WESTERN STATES ZONAL FORUM

Texas Station Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

August 6-8, 2004

 

MEETING RECORD

 

Regions/Members Present:

 

Central California Region California Inland Region

Steve Ferris, RD Michael Mosier, RD

George Littleton, RDA Gene Pesheck, RDA

Rick Travis, RDA

California Mid-State Region Northern California Region

Bryan Walker, RD Jimmy Lee Provance, RD

Gregory Barnes, RDA Lenny Russo, RDA

 

Pacific Cascade Region Region 51

Cathy Klupenger, RD Rick Whitman, RD

Denise Toomb, RDA

 

Rio Grande Region San Diego Imperial Region

Jim Walker, RD DW Donahoo, RD

Laura Brown, RDA R.L. George

 

Sierra Sage Region Southern California Region

Isabel Lund, RD Ruben Armas, RD

 

Southern Idaho Region Washington/Northern Idaho Region

JB Morris, RD Franney Jardine, RD

Harper K. Nielson, RDA Jack Hovenier, RDA

 

 

Facilitator: Meeting Reporter:

Vince Pickles Suzette White

 

 

Regions/Members Absent:

Arizona Region Region 51

Greg Williams, RD George Gatski, RDA

Deric Whitmore, RDA

Southern California Region

Ken Mason, RDA

 

 

 

 

Friday, August 6, 2004

 

v  The meeting was opened with a moment of silence followed by the Serenity Prayer at 5:08 p.m.

v  Introduction of the facilitator, Vince P., by Rick W. and announcements with regard to the business center and a planned meeting on Saturday night.

v  Introduction of the attendees.

v  Reprioritizing of topics/add new topics.

 

Issue Discussion Topics

 

Cooperation with Courts and Treatment Facilities

HRP/Election/Nominations

Predators in Meetings

NA Theft of Funds

CDBM (Consensus-Based Decision-Making)

Fulfilling Service Commitments

Retention of Senior Members

Reaching Native-Americans and Youth in Recovery

Websites

Taxes

Translations

Insurance

 

Additional Topics:

 

Public Information Having Booths at County Fairs

Sponsorship Behind the Walls

Incorporation of Convention Committee/RSC

Licensing of Vendors to Make Things and Vendors at Conventions and Meetings.

Servicing Spanish-Speaking Groups

 

v  After a brief discussion, the general consensus was that if the originators of the new topics were to agree, the additional topics would be put at the end of the list and be discussed if time permitted.

 

Regional Reports

 

California Mid-State Region:

 

Greetings from California Mid-State Region:

Our region's seven areas serve the northern and central San Joaquin Valley and the central Sierra Nevada Mountains. Our region serves cities such as Fresno, Stockton, Modesto and Visalia as well as the Mother Lode Gold Country and Yosemite National Park.

We have more than 400 meetings each week. All areas continue to experience substantial growth. Our third largest area in 2003 is now our largest and has averaged adding three groups every two months over this year. We have dances, camp-outs, retreats, learning days and many other celebrations of recovery.

California Mid-State Region carries a regional insurance policy that covers every meeting and area or regional event that is held within the region. Our policy covers all who attend our functions and meetings. We pay an annual premium and distribute the cost to the areas based on the number of meetings in each area. This year, our

$1 million coverage cost us $8,000. This is an increase of 25 percent and is entirely due to the expansion of events being calendared and added to the list for coverage. Our cost for meetings has remained the same for the last three years. If anyone is interested in hearing more about our coverage, we would be more than happy to share the information with you.

With regard to doing service at the regional level, although our administrative body is fairly typical, California Mid-State Region operates with Regional Information Coordinators (RIC's) instead of subcommittees. Our RIC's are to become the best-informed person in the region on his or her subject and act as a resource to local subcommittees. We have Hospitals and Institutions, Public Information, Activities, and Literature RIC's. Our Literature RIC was used to gather our regional conscience with respect to WSC Motions 1-3, the motions regarding the Sponsorship book.

Our region participates with NA as a whole by sending our RIC's to Western

Service Learning Days, our convention chairmen to the NAWS convention workshops (when we have them), by participating in the Western States Zonal Forum, Worldwide Workshops, World Service Meetings (when we have them), and the World Service Conference.

We will hold a regional assembly in November to write our position papaers on the fellowship-wide discussion topics. We will also hold a three-day assembly in Yosemite over the 2005 Memorial Day weekend. We use what we have learned at the Worldwide Workshops and WSC to act as facilitators and not as lecturers. Responses to our questions on holding this event again have been positive.

We continue to make use of regionally sponsored, area hosted learning days and have bids in for the next round already.

Our Eighth Annual Biennial Convention took place in June in Fresno. We had close to 900 registered and cleared over $13,000. Our next convention will be in June 2006 in Modesto.

Central California NA will be celebrating 25 years of NA in Fresno in June 2005. We are asking for people who may have been around then to loan us memorabilia that we will return to you. Please refer the willing to Bryan W., 559.970.0725. Also for your information, the committee is raising funds by selling previous shirts from conventions held in Fresno, including NCCNA 5 and maybe WSLD 15.

That's all for now,

Bryan W.

 

v  There was a brief discussion about insurance coverage, and several members discussed exchanging information on the practices in their regions.

 

An additional report submitted by the RDA, Greg B., was as follows:

 

H&I: Sponsorship by mail; SVGNA hosted a learning day disguised as "A Night of Knowledge and Titillation" in November 2003 with a play by the Napa/Solano Players called "The Sponsor."

PI: Drug court influx continues to swell. Several areas have met with judges and treatment facilities concerning our Tradition boundaries, i.e., the logo on court cards. Four new PSA's were copied in Beta and Super VHS and given to two areas, with no progress as of last contact.

National Drug/Alcohol Awareness is September, and the information arrives in August, not allowing enough time.

 

Central California Region:

 

Our region is comprised of five areas that are made up of 294 meetings a week. They are: Central Coast, 102; County Line, 26; Gold Coast, 52; Kern County, 103, and Santa Barbara, 11. We meet every other month and conduct our business utilizing Consensus-Based Decision Making.

We hold our regional assembly in March and elect our delegates at that time; we have a second alternate. We hold a single-day assembly in the off-conference years where we workshop the issue discussion topics and generate additional ones.

On the conference years, we hold a 2-1/2-day assembly where we do the same, in addition to addressing the CAR. This last year we held pre-assembly CAR workshops at each area.

We are in the process of revising our guidelines. There is still some direction to be sought as to our nomination process and the length or terms for our delegates. All in all, the conscience of the members of our region is being carried through the service structure.

In the area of subcommittees, we are proud to report that our Hospitals & Institutions committees carry over 100 panels monthly. Their current challenge is in

 

finding a more timely process for answering letters written by persons on the inside. Our outgoing H&I chair, Roxan T., is in the process of starting an additional subcommittee to further our primary purpose in this area.

We have a website for the dissemination of our regional and area events, meetings, and contact information, www.ccrna.org. It is updated regularly and has become part of the Public Information subcommittee. Our Public Information subcommittee is struggling a bit with only a chair right now. Meanwhile, our area PI efforts are continuing. We also have no regional activities, literature development or literature distribution at this time.

Our last convention was in February 2004 in Bakersfield, California, celebrating our twelfth anniversary. We have grown substantially in attendance and have had to utilize their convention center for our Saturday main meeting. This is starting to present unique challenges for our other venue, Ventura. The only places big enough to hold our Saturday meeting are not directly connected with the hotel we have our convention at, meaning transportation and logistics are additional factors for our convention committee to contend with. We have just begun the process of researching the incorporation of our convention. It seems like we have finally become too big; what a luxury problem!

Respectfully submitted in grateful service

by the delegates of the Central California Region:

Rick T., RDA2; George L., RDA; Steve F, RD

 

Discussion ensued as follows:

v  Steve S. passed around a flyer about service created by a member of his region.

v  Discussion on convention transportation and venue.

v  Coordinator as opposed to committees at regional level

v  Regional website and maintaining services

v  Incorporation of convention pros and cons; Jack H. from Washington has suggestions for Steve.

v  Website links caution about content, maybe a disclaimer.

v  Chat room not a good experience for the San Diego Region.

 

Northern California Region:

 

Greetings, Western States Zonal Forum:

The Northern California Region consists of 20 areas and approximately 1,200 meetings. The RSC meets monthly at the Regional Service Office (RSO) in Vacaville, consisting of the RCM's, H&I, PI, NCCNA (convention), and RSO Board (an incorporated entity). We had elections and approved our budget in June. The regional web page is www.norcalna.org.

The H&I committee meets bimonthly at the RSO before the RSC meeting. Our PI committee is no longer a subcommittee. It still has a bimonthly sharing session, similar to this Forum, at the RSO, but Regional Coordinators (RC's) now coordinate the Regional PI services.

We have a working group to host WSLD in Northern California in 2004. The budget that was approved by our RSC was $46,000, and we have set aside funds to relieve some of the fund-raising pressure on this working group. Our RSO Board serves as the fiduciary for this event, and even though there isn't as much controversy every month at our RSC and RSO, there is still some.

NCCNA 26 was held in Santa Clara this year; we have not gotten a final accounting of the convention as of yet at the RSC, but we anticipate it this month. The NCCNA committee financially reports directly to the RSO Board, which servers as the fiduciary for this committee; this information is flowing through the structure.

The RSO Board meets monthly at the RSO. The RSO supplies insurance that is paid for by the RSC for all meetings in our region. After an increase in area and multi-area events asking for RSO Board oversight, we have hit a wall, so to speak. After asking not to be given any more events to oversee -- the ultimate decision is made at the RSC -- the RSC gave the RSO Board one more event and put in place a moratorium on RSO's overseeing events. The RSO Board has also created a working group to look into the solution. The RSO Board is doing much more than was ever envisioned when its current structure was developed.

Most of our areas have functioning PI and H&I subcommittees, phone lines, monthly ASC's and dance or activities committees. Some of our areas in the more rural part of the state are experiencing problems common to us in NA: More work to be done with too few people to do it.

We did pre-CAR assemblies in the four zones within the region. Attendance at these assemblies was better than in the last Conference cycle. We are encouraged, and the region sees to like the way we bring them information. We may need to create a new zone in the very northern part or our region to make the assemblies more accessible. We have decided that they do not attend the post-CAR assemblies because they receive the information about what happened at the WSC from the reports that the RD's give at the RSC.

In loving service,

Jimmy Lee Provance, RD

 

Discussion ensued as follows:

v  In order for the Board to be fiduciary, they have a criteria for the committee to meet in order for them to accept responsibility;

v  Tax returns two paid employees: one office manager and part-time office.

v  $250,000 budget for convention, 1200 meetings, 20 areas.

 

 

Pacific Cascades Region:

 

Hello all from the Pacific Cascades Region:

We are located in the beautiful state of Oregon and include a slice of Northern California. We have 14 member areas of different sizes and shapes, a few larger cities with 40 to 100 meetings a week to small rural areas with 1 to 7 meetings per week.

Our RSC meets quarterly on a rotating basis around the state. The longest drive is about six hours. We have two areas that have missed the last two RSC's. As we have no outreach committee, it is given to the delegates to contact the areas and find out how they are, et cetera.

We have two assemblies every year, one in January and one in July. We do a mixture of stuff, presentations about World stuff and small group discussion sessions. The feedback is consistent that they enjoy the small group discussions.

Denise is our new alternate delegate, and we have no second at this time. Michael M. and Marie P. have moved to the Delaware Free State Region.

"Mole" Bryan W. was our Saturday night speaker at our regional convention in May; small but fun celebration, cleared about $3,000.

We are moving towards consensus-based decision making.

Our region still doesn't have a website. We have an ad hoc person starting to work on it. The Portland Area is considering starting a men's convention.

Cathy Klupenger, RD; Denise Toomb, RDA

 

Discussion ensued as follows:

v  CAR assemblies done by delegate team in the small discussion groups, when local people are doing them attendees are more responsive;

v  Duties of area office not known at this time, maybe office services and meeting space. It was noted that WSO will not recognize an area service office, only regional service office.

v  Feedback for men's convention idea: Concerns about public image and attracting new members and they see the separation; violates Third Tradition, that any member regardless of age, race, sex, creed, religion or lack of religion; groups of this kind's ultimate goal is to perpetuate themselves. It was noted that the region can't tell the area what to do, but they can give a suggestion.

 

Washington/Northern Idaho Region:

 

Fran J. gave an oral report as follows: There is a new RDA, Jack H.; the convention corporation is going to be a regional corporation, and the region has recovered from the embezzlement episode.

 

              20-minute recess to finish reports, 6:25 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

 

California Inland Region:

 

v  Michael M. reported as follows: We have four areas spread over a large

geographic area, including most of Riverside County and parts of San Bernardino County. We have an RSO in Banning, California. We utilize Resource Officers instead of standing committees at the regional level. We do not have an activities committee at this time.

Last year we funded a learning/unity activity day in each area. We do fund a PI booth at the San Bernardino County Fair and have done so for the past nine years; the cost is $75 to $100. We just held our CIRCNA 7 convention in Palm Springs with an attendance of 1,965 registered and approximately 4,000 present. The reserve was $15,000, and we will be raising it to $20,000, with a net profit this year of approximately $30,000.

 

Southern California Region:

 

Our region is comprised of 20 areas that are made up of 1,315 meetings a week. We meet once a month on the third Sunday of the month. We hold one regional assembly a year in the month of February where we go over the CAR. On the off year, we hold an assembly fashioned over the World Wide Workshop, going over the topic discussion issue and anything that the areas would like to bring forward.

Our subcommittees are comprised of: PI, PL, H&I, Activities, Convention, Cruise, and Spring Gathering.

Our H&I committee currently serves 57 regional panels and 618 area panels for a total of 675 panels.

Our Activities committee just had the annual NA birthday, and it was a great success. They also host an annual New Year's Eve event and H&I learning day along with the Southern California Regional Assembly. They co-host two annual campouts with the California Inland Region.

PL is a 24-hour live addict service answering the phone that is maintained by seven areas.

The Cruise committee is gearing up for their third annual cruise in September. The Cruise committee donated $14,700 in January.

The Convention committee is getting ready for the 25th convention over the Thanksgiving weekend. They donated $15,352.60 in March from last year's convention.

We have a Regional Service Office which is run by a board of directors made up of members of NA. We had a theft last year in the office that is currently under investigation by the local law enforcement agency. They (RSO) provide insurance for all the groups in Southern California Region and all events.

One of our areas is a Spanish-speaking area that has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year in providing services to the Spanish-speaking groups. They recently formed a convention committee to host a Spanish-speaking convention opened to everybody in the fellowship.

Respectfully yours,

Ruben A., RD; Ken M., RDA

 

Discussion ensued as follows:

v  PSA's come from the WSO and are tailored for the region.

v  RSO accountable to RSC? No.

v  It was noted that the RCM position on the board is voice without a vote.

v  Southern California has Spanish-speaking area that meets monthly with all services, including their own translations of reports at the area level.

v  Nothing written down yet that it's a language area as opposed to a geographic area; Spanish members went to English-speaking areas and could not participate so they formed their own area.

v  It was noted that a language entity that goes to Region needing services when there is a need to provide those services to its member groups is technically an area.

v  Too spread out in Mid-California; other areas struggling with the geographic constraints.

 

Rio Grande Region:

 

The Rio Grande Region now has six areas with two of those being inactive. There are around 160 meetings a week in the region. Rio Grande includes part of southwest Colorado, all of New Mexico, El Paso, Texas, and both Juarez and Chihuahua, Mexico. We do not have a Regional Service Office or any area service offices. We are going to hold a Fellowship Development Day in Juarez on August 28, 2004, with participation anticipated from the WSO, Rio Grande Region, Baja Son Region, Mexico Region, Tejas Bluebonnet Region, and the Lone Star Region. I will send out any information from the event to the WSZf mailing list.

Our convention incorporated two years ago and now has a full board of directors. The board has started work on a budgeting process for the region and has made advances on bringing consistency to our regional convention. We do not have any insurance as of yet but are looking into this in the future. Our 2004 convention was held in Albuquerque and had around 650 registrations and cleared around $13,000. Although I did not see any of the faces around this table there, we are going to give you a chance to redeem yourselves by showing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on March 18-20. This information, as well as the WSZF information is available on our regional website, riograndena.org.

Our regional delegate and alternate delegate are elected at the RSC following the final WSC of the delegate's term; we do not have a second alternate. The terms of our delegates are four years as alternate and four years as delegate. Our region does not have subcommittees and has resource persons that coordinate the services between the area committees.

We held two regional assemblies prior to the WSC, and attendance was limited; however, there was a lot of interest from our groups across the border. We dedicated half of the time to a discussion topic prioritization similar to what we do here, but there was no interest to have a post-assembly from our areas as of yet.

In service,

Jim W., RD; Laura B., RDA

 

Discussion ensued as follows:

v  Four-year term as RCM and four-year term as delegate is working and is a good thing.

v  Spanish-speaking meetings, region sent money to buy literature but are not attending RSC; need to be self-supporting.

v  Baja peninsula still has San Diego groups trying to service them, not working.

v  Group can have several meetings, but a meeting cannot have several groups;

v  Good that WSO is involved in the Development Day for the Spanish-speaking areas;

v  It was noted that there is no need for a geographical boundary for an area.

 

              POINT OF INFORMATION: Zonal Forum map needs to be updated.

 

Southern Idaho Region:

 

Our region is comprised of five areas that cover all of southern Idaho and includes Jackson, Wyoming, and Ontario, Oregon. There are between 60 to 70 weekly meetings.

The region meets on a quarterly basis that rotates between the five areas. We hold a regional assembly and do a topic discussion on the years that the WSC does not meet. The other year we do a CAR workshop that has stirred support and controversy.

Our region has a problem with area support at the subcommittee meetings. We presently do not have a literature committee and activities committee. We have had some problems with our regional convention that moves around the region. We have discussed the idea of having the regional activities committee oversee the convention.

We have been talking about the region incorporating, but that's about as far as it has gotten.

We are looking at guideline amendments that will reduce our regional finances to only one quarter's operating expenses.

We have a website with an elected webmaster.

In grateful service,

JB, RD

Discussion ensued as follows:

v  It was noted that if a region is looking to scaling down budgets, new guidelines were presented at most recent assembly.

v  The RD stressed that they need input on an operating expense plan; areas feel they're holding back too much, should be passing on to the World.

v  It was suggested by Washington/Idaho to stress quarterly donations and fund flow; will e-mail their guidelines.

v  Pacific Cascades has the whole budgeted amount in bank and lets it go in little bits at a time

v  There was a general discussion about how the regions do their budgets.

 

              ADJOURNED AT 7:50 P.M.

 

Saturday, August 7, 2004

 

v  The meeting was opened by the facilitator with a moment of silence followed by the Serenity Prayer at 9:05 a.m.

v  Southern California, Ruben A., had an addendum to his report about the convention and the cruise.

 

REGIONAL REPORTS

Region 51:

 

Greetings from Region 51:

Region 51 is currently comprised of three member areas with approximately 100 meetings per week. The RSC meets quarterly. An assembly is held in March of the Conference year to obtain the regional conscience of the CAR through discussion and straw polls. At this assembly, the RD and RDA are elected. A June assembly is scheduled to present the information obtained from the World Service Conference.

Region 51 functions primarily as a resource committee for its member areas. Our guidelines are based on the Guide to Local Service. We implement consensus-based decision-making at our RSC. We have no formal committees at this level of service. We hold quarterly sharing sessions for PI and H&I. These sharing sessions are facilitated by a member RCM to encourage an exchange of ideas and discuss concerns. The region is used as a resource to be supportive and offer guidance when needed.

We have made progress with implementing consensus-based decision-making. Many of our members still find it difficult to let go of formal voting procedures. We hope to once again receive input and experience of other regions that currently operate in this manner.

Currently, our groups have been discussing an issue brought at our last assembly. While we are a resource committee with no formal standing committees, there are members that would like to see one PI committee and one H&I committee for the entire region with no area committees. It was decided that the groups should make the final decision on the issue so, after a lengthy discussion, one question was asked of them: Do you want your PI and H&I services to be provided by your area or the region? This will be decided at a special assembly in September.

In loving service,

Rick Whitman, RD

Discussion ensued as follows:

v  There are no boundaries of the areas.

v  People involved want things the way they were.

 

San Diego/Imperial Valley:

 

DW (RD) gave an oral report as follows:

v  Discussions in the region over site of upcoming convention, i.e., venue and providing transportation.

v  Looking into having a policy review entity.

v  Literature drives in Mexico not going to Baja but to a group that is disbursing them, concerns with the fund flow structure.

v  Region versus area activities and coordination problems.

v  DW feels that structure in place works well and dialogue is free-flowing.

v  Working on fine-tuning website.

v  Separate funds for newcomer supplies and accountability.

v  Principle of self-support needs to be taught.

v  Region needs to be responsive to the desires of the member areas.

 

Sierra Sage Region:

 

Sierra Sage Region recently acquired insurance to cover all meetings on the regional schedule and riders are available for individual events.

We have had an active outreach committee for the past year that has helped us touch base with the geographically challenged portions of our region. We have had some problems in one of our areas with gang members wearing colors to meetings and brandishing weapons.

We have a lack of people showing up at Region for service; was asked to gather information about moving towards consensus-based decision-making.

Our biannual convention is changing to annual starting this year. The convention dates are October 1-3, 2004 at the Peppermill Resort. Registration flyers are available for download at www.sierrasagena.org or you can use your allocated 10 copies on the one flyer I have with me. I have some shirts available today for sale.

In loving service,

Isabel L.

Discussion ensued as follows:

 

v  "Dreamcatcher" is a company and the logo is copyrighted;

v  Concern that it is slanted to one spiritual belief and a violation of the Traditions.

v  Tax situation has been resolved with the IRS and the region is up to speed.

 

              Morning recess, 10:05 a.m. to 10:33 a.m.

 

Issue Discussion Topics

 

The following is a compilation of the input given by the Zonal Forum participants on the discussion topics gathered at the World Service Conference.

 

Cooperation with Courts and Treatment Facilities:

 

v  Some regions suggested a newcomer orientation meeting, 70-80 newcomers a big impact or a 6-hour presentation forum with parties involved.

v  Issue on anonymity.

v  Treatment centers provide a service and recovery is spiritual based.

v  Need to provide information to drug courts like is done with schools or other public entities; i.e., learning day and all participants attending.

v  Need to educate court officials, and it needs to be discussed in NA before presented to the public.

v  Difference between government funded and private treatment centers, private more vigorous in pursuing recovery.

v  To get this to work, it needs to come from RD down to the groups and to the addicts.

v  Some groups do a head count of attendees and drug court pays registration; others will do service work to pay for free admission at events.

 

HRP/Elect/Nominations:

 

v  Between the motion and discussion at conference, issue was resolved.

v  Things have changed since the list was compiled.

v  One solution to the concerns was to get past the mistrust.

v  It would be better to see and meet these people, or at least some personal contact.

 

Predators in Meetings:

 

v  We call someone a predator when they repeatedly violate someone who cannot defend themselves.

v  Problem with the word "predator"; at WSC presentation on predators, considering what they do, it is right term.

v  The term existed long before courts made it a legal form of art.

v  They do irreparable damage; the word is irrelevant, it's the behavior, and the service structure cannot regulate that.

v  Raising awareness is the duty of the addict.

v  This is a recovery issue and not a service issue; Sixth and Seventh Step and confronting character defects and remembering the nature of the addict.

v  Men stick with the men and women stick with the women as a primary foundation and not just talking it but backing it up.

v  There is a difference when someone is 13th-stepping someone, so we need to just lovingly suggest that their behavior is inappropriate.

v  Behavior unbecoming at a meeting, secretary can approach person; "you" as opposed to "I," kindly and calmly not confrontational.

v  With a group conscience it may be addressed, but it is an issue of personal integrity.

v  Extends to more than sexual, it can be gangs or colors or any kind of intimidation.

v  How do you create that atmosphere and where do you draw the line?

v  In our home groups we have a duty to address it; better at long-standing meetings.

v  They perceive us as being predatory and we need to be aware of that perception.

v  Happening away from the meetings.

v  Happening to men as well as women newcomers.

v  Counselors reluctant to refer to NA.

v  Problem will solve itself as our fellowship matures.

 

              Recessed for lunch, 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.

 

Discussion about site of the next Zonal Forum:

 

v  Bid from Northern California with a hotel site either by the airport or in San Francisco proper.

v  No other bids.

v  Discussion about the WSZF being held first weekend of August, as it has been in the past, and the possibility of it being July 22, 23, 24, 2005, the fourth weekend of July.

v  It was decided that the Northern California Region will look for a downtown San Francisco hotel on those dates. If they can't get those dates in July, they will notify the members of that fact as soon as possible.

 

NA Theft of Funds:

v  Some regions have had no problems and/or restitution arrangements have been met.

v  Accountability is very important and members need to hold people to that.

v  Large cash transactions should be independently monitored regularly.

v  Entire process can be traced to a lot of small incidents of not holding people accountable.

v  Paying attention to treasurers' reports and learning about the process helps addicts to be aware of possible discrepancies.

v  Tendency to be too empathetic and forgiving in what should be a strictly business accounting practice of auditing.

v  Take the personality out of it -- it's about the principle.

v  Important to have a policy in place.

v  Transactions using money orders as opposed to cash; two people making deposits.

v  Individual areas determine comfortable level of theft, i.e., when and how much to turn over to the Regions;

v  Problems with NA account information being on personal credit reports.

v  If a region is incorporated, they are protected.

 

 

CBDM (Consensus-Based Decision-Making):

 

v  Some regions need information on how to implement process.

v  Tool that we're moving toward but not a blanket procedure.

v  Caution needed so it doesn't turn it into another Robert's Rules of Order; keep it loosely defined.

v  In order for it to work, it needs to be in place at all levels.

v  No longer a motion in the Local Guide to Service to refer issues to groups.

v  Issues take longer to arrive at, but less resentment when decision is made and more apt to work if everyone has had a chance to participate in the outcome.

v  Everybody's opinion matters, and people need to understand the full ramifications of the process of speaking their opinion in this arena.

v  Listening to other opinions and just listening and not acting is difficult.

v  Many factors to consider: Size of group making decisions; effective leadership is needed; group has to have a certain level of trust.

v  If it is run bad, it's usually the leadership; need to keep it contained.

v  Process requires everyone to be a participant and not a member of an entity.

v  It is tougher with a larger region and a hard transition to make from voting to consensus.

 

              Afternoon recess, 3:12 to 3:30 p.m.

Fulfilling Service Commitments:

 

v  Completing as opposed to filling? Both.

v  Make it a topic at meetings.

v  Service begins in the home group and stressing the importance of commitments and the satisfaction of completing them.

v  Emphasis on personal program, recent experience.

v  Following and emphasizing guidelines.

v  Filling position with a person willing to fulfill it; warm body syndrome has to go away, and if position has to be vacant, then let it be.

v  Attraction rather than promotion, a privilege rather than a burden.

v  Key tags for completing service commitments in Latin American countries.

 

Retention of Senior Members:

 

v  Both chronological age and/or clean time.

v  Clear message needed and not clean and sober and addict/alcoholic.

v  Have to help newcomers, responsible in the home group.

v  Be available to enlighten newcomers, mentoring them.

v  Need to teach newcomers to respect old-timers that have a wealth of experience to share and listen to those that came before us.

v  Senior members are a resource and could be engaged as speakers and conduct workshops.

v  Desire to do the work and remember that we are not recovered.

v  Diligent in our personal recovery and remaining humble and teachable.

v  Old-timers meetings with clean time minimums to speak.

v  Up to us to engage the senior members; we forget that they still struggle.

v  Asking them what would it take for them to come back.

Reaching Native Americans:

 

v  In New Mexico, the one Native American meeting not interested in participating in area and/or region.

v  In Washington, reached out to secluded area by bringing in speakers and got them familiar with the rest of the region and now they participate.

v  Yakima Area not interested but have long recovery in the area itself.

v  There was a concern raised with regard to targeting specific ethnic groups and it being a violation of the Traditions.

v  If they are by themselves, they want to be there and we should remember that it is an all or nothing and not a piece by piece program. If they choose to adhere to some principles and not others, then we should not do that as well.

v  Hard for them to understand our culture and participate in conventions.

 

Youth in Recovery:

v  The Forum felt that some comments expressed in previous discussion topics apply equally to youth in recovery.

v  Allegations of exploitation by older members.

v  Blind leading the blind.

 

Websites: No discussion.

 

Taxes:

 

v  Some areas are very sophisticated, and some are still holding raffles and not even clear on the non-profit/not for profit.

v  Important to file taxes.

v  Income, source and whether or not there is profit. Donations are considered income.

v  Get a tax ID number for resale.

v  Same problems with personal credit being affected by affiliation with NA accounts.

v  Best resource found to be right with the IRS is to be responsible and follow the law.

v  We still try to dope-fiend things and get away with things.

v  Long-standing relationship with banks may forego having a social security number.

v  Four years of minutes and bank statements to assess whether to incorporate.

v  Below certain tax levels incorporation is not necessary.

v  Not-for-profit groups do not need to be incorporated.

v  Ask WSC to put something together on the subject or maybe bring it up at a time when a World Board member is present.

v  Information from World is not passed to the regions, and that is our job.

v  Find professionals who run successful businesses to fill service positions, ask those members to do the jobs or teach the skills.

v  Groups want to use the area tax ID number and stay under the umbrella of the area.

v  Not-for-profit that are not corporate, then there is nonprofit that has tax ID number.

v  Flag at $10,000 cash is deposited.

v  Policies in guidelines.

 

Note: By general consensus, it was noted that Bryan did finally admit he was wrong. :)

 

 

              Adjourned at 4:55 p.m.

 

 

Sunday, August 8, 2004

 

v  The meeting was opened by the facilitator with a moment of silence followed by the Serenity Prayer at 9:00 a.m.

v  Contact list was distributed and corrected.

v  Rides to the airport were arranged.

v  The meeting record will be distributed to the members of the Western Zone by

e-mail.

 

 

Translations:

 

v  World is doing a good job with them.

v  Rio Grande is an international region; the difficulty is not with literature but with the regular communications, i.e., minutes and guidelines.

v  Translation programs are available; addicts themselves doing translations.

v  Seems to be a fellowship-wide concern.

 

 

Insurance:

 

v  Do the footwork to find out what kind of coverage is needed, activities and/or just meetings.

v  Review coverage and details of the policy.

v  Communication with carrier should be annually and all events and meetings should be discussed.

v  Insured party is the individual or entity and not the event.

v  Facilities may expect coverage from the group if it is a paid event.

v  Someone with experience in the field that is a part of the fellowship to help.

v  There is a certain responsibility from the attending members.

v  Events outside the parameters of the policy that are not covered may want to use release form.

v  Waivers are not enforceable unless they were reviewed with an attorney at the time of signing.

v  Do a review of child care and responsibilities; child care may not be covered;

v  Insurance companies do not like water; however that doesn't mean that they won't insure it.

v  Insurance companies like incorporated regions.

v  Their job is not to pay the money.

v  If you can pay rather than filing a claim, it keeps the costs down.

 

 

ADDITIONAL TOPICS:

 

Public Information Booths at County Fairs:

 

v  Several regions have booths at farmers' markets, county fairs, local and city festivals; average cost is low.

v  San Diego Fair 15 days long, nonprofit, grandfathered in, free space; San Diego Gay Pride Festival, $150 lots of negotiation;

v  Maximum bang for our buck; go where the need is, i.e., AIDS festivals, recovery forums, health fairs, exit door of the jail.

v  Primary purpose is to educate the public about the fellowship.

v  Need to be aware of public perception of the fellowship.

v  Training session for booth attendants.

v  Guidelines in place such as no NA jewelry, cutoffs, tattoos, dress code.

 

Sponsorship Behind the Walls:

 

v  Not only in jails but state hospitals as well.

v  Entrance criteria for institutions usually very stiff.

v  Covered in H&I literature, maybe at WSO; a topic at the WSLD.

v  Not our purpose to fulfill as an outreach and may be overstepping a boundary.

v  If you are talking about sponsorship, it is considered contact beyond the scope of why you are there at the facility, i.e., as an H&I panel leader or a speaker, and may create problems.

v  Extraneous contact has to be reported to facility.

v  Inmates contacted NA and put it out to the fellowship if anyone was willing.

v  "Bypassing the Connect" finding ways to help get people connected when they are released.

v  Treatment centers have mentors to help addicts get to the fellowship.

v  Contacts on the phone line.

v  One-time commitment to get someone to their first meeting only.

 

Incorporation of Convention Committee/RSC:

 

v  Guidelines in place as to what is always covered; i.e., contracts, vendor relations, financial obligations, registration processes; everything else may be delegated to areas because of geographic concerns.

v  Are areas sophisticated enough to handle the accountability issues.

v  Areas and regions should have separate entities.

v  If an event grows to the point that an area wants to turn it over, when that happens they need to entirely turn it over.

v  Need to make sure that the parameters of the corporation are met.

v  Fellowship shouldn't be about conventions.

v  Areas created to carry the message and have defined services to help the groups do that.

v  Regions may take the job of larger functions.

v  Regions should grow and have a clearly defined service structure to support that.

 

 

Licensing of Vendors to Make Things/Vendors at Conventions and Meetings:

 

v  Expansion of vendors and what is new in that area. There is nothing new or unique, people wanting to sell things that are not licensed.

v  Policy and some enforceability of it: contact in advance, area or group in region may sell in alternative with WSO permit, written region permit on that item, there is a fee percentage, count inventory.

v  Nothing religious, copyrighted, another fellowship, angels, and may be excluded if guidelines are not followed.

v  Areas and groups should be the same.

v  Designated person to enforce policies.

v  Resale permit, licensed vendor, submit bids.

v  Vendor that works for us and is fair will sign contracts; one-year at first and then increase length.

v  No distinction what they sell, but decide what sandwiches to sell from experience.

v  More and more creative in merchandise.

v  Don't front your money;

v  Board will monitor that.

 

Servicing Spanish-Speaking Groups:

 

v  The topic was postponed for discussion next year to give the Forum time to follow the developments in New Mexico and California.

 

 

              Meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.