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Alcoholics Anonymous in Southern Wisconsin
Alcoholic’s Anonymous – Area 75

Alcoholic’s Anonymous – Area 75

9:00 a.m. Saturday, May 19, 2007

Spring Conference Assembly Meeting

Marriott Madison West

Middleton, WI



OFFICERS PRESENT: John B., Area Chairperson; George P., Delegate; Stu E., Alt Del/Literature; Nancy B., Secretary; Mark C., Alt Secretary; Nancy H., Treasurer; Cynthia H., Alt. Treasurer

STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON PRESENT: Nancy S., Archivist; Tom M., BTG Chair; Marty S., Corrections Chair; Cheryl M-J., CPC Chair; Nancy G., Grapevine Chair; Matt Z., PI Chair; John W., Special Needs Chair; Chris C., Treatment Chair; George D., Area 75 Registrar; Howard P., Conference Advisory Chair

DCM’S PRESENT; D1-Art B.; D3-Jim K.; D6-Fred K.; D8-Darryl S.; D9-April B.; D11-Dewey C.; D12-Ted N.; D13-Kane B.; D15-Mike B.; D17-Linda N.; D19-Libby K.: D20-Doreen H.; D24-JD O.; D25-Cindy B.; D27-Gary C.; D28-Ken N.; D29-Dennis, Alt DCM; D31-Charlie E.; D32-Bill S. Alt DCM; D34-Todd U.; D36-Paul H.

GSR’S & DISTRICT COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS PRESENT; D1-Brad B.; D3-Tony B., Larry A., Marv S.; D6-Connie M., D7-Mike R., Bill F.; D8-Sheri P., Edna T.;D12-Tom W., Pat S.; D13-Mark L. Sandy S., Rich F., Leslie F., Rick S., Mark G.;D14-Frank S.;D17-Darrel S.;D20-Gary S., Aryn O., Ron F., Sunshine G.;D24-Jonathan L., D25-George B., Marian B., Marty P., Jeff Z., Jo T.;D31-Benjamin B.;D32-RJ E., Mike A.;D34-LeeAnn U., Vicki R.; D36-Pete W.

OTHERS PRESENT: Past Delegates: John B., Bob B., Joan J., Ken G., Leo M., Nancy G., Jo McL; 2008 Spring Conf - Annette D; 2010 Spring Conference Chair – Bob S.;Terry R.

Secretaries Report - Nancy B.

Reviewed minutes from Pre-Conference Assembly Meeting held on April 22, 2007, which were subsequently approved unanimously.

Treasurers Report – Nancy H.

Contributions continue to be received weekly. There are over 900 groups in Area 75. About a third (258 groups and districts) have contributed at least once to the area’s general fund. Four (4) groups have contributed to the Count-On-Us fund and 23 to the Rainbow fund. A list of group contributions is available for review at area meetings. The list is sorted into group number order or alphabetically by group name if no number was given.

Balance sheet as of April 2007


Current Assets

Cash in Checking-M&I


Prudent Reserve-M&I


Cash-Count On Us


Cash - Rainbow Can


A/R-Conference Seed Money


Expense Advance




Equipment Depreciation



Total Current Assets



Total Assets




Current Liabilities


Total Current Liabilities



Total Liabilities



Retained Earnings


Net Income



Total Capital



Total Liabilities & Capital





Budget vs. Actual as of April 2007


2007 Actual YTD

2007 Total Budget

2007 Variance YTD












Alt. Delegate/Lit.








































Public Info.










Spcl. Needs










Alt. Chair





Alt. Secretary





Alt. Treasurer





Archives Chair










COU Literature


Rainbow Literature




Income Statement as of April 2007

This Year

Last Year

Year to Date
This Year

Year to Date
Last Year


Group Donations





Group Donations - Rainbow





Group Donations - Count On Us





Other Income









Total Revenues










Bank Charges





Conference Loss





Conference Booth Fee










GSO Fees















Literature - Rainbow/COU




















Misc/Office Expense















Registration Fees










Archives Rent



















Total Expenses









Net Income





EMERGENCY BUSINESS - Additional funds needed for 2009 Spring Conference. Racine Marriott requires 1500 deposit, requesting and need today. Motion made to approve funding, seconded and then was approved.

EAST CENTRAL REGIONAL TRUSTEE – Preface to the delegate’s report.

Bob M. – East Central Regional Trustee and Grapevine Director. I have enjoyed conference so far. This is a great opportunity to come out as a board member to share what’s happening and let us know that we are listening. Conference was exciting and historical this year. The General Service Board contains 21 members, 14 Class B, 7 Class A (Non-Alcoholic) new members are rotating on. The Corporate board and the Grapevine board have also had a lot of rotation. All positions are filled except one position on the GSO board.

Just to review 2 items that passed by the conference.

Change in by laws to allow a replacement of a regional trustee to begin and finish out the term of the position being filled. This means the trustee position would be filled immediately rather than wait to be filled at the end of the term of the position. This will serve the fellowship better.

Another item was that Class B Trustees be considered for chairman of the board. This would increase the candidate pool. It’s inline with our bylaws. Recommendation brought to the floor and passed.


The 57th General Service Conference

Panel 57 delegate

General Service Area 75

Southern Wisconsin

(Taken from George’s Power Point Presentation)

We boarded the friendly skies of Midwest Airlines and left Milwaukee at 10:15 the morning of Friday, April 20 and arrived at LaGuardia Airport at about 1:30 eastern time.

It took until about 3 p.m. to arrive in downtown Manhattan at the Crowne Plaza at Times Square.

Shortly after arrival, we got together with Bob M., our East Central Regional Trustee. I had met Bob at the airport and we actually were on the same flight. He, however, took a taxi to the hotel and we had already signed up for the Super Shuttle.

Anyway, we got together with Bob at about 4 p.m. and went out for dinner at Virgil's Real BBQ. The food was great. Then we proceeded to traipse around the city, through the Diamond district and over to St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Our hotel room is on the 31st floor. We can see the Hudson River.

Saturday fun stuff

We ate breakfast with our "food sponsor", Jane from Maryland at Trattoria Daniello.

Greyline tour around the Downtown loop after breakfast-- a gorgeous day this is!!--- Sunny and just GLORIOUS outside.

After the bus tour we visited the hospitality room on the 4th floor. We met our East Central Regional Trustee and several other delegates from the ECR.

Saturday afternoon we saw a performance of Bill W. and Dr. Bob at 2 p.m.

More Saturday Night

More Saturday night

Bright lights, Big City

Sunday Morning
Hotel Breakfast

It begins!

Lunch with the ECR

Opening Session / hot dogs

The Opening session ended at 2:30 p.m. and my committee (Finance) didn't meet until 3:45 p.m. so I went upstairs. Liz arrived at the room within a minute of myself and she said that she and her new friend, Ramona, sister and guest of Leo S. from Southern Indiana ( who celebrated his 18th sobriety birthday today), were going to go buy a hot dog from a street vendor. We walked a few blocks and the girls determined that these hot dogs were nothing special. Just hot dogs. At two bucks though, they were pretty reasonable compared to lots of other things in NYC. The girls were going to walk down to 34th street and I followed them until it was time for me to turn back for my meeting.

Joint meeting - Finance

Joint meeting of the Delegate's Finance committee and the Trustees Finance committee: Another binder of stuff. Vince K., Class A trustee, explained that last year, contributions from groups increased by an unheard of 12%. The number of groups that contribute to GSO also increased significantly. There was no explanation given for either of these things. Vince indicated that a large challenge for the fellowship is that the amount that we have saved for employee pension funds does not meet the actuarial projections and we will need to put more money in this fund by law. This meeting was not a formal meeting of the Finance committee and no proposals were discussed.

Opening Dinner

Opening Dinner and AA meeting: We had a three course meal served to us most competently. I sat with Larry and Marcia S. from Northern Illinois, Hugh N., Mary S. from somewhere in "by god Ohio" and Marcia and Mary's guests. The meeting featured Mike A., former GSO chairman and another former GSO employee who shared about the recently deceased Nell W., a long-time GSO employee and secretary to Bill W.

Following the reflections regarding Nell W., five speakers shared their experience, strength, and hope.

Speakers were Irene K., GSO employee, Tito T. Delegate from Puerto Rico, Marianne H., Delegate from Northern Interior California, Ray M., Trustee, and Jane T., AAWS director and our first “food sponsor”.

They had a green light in front of them on the podium. After 8 minutes, it turned yellow. Two minutes later it turned red. All gave memorable talks.

Monday. It really begins!

I'm not sure I need to have pancakes and bacon and eggs every morning but it was good and quick.

2. Our finance committee meeting began at 9 a.m. Our chairperson, Jamie W. from Texas, was pretty nervous but she did a good job of leading. She would go around the entire 8 person committee and every member either got their chance to give their input or pass. I didn't have as good a grasp of the background material for our issues as I should have. Nonetheless, my opinions and statements were greeted with respect and concern by all present. We got through 3 of our four items this morning.

3. We adjourned our committee at 11:45 and lunch was at noon. They had a buffet which contained hot dogs (with sauerkraut if desired), hamburgers, barbecued ribs and some kind of chicken. They had Dove ice cream bars of about 4 kinds for dessert in addition to some cheesecake which I took a pass on. I DID have a Dove bar. Yummy!

4. After dinner, we had a general session which started at 1:15 p.m. I went outside and stood on the street outside the Paramount building just a few blocks up Broadway on about 52nd street watching people in the warm sunny glory of the day.

5. The afternoon session began with panel 57 delegates from the Southwest and Northeast regions giving their 2 minute "Area Highlights" speech. Again, they had the green, yellow and red lights and the little bell to "ding" you if you went over two minutes. Only two people out of the 14 or so got dinged. It's not that big a deal.

General Service Board Report

6. At about 2 p.m., Leonard B., the Chair of the General Service Board, gave his report after which there was a question and sharing session of about 30 minutes. He was followed by Paul C., class B trustee and chair of the AA World Services Board who gave his report and then hosted a half our of questions and sharing.

7. At about 3 p.m., we had a 15 minute break. This was followed by Arnold R., chair of the Grapevine Board, who gave his report and hosted 30 minutes of questions and sharing.

8. At 3:45 p.m., Vince K., Chairperson of the Trustees Finance and Budgetary Committee gave his report, a PowerPoint presentation like that of the Grapevine report and the AAWS report. Vince hosted a half hour of questions and sharing after his report like the others had.

My Area Highlights

9. At about 4:30 p.m. the Trustee from Western Canada introduced his two delegates who gave their "Area Highlights".

This was followed by the East Central region of which I am a part. I was the last person of the 8 delegates from our East Central region and I delivered my Area Highlights precisely and confidently. I almost choked up at the very end and my "Thank you" was barely audible but I made it.

Monday dinner and gifts

10. Dinner was served at around 6 p.m. It was prime rib and pretty decent. We got a martini glass full of cut fruit pieces for dessert. I used the time before the 7:15 pm start to the evening session to pass out my mementos to the delegates. After giving some of them out to individuals, I decided to just go through the entire meeting room and put one at each place like lots of the other delegates had done. That way, everybody had a chance to get one of my things and I didn't have to try to keep track of who I had "gifted" and who I had not. I received several unique mementos today. Larry S. from Northern Illinois gave out a purple book bag thing. A guy from New Hampshire gave out little bottles of pure maple syrup from Vermont. And Becky, a N.E.R.D. (North East Region Delegate) gave out the US Vermont quarter with a lapel pin assembly glued to George Washington's cheek so that the maple trees with buckets on them show on the front. What a unique and wonderful idea!!

I also took this time to use the pre-printed address labels that I had initialed to adorn the books, mostly large print daily reflections books, that delegates had placed on the book table. I stuck my sticker on May 25th which is my AA birthday. My last drink was in 1987.

Monday evening

I wrote in my blog:

So Monday is over. It went so fast. It's hard to believe that I'm saying that. I was so off balance on Friday, Saturday and part of Sunday wondering what this thing was really going to be like. Now I am feeling very much a part of and not apart from. Everyone has treated me so wonderfully and as a delegate, I feel like I'm one of the most important people here. The staff is wonderful. It is an awe-inspiring experience to feel that I am such an integral part of the direction that AA is taking.

When I was elected delegate, I was flattered and humbled by the trust that Area 75 placed in me. I was also very fearful of this thing called the "Conference". It had been built up so much during the Delegates/Past Delegates conference in February and the past delegates had filled me with so many expectations that I wasn't sure I could buy into. I found myself unwilling to plan my life past the Conference.

As of Monday night I feel a part of a wonderful group of loving supportive people. I can see it will be difficult to leave this event this weekend.

Liz went to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island today and I have a note that says she and Bobby F.'s wife (Bobby is from New York State and also on the Finance committee) went to see Phantom of the Opera tonight.

Tomorrow is casual dress day and we go to visit the General Service Offices late in the afternoon. Thank you God for this wonderful privilege you have given me, for this fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and for the rush that is New York City!!

Tuesday morning

Liz and I started out the morning with breakfast at Pax, a little place around the corner from the hotel. They had lots of breakfast stuff and it's lucky we got there long before 8 a.m. because the place really filled up just before 8. We each had coffee and a muffin. Liz also had a bowl of mixed fruit. I had a little time to read USA today before my 9 a.m. Finance committee meeting and also to catch up on the latest NFL draft rumors.

Our Finance committee meeting went quite well but we did eat up the entire morning nonetheless. We went over all of the actions we had taken during our previous session so that we all agreed on the wording and we settled the last item on our agenda. After our business, we gave Don M. and his staff assistant (not sure of his name) a signed print of some photographs that were purchased as gifts for them. Then we held our election for chairperson of the committee for next year. I intended to vote for Andrew W. from Montana but then Bobby reminded us that we should not hesitate to vote for ourselves if we thought we could do a good job. I voted for myself. Andrew won. Francis G. from Massachusetts will serve as alternate chair of the finance committee next year.

Tuesday afternoon

The afternoon session began with Area Highlights from the Eastern Canada and West Central Regional delegates.

At 1:45 p.m., we had Presentation / Discussion

El spoke emotionally about two people who came to their meeting in South Carolina and could only read and speak Polish. She reminded us of how real the 7th tradition becomes when a situation like this occurs.

Gary spoke on Growth of the fellowship and challenged us by citing some troubling aspects of our fellowship. When did open meetings held by groups degenerate in to "open discussion" sessions where anybody talks about anything? His presentation was confrontational in a provocative and constructive way.

Luc spoke poignantly about Reaching out to all who want it. He shared how he seriously considered not returning to the conference after troubling experiences last year.

Tuesday trip to GSO

After the sharing following these three presentations, we were to tour the GSO at 475 Riverside drive. We were told that designated trustees and GSO staff would gather us in groups of 10 or so and escort us via the subway.

I joined a group with one of our trustees. We walked a few blocks to the subway entrance but by the time me and several other members of my group got through the turnstiles, the rest of the group was gone! Four of us stood there looking at each other. Fortunately, another group showed up within a few seconds and we went with Leonard B., the chair of our Board of Trustees and Dorothy W., one of our trustees at large. We managed to stay together and got off the subway at the proper place.

At the GSO, I spent lots of time seeing a demo of the new Fellowship New Vision database program for keeping track of group information. I was told that our Area Registrar will be trained in the use of FNV in May and that I, as delegate, may request to have access to it as well. Security consists of three layers. First, a digital certificate will be provided for each user (Area registrar) that is installed on the registrar's computer. This tells the system what actual computer is attempting to connect to it. The second phase is a login name and password. The third phase is a PIN that each user must enter. Members of the fellowship need have no concerns about the security of our data.

GSO offices

Walking to Times Square

After visiting with Rick W., GSO Conference coordinator, and Robin B., Grapevine Editor, and snapping a few pictures, I met up with Jeff C., delegate from Northern Wisconsin and the UP and Maurice H., delegate from Chicago and we walked back to the hotel. On the way, we visited the beautiful cathedral of St. John the Divine. It is an impressive and very beautiful cathedral. We also walked through Central Park for a good bit.

We arrived back at the hotel about 10 minutes late for dinner but that did not seem to be any kind of problem. I sat with delegates from Texas, Iowa and Southern Minnesota as well as Northern Minnesota and Montana. We had chicken again, this time with some cheese on it and some tomato-based sauce on the side. Dessert was a kind of fancy cheesecake that I didn't finish.

Delegates-only Meeting

Following supper, we had our second Delegates-only meeting. We panel 57 delegates put our names in a hat and one name, Sharon F. from one of the Ohio areas was selected. Her name was put in the hat with one choice from each of the other regions and after the sharing session, we picked one name for Delegate Chairperson for next year. Incredibly, France J. from one of the Quebec districts, the one delegate who probably has the least comfort with the English language, was elected delegate chair. Ron H. was picked as alternate Chair.

During the sharing session, I went to the mike and explained how I felt about certain aspects of the conference. I explained how scared and alienated I felt when I first arrived and how this was complicated as I walked into the Delegate's-only meeting on Saturday night only to find that nearly everyone else was dressed in coat and tie and I came in a polo shirt and khakis. I went on about my discomfort until I was unceremoniously dinged. I felt bad in hindsight that what I had said was more selfish than positive, constructive and affirming.

We closed with the Serenity prayer in French led by France, our new delegate chair at about 9 p.m.

I wrote in my blog:

I must admit that it is hard to believe that I have been here for five days already. This experience is more than half past. Tomorrow the actual assembly begins and I am looking forward to a stimulating fast-paced time. It is significant that even though I have been in meetings nearly all day every day, I have NEVER been bored nor wanted to leave the room for even a minute. It is a measure of my love for this program of AA and for the wonderful delegates who have gone out of their way to make me feel included, wanted and loved.

Wednesday morning

1. We got up at 6 a.m. as we have every day while here. Again we went to Pax for breakfast.

2. Our day started at 9 a.m. with a workshop on the "Spiritual value of our AA dollars". We were grouped in separate rooms of about a dozen people. We shared about three questions regarding things like "Do I encourage others to "dig deeper" to support AA?" and "How does my group insure that its dollars are spent wisely?" We had delegates as well as both Class A and Class B trustees in our groups.

3. At 11 a.m. we were presented with the panel 57 Area Highlights from the Pacific and Southeast regions.

4. Lunch was by region so we met with Bob M., our East Central regional trustee. We discussed upcoming regional activities. I got to cordially invite everyone to the East Central Regional conference which will be held in Manitowoc this October. Lunch was some kind of wrap which I wasn't wild about.

5. After lunch, we had elections for several Trustee positions. I did not get to sleep until around midnight the previous night and it showed. I had all I could do to stay awake while delegates were presenting their "two minutes" to stump for the trustee candidate from their Area. Some coffee, hard candy and Diet Pepsi helped me to stay viable.

Wednesday afternoon

6. Next, we had Presentation/Discussion on the topic "Our primary purpose". Delegates gave talks on "Attraction rather than promotion", "Working with wet drunks" and "Practicing these principles in all our affairs". We will be receiving hard copies of all these presentations.

7. At some point in the day, we found the copies of the new "AA in Prison, Inmate to Inmate" and "In our own words - Stories of young AA's in recovery" from the pages of the AA Grapevine.

8. Things did get behind schedule and the Sharing session that was to follow the Presentation/Discussion session got cut back. I think I had about 75 minutes free before dinner and I was on my way to take a walk over to the Hudson river when Liz arrived and reported that it was beginning to rain. That killed any chance to go out and walk.

Wednesday Evening

Treatment Facilities committee – Jimmy S.

First recommendation passed unanimously regarding revising Hope: Alcoholics Anonymous to retain the original script at a cost of about $50000. It was felt that the script was “rock solid AA” so it should be maintained.

Entire report accepted unanimously. Very little discussion.

Policy/Admissions committee – John S.

April 18-24, 2010 is date for 2010 General Service Conference . Passed unanimously.

AA. Grapevine Committee – Glenn S.

Recommendation that Grapevine and LaVina include a section on the medical, legal and social aspects of alcoholism with an appropriate disclaimer.

Re-instating the “grey pages” was a vigorously debated topic. After a long discussion, the proposal passed by a vote of 81-35 (69.8%)

Cooperation with the professional community committee – David S.

This committee made no recommendations.

More Wednesday night

Items A-C having to do with slates of trustees, directors of AAWS and AA Grapevine, Inc., passed without much discussion.

Item D states that both class B and class A trustees would be eligible for election as chairperson of the General Service Board.

Again, read my blog for details of this passionately debated topic.

This topic went on until about 10:15 p.m. and then the session was closed for the day. We will resume this item tomorrow.

After the evening session, we went to the Stardust Diner as guests of our ECR trustee. The waiters and waitresses sing like Karaoke old songs. We had ice cream with a brownie in Liz’s case and Apple cake in my case. I've had better desserts. We went back to the hotel and bed at about 11:30 p.m.

Thursday morning

Are we resting on our laurels? – Becky C, Vermont

This suggests taking an inventory regarding how we are working the 12th step.

Can we find members willing to be responsible?

Should service continue to be a secret?

Expressed by Anonymity – Mike S. – Kansas

We had to sacrifice other things besides alcohol when we quit drinking. Things like ego.

Sacrifice had to be made or AA could not exist.

Mike lost his sister-in-law in January. He felt helpless. He was very emotional as he shared his experience with us.

Quote from Dr. Bob: “for heaven’s sakes, Bill, why don’t you and I get buried like normal folks..”

Raising Literature prices or footing the bill? – Jerry C. – San Diego, Imperial Valley California.

Some groups believe that Tradition four gives them the right to be without authority and apart from the rest of AA.

Unambiguous, non-judgmental discussion of our traditions.

Our fellowship instructed the Board to print the Big Book in other languages (currently over 50)

We are not in the activity of creating arguments.

Our responsibility is to act as a conduit of information.


We must not get too caught up in patting ourselves on the back but must continue to emphasize self-support.

I will speak, and service will be a part of my story.

It’s time to stand up and speak.

This is ours. What are we doing about it?

If everything was alright in AA, we would not have any traditions…

Thursday midmorning

Thursday later mid-morning

Item F: Replaces language in the Bylaws of the General Service Board that requests Class B trustees to provide board with “regional views and opinions” with language that requests they provide “views and opinions based on Fellowship-wide experience”.

This item also took a long time. See my blog for details.

The committee recognized that they wanted to be in line with the service manual.

Question called at 11:54 a.m. Passed!

Vote on the motion: 128 votes cast. Have 90 votes - needed 86 for 2/3.

After minority opinion, a motion was made by a person who voted in the majority to reconsider.

Motion made to reconsider. Passed! Simple majority: 82 in favor and 32 against.

Lunch break planned and issue once again open for debate.

After lunch, when debate continued and the issue was voted on again the result is that the original motion failed.

Thursday afternoon

A question was asked relative to “Appeal to the General Service Conference” dated April 11, 2007 concerning the decision made in January 2007 executive session of the General Service Board not to begin a search for a new General Manager of the General Service Office.

The committee chair responded but did not answer the question.

Trustee Paul C. referred to the Service manual p S59. Rotation as it applies to service positions is different than a job as it applies to a person who works as an employee. This made perfect sense to me.

Is there one set of principles for the fellowship and another for the Board?

At 2 p.m. there are 9 people waiting to speak.

Has the minority appeal been satisfied by this committee? George M. asserts that it has. The minority trustees got what they are entitled to.

Request made to table. Out of order. She feels only half the body has background information.

Gayle S-R. Indicates that background information is not sent out since this is not something that needed to come before the Conference.

Rick H. – to continue to debate this is to circumvent the system.

Vern- Asks that Greg M. rescue himself since this involves him directly. 2:10 p.m.

Greg left the room.

Leonard took over the meeting and then also stepped down to reclaim his spot at the mike.

Alan A. took over.

This is not a debate. This is only an opportunity to ask questions of the chair.

Nora B. – Do you feel the letter to the General Service Board is summarized in this committee consideration. “Yes” is the answer.

Roberta, – member of AAWS board. Thanks to the committee.

I can’t follow the details on this. If anyone says anything I can figure out, I’ll write it here……

Lori P. – We had done all we can to not make this personal. We have been tied up in knots for two weeks prior to this conference.

What this whole thing shows to me is that there is a tremendous commitment to civility here at the GSC in spite of passionate opinions. Greg M. has conducted himself with absolute flawless consideration and concern. This must be so difficult for him!

<I was worried about being closed up inside while people went round and round promoting their own agendas. That turned out to be a GROUNDLESS FEAR. It is such a delicious pleasure to be in the company of such a wonderful body of people. I want to pinch myself right now so as not to lose even a minute of my time as a member of this Conference. There is no comparison to my previous experience with business in a body of this size.>

Oops! A delegate confesses that she cannot defend this body’s actions as not being “just politics”. She believes that she was let down because not everyone got every bit of background on this Appeal.

Pat L. requests a copy of the Minority appeal. Lori convenes her committee…The room gets louder.

Alan declares a break.

The oldest delegate at age 73. A “Slowly recovering” alcoholic.

Delegate responses (93)

Average age = 55

Oldest = 73

Youngest = 34

Average length of sobriety = 19

Longest sobriety = 40

Shortest sobriety = 9

Average length of service = 15

Longest service = 35

Shortest service = 7

Later Thursday afternoon

Archives Committee

One recommendation: That any future proposed project involving widespread distribution of archival recording be submitted to the Conference archives Committee so that the Conference might provide guidance prior to production.

After many questions of the committee, they agreed to reconvene and reconsider this recommendation.

Public Information:

Item A: That the 2007 AA Membership survey be conducted by area on a random basis as was done in the 2004 AA Membership survey.

Passed unanimously.

Item B: That the public service announcement “A force of Nature”, developed by the Trustees Public Information Committee be approved.

We watched the 60, 30 and 15 second versions of this.

Motion passed 81-40. Motion to reconsider, heard after minority opinion, failed. 58-61.

Doug R. GSO Staff:

Sub-Sahara Zonal meeting will meet in Namibia. Hosted by South Africa and financed by Great Britain and USA.

Doug mentioned several other Zonal meetings.

In Mongolia, I slept in a yert.

In Russia I added running water and flushing toilets to my gratitude list.

Doug and Leonard visited Turkey, Croatia and Bosnia/Herzegovina.

Murray M. trustee at large:

19th annual world service meeting. Malahyde, Ireland.

Meeting has grown from 13 zones and countries in 1969 to over 30 today.

Development and enhancement of the International literature fund has helped AA World Services Inc. to produce literature in other languages.

Country to country sponsorship has increased. Mexico has sponsored Cuba. Poland has been informally sponsored by Germany. Poland now sponsors Belarus and Ukraine. Norway sponsored Uruguay. Switzerland sponsors Croatia.

Thursday evening

Public Information Item C:

Centralized tracking, distribution and evaluation of the PSA “A force of Nature”.

It is clear that many delegates do not understand how the process of distributing, tracking and evaluating these PSAs works.

Recommendation passed without any dissenting votes.

Item D: Reaffirmed 2002 Advisory Action to develop a new PSA every year and the oldest of the four existing PSAs be replaced each year.

I went to the mike for the first time and asked if a new copy of each PSA was sent to each station every year and if they were told to stop using the one we were taking out of the rotation. A: Only the newest one is sent out. Nobody tells them which to use or not. Most stations will not use a PSA that is older than one year.

Recommendation passed with only a couple dissenting votes.

More Thursday evening

Corrections committee, – Estelle G.

Item A: Recommended that the draft informational media presentation featuring someone highly credible in the corrections field introducing AA to the training academies and in-service training programs for correctional personnel be approved with a suggested change to be reviewed and approved by the trustees Committee on Corrections.

Friday morning

John S. – Grapevine director – How the Grapevine serves the fellowship today.

50 years ago, Bill W. described the Grapevine as the monthly mirror of AA in action.

From its earliest days it has been viewed as a vital 12-step tool

It must constantly evolve and change to continue to be effective.

We could be doing a better job of reaching minorities and young people.

Some people report they no longer subscribe because they don’t have time to read it.

We are not becoming non-readers but people who desire our written word delivered in a different manner.

I recently gave a subscription to my home group, but I should have done it long ago.”

Jorge F. – LaVina – A reflection on our First 10 years.

How far do we want to go to carry the message?

Action is the key!

Giving back is more than a choice. It is a responsibility.

Jorge shared a story about a little girl and a butterfly and a Master. It is not your responsibility to keep it alive or let it die. It IS your responsibility to keep it alive.

More Friday morning

Archives: Mary S. 56/56 Southwest “by god” Ohio, Archives Conference Chair

Committee chose not to make any change to the published recommendation.

Discussion: seeing none, it goes to a vote. One vote opposed. No minority opinion. Motion Passed!!

Public Information Item E: Resubmitted by committee.

This is the one about the video submissions by young people thing.

Vote on revised motion. Passed with about a half dozen in opposition. No minority opinion was offered.

The motion had been revised to include:

The trustees Committee on Public Information will:

A) Develop clear guidelines for request and submission of videos

B) Create a timetable at their July 2007 meeting for the request of video/digital submissions

C) Develop a draft from video/digital submissions or a progress report to be brought to the 2008 Conference Committee on Public Information for review.

Friday late morning

Report and Charter Committee – Tom V.

Item A: Re: S29 of the AA service manual: The number of groups per district varies widely from as few as five in a rural district to 90 or more in a metropolitan district.

After a failed amendment, the item PASSES with no minority opinion.

Item B: Recommended that a sentence regarding the 1993 discontinuance of the use of the circle and triangle symbol by AAWS be included. The sense would be that groups or districts can use this symbol but it does not belong to us so we don’t care.

The question was called after a lot of discussion. PASSED.

Motion passed – I offered a minority opinion to the effect that I thought the addition of this language was potentially confusing and unnecessary.

Item C: This has to do with inserting an inverted Triangle graphic in the Service Manual

Little discussion. Motion carries.

Item D: Applies to adding a District Information Change form be developed and brought back to the 2008 GSC

Passes with no opposition.

Item E: Language that defines the nature of General Service. Adds the words “by groups” to page S15 in the Service manual.

After little discussion, a VOTE was taken and it PASSED unanimously.

Item F: Adds DCMs to definition of an assembly. “Any meeting of area GSRs , DCMs and the area committee (See chapter five) is an assembly”.

Opinion expressed that the DCMs are already members of the Area committee. Thus this is redundant.

After the lunch break, this item failed.

Friday afternoon

Literature John S. – 4 recommendations

Item A: This deals with the language regarding support for GSR s to attend service functions in the “AA group” pamphlet and the “GSR” pamphlet.

Vote called quickly and PASSED Unanimously. No minority opinion.

Item B: Change title “Black/African American Share their stories”, to “AA and the Black/African American Alcoholic”

Amendment(Friendly so it does not need a vote): change title to “AA and the Black and African American Alcoholic.”

Amendment to the amendment “AA for the Black and African American Alcoholic.”

Amendment passes.

Vote taken on Issue as amended. Motion carried unanimously with no minority opinion

Item C: Regarding the pamphlet AA Member-Medications and other drugs be revised to include current experience of AA members and that a revised draft pamphlet be brought before the 2008 GSC.

Vote taken. Passed unanimously.

Item D: Regarding that the Spanish language 3rd edition Big Book is produced.

Murray M. reminds us that this has been in the pipe for three years. It’s time to quit nit picking!!

After even more #$&!!, it PASSED unanimously. Minority opinion wants Spanish content scrutinized more fully.

Agenda Committee – Eric K. 3 items.

All three items pass with little opposition.

Friday after coffee break

Finance – Jamie W. – 2 items – this was my committee!!

Item A: Individual limit be increased from $2000 to $3000.

This is not about revenue. It is about perception. Not allowing any one source to have an undue effect on our AA finances.

Vote: only one vote against and no minority opinion.

Item B: GSR travel expenses wording included in two pamphlets.

Amendment proposed but withdrawn regarding spelling out General Service Representative in words. The publication department can take care of this.

Motion passed unanimously. A few in the minority. No one rose to speak.

Several questions/comments regarding additional considerations were handled masterfully by Chairperson Jamie!

Floor action 1: The background information on the “Appeal to the General Service Conference dated April 11, 2007 and reviewed by the Conference committee on Trustees be provided to all members of the 57th General Service Conference.

Motion made to decline consideration of this floor action. Passes 110 votes, 85 yes, no 25. Floor action will not be heard.

Floor action 2: That the hospital scene in the corrections video, previously approved, be deleted.

Motion was made to decline consideration of this action. Vote on declining consideration was 74 to 48. 122 votes. Motion to decline failed.

Discussion: It may incur additional cost. We think that it should show men rather than women carrying the message……

The only thing that the sample viewers commented on was the fact that the washing machines were coin operated.

The hospital scene is part of the introductory material rather than as part of the Corrections aspect of it. It speaks to what AA in general does.

Vote on this motion: Floor action was DEFEATED. Totals: 31 for, 94 against.

Minority opinion: Why do we have to include a hospital scene in a corrections video.

Vote to reconsider was requested: 47 to 73 Motion to reconsider fails.

Floor Action 3: That the information media presentation introducing AA to training academies and in-service training for corrections personnel be edited to include at least one mention and display of our magazines, The AA Grapevine and LaVina together with French and Spanish AA books and pamphlets.

Floor Action 4: That a pamphlet on intergroups/central offices be developed and that a draft copy….

We already voted to DECLINE to consider this before I got a chance to even type it all.

Friday wrap-up

I was truly amazed that we got through all the committee reports on Friday afternoon. As you can see if you plowed through my notes, there was a lot of discussion on certain reports but somehow it all melted away.

All of a sudden, it was time for the final "sharing session". This is a chance for the outgoing delegates to say their last words at a GSC. Tito T. of Puerto Rico was one of the first to speak and he was in tears immediately and so was I. There were lots of the panel 56es who went to the mic and shared. Some cried, some didn't. It’s a very emotional time.

Friday after the last session, we got together with some of our other East Central Regional friends. We went to Sbarro's for pizza (not very good) and then got on the subway and went downtown, waaaaaay downtown. We rode to the terminal for the Staten Island ferry and rode it out to Staten Island and then back. As we passed near the Statue of Liberty, there were fireworks going off on the trip back to Manhattan. It was a fitting display for our last night in New York.


Saturday morning brought the closing brunch and a chance for the outgoing trustees to share their thoughts with us. We heard Allan A. Murray McI. Gary K., Mike P.and Arnold R. Gary was particularly "interesting".

Just before these trustee presentations, France J. as called up to the dias to read "How it works" in French. She stepped up the two stairs, reached the top and then went down like a domino, literally. She must have just stepped off the end of the stage. It was an incredible sight. She was helped up and did actually read "How it works" and then the 12 steps in English (with a little help from the audience). She was eventually helped from the room and taken to the hospital. Liz and I met Rick W. as he helped France and her interpreter back into the hotel following their trip to the hospital. She had sustained a broken ankle.

We checked out of the hotel at about 2 p.m. and took a Golden Touch van to the airport. It was driven by a man from Ecuador who chatted with us all the way to LaGuardia. We were the only passengers in the van.

Our flight back to Milwaukee was pleasant and uneventful. We received a phone call from Ken and Nancy G. on the way home welcoming us back and we arrived in Hingham at about 8 p.m.

The meeting closed with the “Responsibility Declaration

When anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand

of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.”

Upcoming Area Dates

Agenda Planning Meeting - June 24th

Pre-Conference Assembly - September 26th

Area 75 Fall Conference/East Central Regional Convention – October 12th-14th

East Central Regional Forum – November 9th – 11th (Chicago, Ill)