Good morning. My name is Mitchell and I am an alcoholic.
On August 10, 2023 the Pacific Region Delegate met with Reilly K., the Pacific Region Trustee, to ask questions about the minutes of the July Trustees Meeting. I am having the minutes translated to Spanish so the English and Spanish can be added to the MSCA 09 website, under “General Service Office (GSO) – Pacific Regional Trustee Reports”.
Trustees’ Committee on the General Service Conference
Survey on holding the 77th GSC outside of New York: The committee felt that this topic could be explored at the August 2023 virtual sharing session with all Conference members. The staff secretary will send a memo to the coordinators requesting this topic be added to the agenda.
Extend the PAI submission deadline for the 74th GSC:
- The committee discussed a consideration from the 2023 Conference Committee on Policy and Admissions to change the latest possible deadline for PAIs submitted for the 74th GSC and after a discussion on a broad range of concerns, decided to take no action.
The General Service Board adopted the following timeline for developing background materials for the 74th GSC:
- Any completed items that are intended to be Conference background be submitted to their committee secretary as soon as it is available or by November 13.
Deadline to post Conference Background: When a Conference committee’s background for the 74th GSC is available in three languages, it would be posted on the Dashboard between February 16-23, 2024, with a status update from the Conference coordinator to all Conference members on any remaining background.
PAI Submission forms:
- The committee reviewed a draft of an online PAI Submission form for 74th GSC and offered minor suggestions. The committee noted user-friendly features of the online version including A.A. resources that connect submitters with their local districts and areas for the opportunity to participate in local group conscience discussion.
Subcommittee on Conference Inventory:
- The established Working Group that consisted of 73rd GSC Conference Members developed a list of proposed inventory questions to be considered. The chairperson mentioned that the subcommittee will gather input from other Conference Members.
Trustees’ Committee on Corrections
Review final report from 2023 Conference Committee on Corrections
- There is a meeting scheduled for September 5th with Correctional Service of Canada, regional professionals, and the A.A. Area Corrections Chairs in Canada to discuss making A.A. available in all 43 federal correctional facilities in Canada.
- It was requested that we share the success of tablet use in the U.S. to encourage Canada to investigate this option.
Shared Experience on Virtual Meetings:
- The 72nd Conference Committee on Corrections suggested that GSO staff gather shared
experience regarding virtual meetings in correctional facilities for addition to the Corrections Workbook.
Trustees’ Finance and Budgetary Committee
2023 Budget Reforecast: For the year 2023, there is a reforecast of the budget. The reforecast 3.0 budget has an operating surplus before depreciation of $907,069, which is a decrease of $798,772 from the $1,705,841 surplus before depreciation in the original budget approved in January.
The reforecast 3.0 budget does not include any changes to revenue from reforecast 1.0, 2.0 or the original 2023 budget adopted in January. Through June 30 contribution revenue is only 2% ahead of budget and gross literature sales are 8% ahead of budget. Neither of these variances are large enough to prudently increase the revenue budget. Gross margin is 12% ahead of budget. However, cost of goods sold has not been stable long enough to prudently increase the budget for gross margin.
To partially offset additions to expenses since the original budget, several projects and some literature printings have been deferred to 2024. Significant expense adjustments are:
Price increases in hotel food and beverage and audiovisual.
- Legal fees. These include contract reviews, personnel matters, board, and bylaw matters.
- Increased cost of the Location Plus study.
- Temporary help for licensing.
- Conference translation updated to reflect actual costs as the original budget was based on estimates.
- Outsourced accounting assistance.
Projects deferred in reforecast 3.0 are:
- Digital Production – Access to AA – ASL
- Technology Review
- Digital Publication Platform (capital project)
GSO Financial Results: The committee reviewed the GSO unaudited financial results for June 30, 2023.
Operating Cash: As of June 30, operating cash was only $331,963 which represents
0.23 months (less than one week) of 2023 budget GSO operating expenses of
$17,085,479. As of July 17, operating cash on hand is $528,108 which represents 0.37 months (between one and two weeks) of 2023 budget operating expenses.
Reserve Fund report: As of June 30, the assets in the reserve fund total $13,098,822. After subtracting the $573,012 Grapevine subscription liability, the reserve fund balance is $12,525,810. This represents 7.11 months of 2023 budgeted GSO, Grapevine, and La Viña operating expenses of
Trustees’ International Committee
Meeting Guide App: The committee posed questions regarding International requests and data and the status of a test pilot project in cooperation with an A.A. International entity. The committee requested that ongoing reporting about the project and its impact on the GSO Communication Services Department and the International community be brought to the October meeting.
Staff report: Discussed topic of an existing incomplete draft translation of the Haitian Creole “Big Book” and requested that the Translation & Licensing Department provide the cost estimates of hiring a professional translator and editor to finish the remaining text of a Haitian Creole Big Book.
Trustees’ Committee on International Conventions/Regional Forums
Part II-Regional Forums
2023 Budget Reforecast (2.0):
- It was noted that the 2.0 version reflects the addition of $36,702 because of higher than anticipated audiovisual costs at the 2023 Northeast Regional Forum.
- It was also noted that because the hospitality industry has experienced severe inflation in audiovisual costs, the office is contacting audiovisual providers for the West Central, Southwest and East Central Regional Forums to reconfirm the anticipated audiovisual expenditures at these forums.
Part III-International Conventions
2025 International Convention Consultant Q2 update:
2025 International Convention Souvenir Book: Preliminary concept for a Convention Souvenir Book was accepted.
Recommendations – Trustees’ ICRF Committee
- A digital option be added to the 2025 International Convention, providing anonymity-protected, encrypted, digital access to the Friday night meeting (including the flag ceremony), and the Saturday and Sunday Big meetings, at a fee to be determined.
Trustees’ Literature Committee
Review progress report regarding the development of a draft Fourth Edition of the book Alcoholicos Anonimos: The committee received a verbal update regarding the pamphlet development of a Fourth Edition of the book Alcoholicos Anonimos, and the progress to date.
An appointed committee member (ACM) has been selected and the candidate’s name has been forwarded to the trustees’ Nominating Committee.
Review progress report regarding development of a Fifth Edition of the book Alcoholics Anonymous:. The committee discussed concerns related to the management of the substantial number of stories submitted by the Fellowship and the involvement of additional readers to streamline the reading process. The committee agreed to establish a reading working group composed of members from the Fellowship selected by the committee. The committee also agreed that working group members be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect the integrity of the publishing process.
Review progress report regarding a draft version of the book Alcoholics Anonymous (Fourth Edition), translated into plain and simple language, and accessible and relatable to as wide an audience as possible: The committee accepted the proposed update to the subcommittee scope including a modification to the subcommittee’s name as the “Subcommittee for the Development of the Plain Language Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.”
Discuss 2023 Committee Consideration to seek Fellowship input regarding changes to Bill’s writings: The committee considered a suggestion to forward questions related to changes to Bill’s writings to Conference delegates and regional trustees to allow local sharing sessions and engagement from the Fellowship. The committee noted that the questions suggested by the 2023 Committee Consideration should reflect a diversity of perspectives.
Trustees Nominating Committee
General Service Board Chair Search – The staff secretary reported on the 2023 General Service Board chair search activity following the 73rd General Service Conference. The report also covered year-to-date activity for the 2024 search. (The report is in lieu of minutes from ten (10) committee meetings during the 2023 search, many of which were in executive session, thus memorializing the history.)
Procedure No. 14 – For Selection of Chairperson of the General Service Board – The committee previously conducted virtual interviews of candidates for 2024 General Service Board chair. After careful and prayerful consideration, the committee agreed to forward three candidates to the General Service Board to be interviewed in October.
The committee recommended to the General Service Board that Cesar F from San Juan Capistrano, California be appointed as ACM for the Trustees’ Literature Committee for one year term starting in August 2023. Approved
Trustees’ Public Information Committee
Discuss feasibility research on paid placement of PSA videos on streaming platforms: The committee requested information on how we could structure a test detailing different spending levels and key metrics that can be used to track the usefulness of this channel type. In addition, the committee wants to include several “free” streaming platforms that might be available to air our PSAs in a cross- section of diverse markets.
Review proposal on Young People’s Video Project:
- Expand the submission timeframe to include fifteen second minimum up to three minute maximum for videos submitted by members.
- Clarify that we are seeking user generated content video submissions from young members creatively carrying a message to other young people. Focus is requested to be on the experience of getting sober young and to reflect the diversity of the Fellowship. The committee is seeking shared experiences that will relate to the “young” alcoholic who has yet to come to A.A.
- Review the two submissions to determine if we can make additional edits to tighten the message in the framework of what it was like, what happened and what it is like now, focusing on the key messages that have an impact and identification.
- Provide communication to all delegates with the goal of producing excitement and engagement for the Young People’s Video project for the members in their local areas.
Review the mockup of the 2022 Membership Survey webpage: The committee agreed that the mockup of the 2022 AA Membership Survey webpage is in great shape with some minor edits. The committee decided that the production of the pamphlet and the webpage should occur and be rolled out together, if possible. The pamphlet has a QR code that directs members to the new webpage.
The board has announced the position of Non-Trustee Director and have received 11 resumes to date. We anticipate to reach a decision by the October Board meeting. The deadline for resume submissions is September 15, 2023. The app’s beta testing to evaluate its performance has concluded, and the web developer is now working to fine-tune minor details. The board plans to make an official launch announcement at the International Conference of Young People in AA (ICYPAA) in San Francisco and the U.S. and Canada Hispanic Convention in Seattle on September 1, 2023. Grapevine’s podcast has over 530,000 downloads.
- Digital Publishing manager setting up accounts with Apple and Google app stores; accessing Google Analytics through website vendor.
- Staff making plans to attract members to the apps with all-media blitz: Podcast, GV and LV Instagram (including video), Grapevine and La Viña News, above-fold block on the home page, top item on Daily Quote, YouTube Channel, e-mail blasts, Meeting Guide, Box 459.
- Recruitment for Non-Trustee Director to replace current member whose term ends April 2024. All documents will be in the three official languages. The deadline for resumes is Friday, September 15, 2023. The committee will review and start interviewing 5 candidates after which 3 will be chosen for interviews. We anticipate making our decision by the October board meeting. As of July 27, 2023, 11 resumes have been received.
- App subscription’s plan is for three subscription types:
- GV Office will meet with Area Chairs for a follow up with the app in the middle of September.
- Spring book is an updated version of The Home Group: Heartbeat of AA, with new stories, including stories about going online during pandemic.
- The Fall book is a Spanish translation of Prayer and Meditation.
- GV Workbook- New colorful, updated version completed, easier for GV Reps to use, easier to keep updated, drives members to our website — now up on the GV website –Spanish-Language version up on LV website.
Opportunities for service
4-Area DCM Sharing Session
August 26 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Norma Hertzog Community Center 1845 Park Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA, United States
October Election for Area and District positions
October 8, 2023 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Delegate’s Bulletin Board
- 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, 2023 and the online form has been posted on the website under “Delegate – Confidential Information.”
- The Ad Hoc Committee for PRAASA website and archive will meet on Saturday, August 19. Area 06 is hosting PRAASA 2024 and the website is up at (https://www.praasa.org/) with Save-the-Date information.
Honored to be of Service!
Honored to be of Service!
Mitchell B., MSCA 09 Panel 72 delegate
Cell: (949) 278-8263