own contact information and a QR code, if desired. Final review of the PI Service Cards is being performed by the Language Services department to ensure the translations into FR and SP are accurate prior to these being sent to Publishing for production and development into purchasable materials.
Archives curated an onsite exhibit on the history of the publication of the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions to commemorate the 70th anniversary of its publication (first published in
1953). The repository is growing with a year-end 2022 tally of 345 pieces of new material (printed and audio/visual), accessioned, cataloged, and filed in 2022. On January 14th, 2023, Archivist attended the opening of a new Heritage Center (Summa Health Akron Campus) in memory of Sister Ignatia and Dr. Bob, who worked with thousands of alcoholics at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron.
Contribution flyer SMF-203 draft has been forwarded to Publishing for final edits. Soft credits in
relations to 7th tradition contributions that are made via the online portal will not be affected
by the contributions webpage redesign per Tech Services.
The Board requested cover art mockups for review in March to discuss the effect of printing alternatives to title embossing. David R. shared the units sold for the B1 Jacketed and B1A Jacketless in 2022 vs. 2023: B1 January 2022 = 25,383 vs B1 January 2023 = 34,508 – B1A Jacketless 2023 = 7,806
Service Material Working Group
Robust discussion with the board regarding suggested edits for the Service Manual, inclusive of
AAWS chapter edits as well as additional suggestions and which are editorial in nature and which may need to move into a future revision.
The “Mixed-Title Quantity Discount scheduled to conclude on December 31, 2022, be continued.
Proceed with production of four stapleless pamphlets under 32 pages, in English, Spanish and
French: P-1: “This Is A.A.” P-15: “Questions and Answers on Sponsorship” P-36: “Is A.A. For Me?” P-42: “A Brief Guide to A.A.”
- 10% literature price increase effective April 1st, 2023, on all English, French and Spanish books and rounding up prices to the nearest 10 cents on all other miscellaneous items.
- That from the price increase announcement between December 12, 2022, to March 31, 2023, all orders in excess of 5k units of a particular item number be flagged for review to ensure that AA entities have access to inventory. (Dec. 2022)
- to accept the 2023 proposed budget with the change to gross literature sales to $16.7M and the change to contributions of $10.5M with the understanding that there will not be a deficit budget and any adjustments be submitted to the AAWS Finance committee.
- that the proposed budget iteration 5.1 be approved by the A.A.W.S. Board and forwarded to
the Trustees Committee on Finance.
- the AAWS Board a 20% literature price increase rounded up to the nearest 50 cents with some minor adjustments effective April 3, 2023, on all English, French and Spanish books and miscellaneous items.
- a 30% price increase rounded up to the nearest 5 cents on all English, French and Spanish
pamphlets, effective April 3, 2023.
Grapevine / La Viña
Price increase to start on January 1, 2023. Price increase notice went out via: Post to AAGV and
AAWS website; eblast to our entire Constant Contact list(s); Meeting Guide App; Instagram and
appeared in the recent issues of GV and LV News; book price change labeling taking place at trade distributor as well as US and Canada warehouses.
- Grapevine and La Viña News appearing monthly on the Meeting Guide App;
- Podcast downloads over 290,000; Instagram: GV has 8,650 followers, LV 1,064;
This report may contain full names of members or other confidential information and should not be shared outside of the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous
Finance and Budget
- Agreed to adjust funding of Subscription Liability to 69%. Withdraw 34% from fund.
- Authorized a corresponding withdrawal of any Subscription Liability funds in excess of 69%.
Trustee Committee on Archives – Conference Comm
The committee discussed the draft section “Conducting Interviews of A.A. members in
American Sign Language (ASL)” in the revised “Archives Guidelines For Conducting Oral
Conference Comm (Agenda)
Improvements to the schedule are reflected in time for Committee reports, Area Highlights, to
discuss important topics from reports, such as the Plain and Simple Language translation, Board
reports, What’s on Your Mind, Location Plus report, General Sharing Sessions, and Participation
on Online Groups.
The schedule contains additional time for Conference members to review the completed drafts
of the Plain and Simple Language translations. Conference members will be assigned a reading
room session start day and time by the Conference Coordinator. No phones or cameras will be
allowed in the reading room.
The committee reviewed the proposed a plan for 73rd GSC so Conference members, who cannot
be physically in the main session room, to participate in a discussion and a vote through a “fourth
floor microphone,” via videoconference meeting space. The plan provides information about
masks, testing kits, reporting, and participation.
The committee noted that that submitters of proposed agenda items that were not forwarded
to the 73rd General Service Conference have an opportunity to resubmit the following year. The
committee also noted that there is currently discussions on Bill’s writing, and agreed to continue
this discussion at their July 2023 meeting.
Trustee Committee on Finance – Conference Comm
GSO financial results: The committee reviewed the GSO unaudited financial results for
December 31, 2022. Paul Konigstein, CFO, reported only final unaudited 2022 revenue
information. Complete 2022 unaudited financial statements are scheduled to be completed the
week of February 6, 2023, and will be distributed to all Board members at that time.
Gross literature sales year for 2022 are $11,999,441. This exceeds the 2022 budget of
$11,000,000 by nearly $1,000,000 (8%) and is $287,249 (2.5%) more than last year. This is the highest annualgross literature sales since 2019. December 2022 gross sales did not have the usual holiday spike. Decembergross sales were $732,189 compared to $1,223,830 in December 2021. Cost of goods sold for 2022 has not yetbeen finalized. Therefore, 2022 gross margin cannot yet be reported. Gross margin will be included in thecomplete 2022 unaudited financial statements to be distributed in early February.
Contributions for 2022 are $10,557,295. This is 96% of the 2022 budget of $11,000,000 and is
$218,576 (2%) less than last year. 2022 is the first year since 2018 that contributions did not exceed the previousyear. Over the last ten years, contributions have increased in seven of those ten years. 23% of 2022 contributionswere received online, which is the same percentage as in 2021. December 2022 contributions were $1,399,695,$40,895 more than December 2021.Contributions averaged $879,775 per month compared to $897,989 last yearand a budget of $916,667 per month.
Cash Position: As of January 20, 2023 operating cash is $485,369 which represents 1.5 weeks of the proposed2023 operating expenses of $17,085,479. 2022 cash expenditures through November 30 for literature printing,shipping, and warehousing were approximately $6.4 million. Due to these increased literature related cashexpenditures, operating cash declined from $1,567,459 on December 31, 2021, to $514,337 on December 31,2022. Since the $1,011,013 in the international convention account was reclassified as operating expenseduring 2022, net cash outflow during 2022 was $2,064,135 ($1,567,459 – $514,337 + $1,011,013).
AAWS/GSB 2023 Budget: The 2023 budget proposes expected operating revenue of
$18,791,320 and operating expenses of $17,085,479, for a projected operating surplus of
$1,705,841 before depreciation expense of $1,200,000.
Budgeted gross literature revenue of $15,900,000 includes a price increase of 20% on English, Spanish, andFrench books and 30% on English, Spanish, and French pamphlets. Contributions are projected to be $10,500,000which is roughly the same as the actual amount received in 2022.
Total operating expenditures in Budget 5.1 are $17,085,479 for 2023. Depreciation is now shown separately fromFacilities and Equipment, and GSB support of La Viña is now shown as a non-operating expense. In addition,non-operating expenses are broken down into cash and non-cash expenses.
Grapevine financial results: Unaudited year end results for the period ending December 31, 2022- Totalcirculation of the Grapevine magazine was 58,813. This compared with a budget of 60,017 and 2021 actual of65,053.
Total income for the year was $1,463,761 which is $38,538 less than the $1,502,300 achieved in 2021.Total costs and expenses of the magazine for the year were $1,882,701, which were $73,773 more than2021. After adding interest earned, there was a deficit for the period ending December 31, 2022, of $404,940.
2023 Grapevine Budget : The 2023 budget assumes average paid circulation of the Grapevine magazine of47,751. Grapevine ePub is forecasted to be 2,619, Grapevine complete at 2,100 and App paid subscriptions at 1,500.
Total income for the year is estimated to be $1,291,004. Total costs of expenses which include Editorial costs,Circulation costs and General & Management costs are $2,150,078.
After adding interest earned, and cost for the App Development Fees; there’s a budgeted deficit of $1,102,074.
The Trustees Finance Committee recommended to the General Service Board
- to approve the reduction of the portion of the Subscription Liability funded by the Reserve Fund to 34%,
- to authorize the withdrawal from the Reserve Fund of any funds in excess of the 34% of the SubscriptionLiability Fund funded by the Reserve Fund ($670,488.00),
- a withdrawal for Grapevine of $500,000 from the Reserve Fund for App Development.
- to discuss funding of services provided by the Grapevine at the direction of the General Service Conference.
- to discuss funding of two (2) regional service staff for the Grapevine.
La Viña results: For the unaudited results for December 31, 2022, total circulation for La Viña was 6,685compared to 6,480 budgeted and 6,411 in December 2021. Income from magazine sales was $77,482 comparedwith a budget of $38,734. After deducting the costs and expenses of $714,086, a shortfall between revenue and expenses of $636,604 resulted for this service activity. This compares with a budgeted shortfall of $564,947 and ashortfall of $388,646 for 2021. The shortfall for the La Viña service activity has been funded by a transfer fromthe General Fund of the GSB.
2023 La Viña Budget: The 2023 budget for La Viña projects total content related revenue on the magazine of$52,360 and total Gross Margin of $63,229. After deducting costs and expenses of
$716,808, the 2023 budget reflects a shortfall of $653,579.
Reserve Fund report: As of December 31, 2022, the reserve fund balance net of Grapevine subscriptionliability is $ $12,949,059 pending recalculation of the subscription liability by Grapevine. This is less than the$12,852,286 balance at December 31, 2021 because the Trustees Finance and Budgetary Committee authorizedan emergency withdrawal of $200,000 to support Grapevine operations.
Paul Konigstein CFO stated that if we didn’t see an uptick in literature sales before prices increased on April 3,2023, than we might have to draw down in the second quarter of 2023. Paul also reported that what would trigger arequest is if we fall below $355,000 on hand for operating expenses.
Prudent Reserve: Per below, during 2022, our Prudent Reserve has declined from 8.49 months to approximately7.48 months during the year. This decrease is primarily due to recalculating our reserve ratio based on re-forecasted expenses for 2022, as previously reported.
“CDARS” = Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service.
Trustee Committee on Intl Convention/Regional Forums –
2025 International Convention
Hospitality rooms at the International Convention – it was confirmed that those regions and/or
special groups requiring hospitality rooms should reach out directly to the convention consultant;
however, the process will not begin until the Summer of 2024. The committee discussed the
participation of non-A.A. speakers at International Conventions and agreed that up to twenty-one
non-A.A. speakers be invited to participate in the 2025 International Convention at A.A.’s
2035 International Convention Site Selection:
The committee reviewed the Delegate and City and Visitors’ Bureau Bid Questionnaires submitted for site selection of the 2035 International Convention. Two of the six Convention Bureaus approached (Anaheim, California and Las Vegas, Nevada) declined to participate in the bid process. It was discussed that the remaining four cities presented excellent options.
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Toronto, Canada
Virtual Component of the 2025 International Convention: Talley management advised the committee that within the event industry, hybrid events are losing favor due to cost and planning considerations; events with virtual or live streaming options vary by sector.
Trustee Committee on Literature – Conference Comm –
Progress reports forwarded to the 2023 Conference Committee on Literature”
“A.A. for the Black and African-American Alcoholic”
“A. A . for the Native North American
“Do You Think You’re Different?”
Fifth Edition of the book Alcoholics Anonymous Reilly K
The committee requested that while in the process of selecting stories for the Fifth Edition, the
subcommittee identify stories written by members of the indigenous North American
community that will not be used in the Fifth Edition, for possible consideration in the update of
the “A.A. for the Native North American” pamphlet.
Translation of the book Alcoholics Anonymous (Fourth Edition) into plain and simple language.
A print copy of the available plain language chapters will be provided for review by Conference
members during the 2023 General Service Conference in a room that will be hosted by
members of the trustees’ Literature committee. The committee also agreed that the draft plain
language chapters will be presented in its current English plain language version.
Strategy to make current literature accessible in all possible formats:
Several efforts currently in development
- publishing on different platforms,
- addressing inconsistent language across A.A. literature
- the use of QR codes in pamphlets. The committee also noted that these efforts are being addressed from different perspectives and by multiple GSO departments.
PSA videos on streaming platforms: The committee discussed the updated feasibility research
on paid placement of PSA videos on streaming platforms and agreed that it includes sufficient
Mesmerize Point PSA distribution channel: The legal review of the contract stayed well under
the proposed $2,000 budget with an invoice for the work totaling $750.00. Begin the one- year
period of airing our video PSA content on the Mesmerize Point closed-circuit monitors in
physician offices and private pharmacies.
Final report from the Subcommittee on the 2022 A.A. Membership Survey Results:
The committee reviewed the draft survey pamphlet and a dynamic web page mockup. It was
discussed that a library of all infographics will be created and made available for use by A.A.
members, the professional community, the media, and other constituents.
Public Information pamphlets/materials: “A.A. At a Glance.” , “Message to Teenagers.”
“Speaking at Non-A.A. Meetings.” Two complete Young People’s video submissions for
Implement an Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Instagram account:
Create, implement and manage an official Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Instagram account.
Honored to be of Service!
Honored to be of Service!
Mitchell B., MSCA 09 Panel 72 delegate
Cell: (949) 278-8263