Western States Zonal Forum
July 18, 19, 20, 2008
Download this in MS Word format here.
Meeting was opened July 18, 2008, 7:30 PM, with a moment of silence followed by Serenity Prayer
Read 12 Traditions - Michael M.
Read12 Concepts - Vince G.
Introductions & Roll Call
Dan F. -
Julia RV –
Ken Mason –
Deb W. –Southern California-RDA
Laura B. -
Freddy O. –
Denise T. - Pacific Cascade - RD
Tauni M. - Pacific Cascade - RDA
Tony O. –
Vince G. –
Clif G. –
Doug C. –
D.W. – San Diego Imperial – RD
Pam J. – San Diego Imperial- RDA
Lenny R. –
Matt S. –
Mike M. –
Oscar L. –
Karen R. - Sierra Sage - RD
Robin P. – Sierra Sage - RDA
Rick W. - Region 51 RD
Shelly S. - Region 51 RDA
Mary Banner – World Board Member
Steve Rusch – NAWS Staff
Jack H. - Meeting Co-Facilitator
Vandy A. – Meeting Co-Facilitator
Dennis B. – Recorder
Approval of April 30, 2007 minutes Approved
World Board – Mary Banner
Building Communication Topics at Conference
Moratorium of Seating New Regions
Website (still in development)
Discussion on Service Structure Leadership in NA
- Announced Board is working on facilitating workshops materials
- Our Freedom, Our Responsibility, and Communication will be
- PR Events Priority ranking Web Page. Hoping to be done by
end of the year
- New Discussion Bulletin Boards going up
- IDT Board and other service related boards ready bye early fall
- H&I Board and other service related boards
- Service Structure Board has seating of Regions
Input on Service pamphlets from CAT (Conference Approval Tract) Due by July 31st.
Info gathered from fellowship as a whole
Work Groups from World Pool:
- In Times of Illness – Will be meeting in early August
- Service System Work Group – 4 year project
- Book Length Work Group will be finalized by August
- Business Plan Work Group – taking on Self Support pamphlets
6th Edition still on target for October 1 release.
It’s never too late to give feedback to WB
Ø NAWS News:
Region Seating: Washington/Northern
· Website: They are hoping to launch by the end of the year. Bulletin Board-new Service Bulletin Board.
· WSC 2008: Some of the Regions were not happy with how some of the sessions ran. Everyone was reminded that they can always give their input and feedback through email to NAWS. (Several Regions clearly had not submitted written WSC Evaluation Forms.)
Input on Service Pamphlets: Deadline for
input is July 31st. Nor
· Leadership: Fall 08 there will be 2 different session profiles.
· Working Groups: In times of Illness (2yrs), Service System (4yrs), Book Length Piece (4yrs), Business Plan-Self Support (2yrs).
· Discussion Bulletin Boards: IDT’s 6 to 8 weeks.
· 6th Edition Basic Text: Release Date October 1st, 2008.
· RBZ: HRP – please remind everyone that your Region can recommend a member through the RBZ process.
for WSZF 2009:
Ø Sunday Topics: Fund Flow, NAWS/RD’s Train the Trainer, Meeting Lists, WSLD, Workshop Location-Member perception, Area Splits, WSZF Website, Disaster Contingency Plans, Alternative Store Merchandise at events.
Ø Inventory: (11 people responded)
· Parking Lot: Facilitation Practices. Rotation Schedule.
• RBZ process which allows Regions and Zones to nominate people to forward Region, Boards, Zones nominees to HRP. Share processes with each other. Human Resources. Will be put up on ftp sites.
Site Selection bids for next WSZF 2009 (Discussion and decision carried over until Sunday)
Shuttle service cost minimal
Past WSZF Meetings
NAWS Board Meeting (Summer 09) June 25,26, 27, 2009
Adjourned at 10:15 ;m
Called to order July 19, 2008 at 8:30 AM
ZONAL FORUM INVENTORY
Facilitated by Steve Rusch, NAWS Staff
Received 11 responses to survey forms for WSZF Inventory sent out – consolidated replies.
The Western States Zonal Forum is a
service-oriented sharing session that provides the means by which NA
communities in the
The Planning Cycle The Planning Process
· Purpose (now): Share on specific topics, provides report to WSC, support for service efforts, provides means of communication.
· Purpose (Inventory Results): Sharing on specific topics, provides report to WSC, provides means of communication.
· Issues: Website, no structured communication between meetings, Lack of leadership (Admin Body), not fully using “Training Opportunities”, Benefit to meetings/local community, Consider Zone benefits, redefine purpose, no collective “memory” (archives), consider a vision.
· “Admin” Issues: Lack of leadership (delegation/responsibility), no collective “memory” (archives), No structured communication between meetings, Website.
· Issues: Purpose/Vision: Redefine purpose, consider a vision. Benefit Identification and articulation: to meetings and local community to the zone. Not fully using training opportunities.
· Purpose/Vision: Networking opportunities (sharing resources, face to face), Training opportunities (identify benefits to zone and local community), NAWS Interaction/WSC Preparation (fellowship development, workshops).
Ø No Structured communication between meetings: email body for clear communication, SPOA, Video Chat, Quarterly written report - RD Zonal update (WSZF News), Invite other RD’s for workshops, post power points and reports on website, have a clear concise format.
Ø No Collective Memory: Maintain history, solution based archives, accessibility to members, access to past and present RD’s, FAQ’s, Scan Archives and post on website, orientation session for zone members, change minutes to better reflect discussions.
Ø Lack of Leadership: Training and retention of information, communication between meetings, defined responsibility and roles, identify leadership for the next WSZF, Handbook for zone members, more collaborative efforts between Regions, continuity in leadership, mentorship, have leadership skills, willingness to actually choose leaders, NAWS training for zone members at the forum, communication SPOA, ZPIF (Zonal Pool Information Form).
Ø Website: SPOA: webmaster (add to guidelines), Links to NA.org, Discussion Board, FTP Site, Zone FTP and discussion board for group, identify how to fund, email mechanism for individual members to access and post questions, outsource, guidelines and purpose, wiki. Prioritize-functions: PR Piece, Intra Zone, Intra Fellowship.
· Top Goal for No Structured Communication Between Meetings: Quarterly reports between Zonal meetings.
· Top Goal No Collective Memory: Solution Based Archives.
· Top Goal for Lack of Leadership: Defined Leadership Roles and Responsibilities. (ADMIN and Ongoing)
· Top Goal for Website: Intra-Zone Site-SPOA-define purpose and function.
Ø Leadership: Possible “Chair” or “Facilitator” for a 2 year cycle for continuity. Possible Secretary.
· Tasks (routine): Facilitates meeting, distributes [agenda, minutes (meeting records), location info, general info], NAWS contact, local fellowship contact, prepares WSZF report for WSC, Presents WSZF report to WSC, finds meeting location, recorder of the meeting records (minutes).
· Talent (who?): RDs, ADs, Local Members, Past RDs, Regional Trusted Servants.
Action Plan Process:
Ø Plan to rewrite the WSZF Purpose:
· (Task) A rewrite of the current WSZF Purpose using the group input from the Inventory Process.
· (Time Frame) First Draft – 30 days, Response of the First Draft – 30 days.
· (SPOA) Jack, Laura, Doug, Pam, Deb.
· (Resources) Notes from group input, current Purpose.
(Completion Date) Final Approval at the 2009
· Facilitate: Vandy, Jack
· Distribute Agenda: Jack, Ken
· Distribute Location Info: Dan, Ken
· NAWS Contact: Lenny, Jack
· Local Fellowship Contact: Laura, Dan
· Prepare WSZF Report to WSC: Michael
· Present the WSZF at WSC: Michael
· Find Meeting Location: Dan, Rick
· Record Meeting Records (Minutes): Karina, Dennis
Ø Time Frame: First Draft in 30 days, any input or responses – 30 days, Final approval at the WSZF 2009 Meeting.
Issue Discussion Topics
► Zonal forum meeting time
We discussed the possibility of moving our meeting to a different month so as to utilize this forum to prepare for the WSC. January and February were considered, and we will all be in contact with Lenny to give him our schedules for events, workshops, RSCs, etc. We will discuss this via email.
► Zonal forum meeting time
We discussed the possibility of moving our meeting to a different month so as to utilize this forum to prepare for the WSC. January and February were considered, and we will all be in contact with Lenny to give him our schedules for events, workshops, RSCs, etc. We will discuss this via email.
Some regions send reps, RDs, ADs, H&I, PR, Phonelines, Regional Chair, and fund their travel. NorCal prepares a report which is available to us all through Lenny. Be aware that all participants vote at the end of the conference on the location of the next event. The issue of single point of accountability is still a problem for some. NAWS participation has created a high level of quality in workshops. We may look at eventually merging our WSZF meeting with that event and meeting just prior.
Having this event in
► Fund flow
How are you getting people to put more in the basket?
Ask people to think about giving as much as they might have spent on a night out using
Break it out for groups as to how much it costs the Region per month for all the services it provides, and put the number out to groups
Educate members on fund flow
Create local customs (put number of dollars to equal your birthday years) and talk about the gratitude of being able to give
Ninth step financial amends that cannot be done directly may be done in the basket
Workshop on money
Areas have large prudent reserves that are excessively high. We may need to educate areas on the fund flow process
Take the basket outside to members that are outside smoking
Calculate what it takes to be fully self-supporting per meeting, & pass the basket again if the collection does not meet the amount
Don’t keep a prudent reserve in groups that have a large population – in a money healthy group about a dollar a head per month will go to area
If each group in the world donates $2/wk to NAWS, it would fund all world services
► Alternative Merchandise at Conventions
NorCal has had vendors go to groups and ask them to pay the group to get a letter saying it is the group’s merchandise. These are, in general, definite 6th Tradition violation issue
Vegas only allows Areas and Regions (not groups) who are approved prior to the convention to sell at Alternative Merchandise
Educate local events committees as to NAWS approved vendor (legal permission to use the logo) versus the permission to sell at an event, which is up to the hosting committee
FIPT determines that there are certain ways that the NA logo is not to be displayed, e.g., displaying it with another logo. FIPT gives groups and service committees access to the trademark, but not on some items, such as non-approved literature.
► Area splits – any Metro co-op experience
Meetings in Seattle Area attempted 3 times to split – never completed
Districting did not work for
A geographical split created a new area based on the Guide to Local services model, and it worked perfectly.
► Regional meeting schedules
Pacific Cascade and
Regional schedules are printed bimonthly
Website has all the information online with each area having access to make changes online and printer prints info directly from that website. This could be linked to the na.org website.
Take current area meeting schedule and compare it to na.org. Provide it to area schedule person.
It benefits treatment center clients and treatment professionals to provide them a single regional schedule and one face of NA
Helpline numbers and websites for region and world are printed on the meeting schedules
► Zonal forum website
Vince has set up a Google group for the Zone and will send it out to all members
► Disaster Contingency Plan
WS has a contingency plan for the WSO – it
would be 48 hours before NAWS would be up and running in
All regions should have backup of their records
WSO replenishes and replaces literature for any place that suffers a disaster
The community that is hit with the disaster
is gone. The need evaporates and the
members go to other places. Members of
the fellowship traditionally want to help those affected areas, and WS will
pass on donations. Individual members
have done extraordinary amounts of work in service to one addict helping
another for displaced addicts. WWW was
Local PR people should be in contact with local Red Cross to set up contingency for meeting places.
Craig’s List was a great resource for members to network
The places that don’t have the disasters are the ones who need the contingency plans, as there will be many requests for help from displaced members.
Define Leadership Roles (Admin/Ongoing)
Ø Facilitate Meeting - Vandy
Ø Agenda – Jack
Ø Meeting location – Dan
Ø Meeting record – Vince
Ø NAWS Contact – Lenny
Ø Local Fellowship contact – Laura
Ø Prepare WSC Report – Michael
Ø Present WSC Report – Michael
Ø Find Meeting Location – Rick
Ø Record Meeting Activities – Karina
Action Plan to re-write the WSZF Purpose
Ø A re-write of the current purpose, using group input
Ø 30 Days on all drafts and responses
Ø Final approval Summer WSZF 2009
Ø Need notes and current purpose
Jack, Laura, Deb, and Dave volunteered for Task
Project Plan For Administrative Tasks
Ø Define the assigned task
Ø First draft in 30 days
Ø 30 Days on all drafts and responses
Ø Final approval at Summer ’09 WSZF
Ø No additional resources needed
Ø Tasks assigned to current/past members with that experience
Future Project Plans
Solution Based Archives
Adjourned at 5:00 pm
Meeting called to order at 8:37 by Vandy Andersen, Co-Facilitator
Opened with a moment of silence followed by the Serenity Prayer
Robin P. read the 12th Traditions
Dan F. read the 12 Concepts
Issue Discussion Topics
(With number of “dots”)
Regional Meeting Schedule (1)
Change month of WSZF meeting (10)
All to E-mail list of Regional dates, other activities, etc., to Lenny as point person
General consensus was to move meeting date, (see suggested purpose of WSZF)
NAWS & RD Train the Trainer (10)
RD’s give info to RCM’s who fail to pass info along
Using “dots” versus power point presentations
Attempt to align with World topics
WNIR has two small group discussions at two yearly conventions
“Everyone” wants to attend
There is a perception problem “vacation vs service”
Point of accountability is a problem – who votes for next location
Fund Flow (5)
Put money that you spent on a Friday night (while using) in the basket
Break down cost per meeting basis that Region spent
Educate Area’s of how money is used
Once a month at meeting, put in amount equal to years clean
Create customs such as above
Alternative stores – outside vendors (7)
Vendor is member of fellowship, go to groups, give them a token donation, then ask
that they “sponsor” them, then sell at conventions. 6th Tradition violation
Alternative structure approaches to Area splits (3)
Zonal Forum (WSZF) Website (3)
Vince has set up a Google group for the zone and will send it out to all members.
Disaster contingency plans (3)
How do we prepare our members for possible disasters?
No Regions or Areas have plans
NAWS furnishes support, ie., money, literature
Local PR might develop relationship with Red Cross
Craigslist is another resource
Workshop locations and perception (1)
Covered under WSLD in
isolated region is growing by leaps and bounds.
We currently have 4 areas that consist of the original Southern Nevada
Area, East Las Vegas Area, the North by Northwest Area and our newest area, the
South Valley Area. Our boundaries
consist of the cities of
Our Regional committee was intended to be an informational body from its inception approximately 9 years ago and has now evolved into a service body in most recent years. We now have a Regional Public Information Committee, H&I Committee and a Unity & Activities Committee. Our Public Information Committee’s tasks are to provide an updated regional meeting schedule and provide information to the general public. The committee has been asked to do presentations to professionals and have been very well received. They are in the process of creating a regional website where you can view all our meetings, our regional calendar along with other pertinent information. They are working on developing a user friendly “live” phone line. This new phone line would allow the other areas to disconnect their current phone lines in an attempt to not duplicate services. The H&I committee is working hard at expanding their commitments to facilities but are moving at a cautious pace due to not having the personnel to facilitate these meetings. The Unity and Activities Committee now has several regional activities they are responsible for including the Regional New Year’s Dance, The Women’s Spiritual Breakfast (held in May), the Unity Day Picnic (held in October) and are looking at possibly holding other functions in the future.
An Adhoc committee was just recently formed to research the possibility of having a regional convention. For many years, 23 to be exact, the original Southern Nevada Area has been hosting an annual convention. Due to the tremendous growth in our Valley, members expressed having a regional convention that would allow all areas to participate or possibly rotating the host committee to each area. The East Las Vegas Area has been holding a convention about every 18 months.
Rick W.’s service commitment as Regional Delegate will be ending on July 27, 2008. He has been a great asset for our Region and will continue to be a great resource for us as well. ILS, Shelly S.
Our region has approximately 1380 meetings and 151 Spanish speaking only meetings throughout its 20 areas. Of those 1380 meetings, 4 are Armenian, 3 are Farsi, 1 is Hebrew and 3 are American Sign Language. The RSC recently revised its regional guidelines. We had elections of new officers of the RSC in May and Deb W. is our new RDA. We have also recently formed two new sub-committees of the region. The youth committee was approved many years ago, but due to the length of time it took to get the guidelines approved, there were no longer any interested members left to form a committee then. They are now a fully formed and functioning committee now, with the purpose of helping young people finding their way into the existing service structure. They are currently sending a representative to each of the regional sub-committees. They are putting on their second regional youth activity on August 9th at the Ontario Double Tree Hotel, which they are doing through the activities committee of the region. You can access the information for the event on our website at www.todayna.org.
We have also passed the guidelines for a Sponsorship behind the Walls committee. They have elected officers and are receiving more requests for sponsors than they can currently handle.
Regional Service Office (RSO): Our RSO is maintaining itself. They are still below their prudent reserve but are working on new marketing strategies to bring sales up. The RSO carry’s insurance for the regions 20 areas as well as, our Regional events. They are also now offering to cover the four Area Conventions held within our Region.
Hospitals and Institutions (H&I): All 20 areas including the Spanish Speaking area attend the monthly H&I subcommittee meeting. The region carries 61 panels that go into our Hospitals and Institutions within our region. The 19 areas, along with the Spanish Speaking region carry approximately 619 panels. The subcommittee holds an annual Learning Day in the month of May.
Information (PI): The subcommittee continues to reach out to
the community and by educating our young people by carrying presentations into
the schools. Almost every area of So.
Regional Activities: The regional activities committee puts on 3 major events per year. The NA Birthday, New Years Eve and the Regional Campout. They also help with the H&I Learning Day and the Regional Assembly Workshop as well as the new Young Peoples Unity Day. They help out the 20 areas with their events by providing a calendar so that the areas can have regional dates so that no area event conflicts with another areas regional event. They post all areas events whether they are a regional or area event on the regional web site.
Phone lines (PL): Phone lines are currently running a 24 hour 7 days 800 number with live addicts answering the phones. 7 areas are helping accomplish this. The Spanish speaking area is helping the region man the Spanish speaking hotline.
Website : The website committee no longer sits under the PI committee. They have adopted guidelines two years ago and are now their own sub-committee of the region.
They have finally completed their project to make our database easily uploaded to the World database. We also now have our own server and are hosting any Area websites that wish to utilize it.
Literature: We currently have no Literature Review committee because of lack of participation.
Convention: The Convention committee is getting ready for
this years convention that will be held the weekend before Thanksgiving weekend
at the Ontario Doubletree. They had a nice convention last year in
Cruise Committee: The Cruise Committee had another successful event this past
Year. They went on a longer cruise to the Mexican Riviera. They don’t hold cruises on the same year as the World Convention, so their next cruise is in two years
Spring Gathering Committee: The Spring Gathering committee also didn’t have a successful event this year; they didn’t donate to the region. This is a small but active committee showing how diverse our region is. They are now going to have a one day event next year and move off of Easter weekend. More will be revealed.
We have 21
Areas consisting of approximately 800 meetings spanning over 74,000 square
miles that include
At Clean & Free, one of our annual convention, we did a small group discussion on the “Sponsorship”, and collected information on topics for “The Journey Continues” book from our workshops, and presented updates on the “6th Edition Basic Text”. This continues to be a successful way to communicate information and it in included in our Conventions and Events committee guidelines for both of our regional conventions. We also did a post conference report at the Washington/Northern Idaho Regional Convention, and one at the July RSC.
Our RD team continues to utilize a quarterly report to the region that summarizes NAWS News, NA Way Magazine, World Board reports, and Western States Zonal Forum. The purpose is to increase communication throughout the levels of service reaching the individual group member. It is a one page report and we bring enough copies to our region for RCMs to distribute to all groups. We have also been keeping busy with facilitating inventories and participating in Learning Days throughout the region.
We currently have 13of our 21 areas utilizing the Public Relations handbook, and have a PR committee. Our RD team finished reading and discussing it at our quarterly All Subs meeting, and has been asked to continue to do a presentation at All Subs. Our Region will be meeting as a combined RSC/All Subs day in October and April as a trial to improve communication and be more efficient in providing services. We will decide at next July RSC if we want to continue in this fashion, or go back to splitting RSC and All Subs up again.
The only noteworthy issue we have moved away from CAR Workshops and use the Regional Conventions as a communication mechanism.
A Regional Service Member Contact List is included for reference.
New RD Team:
Julia Reed-Voldal (email address removed - see original doc via link at top)
Rio Grande Region report to the WSZF, July 18-20, 2008
In March, 2008 the Rio Grande Region voted to continue with four year terms for RD and AD and elected RD Laura Brown and AD Freddy Olsen. Freddy was unable to attend this weekend, but I look forward to working with him in his new service capacity. He has rich service history in our region and is extremely competent and motivated. We will facilitate a Leadership workshop at our RSC weekend in September.
Our region has a Regional Convention Corporation whose scope covers only our one regional convention. The areas in our region are finding a need for an expanded corporate body to sign contracts for area and group events, and to own insurance for groups and their meeting places throughout the region. There are several models within this zone that I will present as examples for our region’s consideration.
I am looking forward to our inventory process, and hope we find a role for the forum that we consider valuable for our regions, as I enjoy the interaction, the fellowship, the training and the exchange of ideas that occurs when we meet together.
Pacific Cascades Region
my name is Denise and I am the Regional Delegate for the Pacific Cascade
Region. Unfortunately, our Alternate
Delegate, Tauni M. cannot be here. She
Our Region consists of 14 Areas, as listed below:
Area City Help Line Number
Williamette Vallley Area
Our website, PCRNA.org shows the location of all of our Areas. We also have links to NA.org and each of our Areas. Our wonderful webmaster is also including our Regional minutes, budget reports, and Regional events.
I enjoy our Regional Assemblies. During the Two that Tauni and I facilitated this past year, we covered issue discussion topics and the CAR. Our Region is struggling to find trusted servants to fill Regional positions.
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve my Region and to take part in the WSZF.
Denise T., Honored Trusted Servant
San Deigo Imperial Region
I am Pam J, RDA for our Region. DW, our current RD is not attending and we will be holding our Post CAR Forum August 2nd at which point we will find out who will be elected into the RD and RDA positions.
Convention was held
this past June; with much greater attendance at a larger facility than last
year where we had controversy with requiring a badge to attend the
PR: We have yet to ingest the PR Handbook; however, we do have a Regional Ad Hoc Committee in process of developing a PR Handbook Workshop whose developers include current Chairs of each of the categories involved in the PR Handbook.
RSO news; we have over $60K in Literature stock arriving this weekend. Our insurance covers all NA events as well as all NA meetings within our region. We’ve had no Policy Committee for many years and the RSO is currently taking on the task of updating our Guidelines with past motions over the past years as well as developing a book of motions cross categorized by date and issue.
Phonelines: we have regional as well as two
areas co-hosting a hotline together. Region has been operating under a computer
based phoneline to facilitate the service when we aren’t physically at the
RSO. We also have an “addict to addict”
on the RSO phoneline.
New Literature. We haven’t a Regional Lit Review chair so the RD and RDA spearhead Literature Reviews committees in Areas of interest. One Area has adopted cloth bags for literature distribution to GSR’s finding bulk rates as inexpensive as plastic, yet reusable to enhance global conservation efforts.
Teach’ the newcomer is in the works as an introduction to NA meetings/events.
It’s still in its infancy modeled on
Our Region is submitting a bid for next year’s WSZF. With response to request that we change weekends, we found Comi-Con Convention is on the 4th weekend of the month (the largest convention of the year) for which rates increase to starting at $159/night. Outside of this, we can offer Mission Valley Resort at a room rate of $129 per night for 7/31 – 8/2, 2009. This is located 6 miles from the airport offering spacious rooms among a 20-acre property with complimentary high speed wireless internet in each room and the meeting rooms. Included with the package is a “Board Room Break” package which includes: Early Morning coffee, tea, milk, juice, muffins, Danish, and fruit; Mid-Morning soft drinks, coffee, teak and milk; and Mid-Afternoon cookies, brownies, soft drinks, mineral water, coffee, tea and milk ALL COMPLIMENTARY in lieu of meeting room cost. It’s also located central to all major tourist attractions should you wish to extend your visit. We also have a similar offer from Hilton at $139 per night with same amenities, same location, and the same weekend.
As always it is with great delight that we serve our fellowship.
Pam & DW
The Northern California Region consists of 21 Areas with approximately 1400 meetings per week. Our number of areas has increased–by one–with the creation of the Sacramento Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous. This new area is comprised of groups that split off from the American River Area.
The NCRSC provides insurance for all of it’s meetings and most of the events that take place in its region, as well as acting as the point of accountability for H&I, PI, convention committee, and a Regional Service Office Board of Directors.
We are excited to share some of the exciting changes we are in the process of implementing within Northern California Regional services. Many of these changes are long overdue, and all will help us focus more on providing services to the fellowship.
In the summer and fall of 2007, the Northern California Regional Service Committee spent considerable time undergoing a thorough evaluation of its efforts, using the Area Planning Tool as our guide. As a result of our discussions, the NCRSC agreed upon making the following substantive changes to the way we operate:
ü We want to hold quarterly regional assemblies/workshops throughout the region, focused on member training and development and utilizing creative approaches.
ü We want to hold 2 traveling “Regional Weekends” a year that would encompass 2 of these workshops, as well as a meeting of the RSC in remote locations.
ü We want to embrace “task-based” service; by establishing a “regional pool”.
ü We decided to eliminate the standing Regional H&I Subcommittee and replace it with two coordinators, as we had done with PR two years earlier.
At the July 2008 RSC, we took a dramatic step forward by empowering the Administrative Committee to operate as a “Fellowship Services Team.” The RSC approved an annual budget that identifies “Routine” ongoing operating expenses, such as rent, regional insurance policy, PR Presentations at non-NA events, Institutional Literature fund, and the administrative overhead for conducting our regular RSC meetings.
We then approved a process whereby any proposed projects or fellowship development travel will be funded on a discretionary basis, provided our operating reserves are flush. This new process allows any NA member with a project idea to fill out a “Project Request form” that identifies the type and scope of the project, number of members needed in the work group, rent, travel, supply cost estimates, and a target completion date. All project proposals are approved by the RSC. The Administrative Committee then prioritizes project funding based on available resources, selects working group members, and gives final authorization for the project to commence.
For any fellowship development travel requests made of the RD, AD, H&I, or PR Coordinators, or Administrative Committee members, the requesting service body will submit a “travel request form” to the Administrative Committee. All travel requests will be prioritized based on which events are likely to have the greatest fellowship impact. The Administrative Committee will also decide which travelers, and how many, to send to a particular event, based on the nature of the request. We may utilize “pool” resources to fund pool members if we determine they may have the skills/abilities or otherwise fit the bill for the given event.
The RSC has agreed that we want to hold up to 2 RSC weekends a year in various locations throughout the fellowship. We have agreed to fully fund all RSC participants to these weekends and the RSC has approved the funds to do this. The weekends will consist of a full day of training/presentations/fellowship workshops all day Saturday, followed by the formal business meeting of the RSC on Sunday morning. Of course, we will look to the “host” area to provide a recovery meeting and event on Saturday evening as well. Usually the content of the Saturday workshops will be something along the lines of the IDTs, PR/H&I Training, or other fellowship topics. Prior to the WSC, the Saturday workshops will become a Regional assembly on CAR/CAT issues. By funding all of the RCMs, including hotel stay, we will be investing in “training the trainers” by having them fully participate in Saturdays events as part of their regional service commitment.
At the July 2008 RSC, the participants were presented with several policy documents, which will ultimately create the “Regional Resource Pool” and a Regional Nominations Panel. We will be utilizing a pool system similar to the one NAWS employs; starting with Regional Resource Pool forms, in editable PDF format, on the regional website. The Administrative Committee will administer the pool, and, with the newly approved budget process, have the ability to manage work groups and utilize pool resources for fellowship travel, presentations and participation in events.
Additionally, in January of each year, the RSC will empanel a 4 person working group to serve as a Regional Nominations Panel. This group will utilize the pool, as well as interviews with current regional trusted servants, to act as the regions ‘head hunters” for identifying and nominating talented persons to regional service positions. In June of each year, following RSC elections, this panel will be disbanded. The idea is to keep it a short-term working group, rather than a formal committee.
The overall vision is to merge the PR and H&I Coordinators in with the RD, AD and rest of what’s currently known as the Administrative Committee, and have a single cohesive group called the “Fellowship Services Team” as the Single point of accountability and administration for fellowship services. As a group, we will plan regional assemblies, workshops, presentations, manage fellowship development travel, and oversee project working groups by utilizing pool resources. Although the vision below is not completely implemented at this time, several key elements were approved last month, and others are up for approval at the August RSC
Our Regional Service Office–a California 501-3C corporation–serves our region through literature sales, insurance matters, website coordination, as well as providing committee meeting space for all regional committees.
After a couple of shaky years our RSO seems to be turning the corner. Although there are still months when losses are posted, there are also months that are showing a profit. A significant reason for this turnaround has been our online store. Although somewhat of a hassle to get going, the online store has shown itself to be worth the effort.
The RSO Board of Directors is also responsible for maintaining our website. Since we met last year the redesign of the Northern California Regional Website (www.norcalna.org) has been completed, and has been well received in our fellowship. We are continuing to seek new ways to make our website a useful tool for the fellowship.
As with many NA service bodies, the BOD has been struggling to maintain a full board of directors. At our July RSC we had to give the RSC Rep. temporary authority to vote at the board of directors meeting. This is something that we don’t take lightly, but under the circumstances it was necessary.
California’s 30th annual convention was held in
The convention was not without problems. Maybe because we’re growing so much some deficiencies in our committee structure showed up. In an effort to maintain participation by our areas NCCNA bids out its subcommittees to our areas. Some problems with the relationships between the regional committee and its subcommittees arose that have caused us to take a look at the accountability structure.
Another problem that reached a tipping point was outside vendors selling merchandise at our alternative store. Although our alternative store is meant to be used as a fund raising vehicle for NA service bodies, more and more we are finding that outside vendors are “buying” permission form uninformed groups to use there names as a way for these vendors to gain access to the alternative store. When confronted, these vendors (most of whom are members of the fellowship) showed a certain amount of hostility and wanted to insist that these groups actually do sell jewelry, medallions, buttons etc. Because they have a signed letter from some trusted servant, at the group level, they expect NCCNA to allow them to sell whatever they have, while at the same time they believe that the letter exempts them from showing a NAWS license to sell merchandise with the NA logo on it.
The dilemma we face is that, while members who like to shop at an alternative store like the diversity of merchandise these vendors bring, the legitimate NA service bodies don’t like having to compete with professional vendors.
Not much new going on in PR. Our PR Coordinators continue to professional events, and conduct trainings at the regional sharing forum. We are having trouble keeping two PR Coordinators. It seems that even the lure of an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii, for WSLD, was not enough to get anyone to step up for the second coordinator position. In the end it was probably a good thing since our RSC decided to only send two people to WSLD instead of the usual four.
some resentment at our RSC over WSLD deciding to hold their event at such an
expensive location. Some of our areas have decided not to send anyone to this
are sending representatives even though they can’t really afford it. There seems to be an attitude that because
we send someone every year we need to send someone this year; whether it’s a prudent use of fellowship
funds, or not.
I wish I could tell you that things have changed with our H&I subcommittee, but I can’t. Our H&I chair and vice chair continue to get bogged down in the subcommittee structure. While in reality this committee has no real business to do and is in really just a sharing forum, they continue to waste time making motions and voting on things that don’t really amount to much.
For at least two years we’ve been trying to change the structure of this committee, so that it somewhat mirrors our PR sharing forum. However, every time change is suggested it is met with what seems to be a universal H&I response. “You’re trying to take something from us”. All efforts to insure the career H&I professionals that the change is to enhance the effectiveness of the committee, seems to fall on deaf ears.
A part of the problem is bad communication between the RSC administrative committee and this subcommittee. Currently the H&I and PR committees meet at the same time as the admin committee. With no consistent RSC Rep. in attendance, communication is not good. What the RSC is proposing is to have these committees change the day that they meet. This way and RSC rep will be able to their full attention to these committees, and the committee coordinators will not be limited to pushing out an incomplete report to the RSC, because they have to write it the hour between the time their committees close and the RSC begins. We’ll see.
Sierra Sage Region
consists of approximately 130 meetings in five established areas, four of which
regularly attend RSC, RSC rotates quarterly through the
Our region will be traveling to the Greater Owens Valley area on August 9th, 2008 to have our RSC meeting held there in the spirit of Unity. Events for these areas include Lone Pine Float trip July 19, 2008 & a campout August 29, 30 & 31st.
B.L.A.W. Area puts on a monthly newcomer workshop. This is an introduction to the NA program. It is open to the public, anyone introduction to the NA Program. It is open to the public. Anyone is welcome. It covers topics such as:
¨ Types of meetings-Open vs. Closed
¨ Meeting Verification slips
¨ Steps and Traditions
¨ Total Abstinence
¨ Higher Power
Using the Public Relations Handbook. Pi has also been able to implement PSAs on TV and radio. Thanks to Vince for the disc and John Doe, aired on many radio stations. Pi is in the development stages of a Schools Project group to carry the message to local schools.
Committee is in full swing. SSRCNA is being held at Circus Circus Hotel on
October 31st, November 1st and 2nd, 2009. The
convention has already been booked for the same location. The pdf printable
version off our registration form is available on our awesome website (www.sierrasagena.org. We will be having
an event “A Day at Lake”,
estimated 20 meetings around all areas of our region to include prisons, jails,
and mental health hospitals for both adults and juveniles. We are pleased to be
able to carry the message, in early intervention to a new 72 hour detox center
for adults in
Region has nominated and elected a chair, vice chair, and Outreach Coordinator who are all looking forward to their service to our fellowship.
Our RD and
RDA are in the scheduling phase for workshops on IDTs in areas around our
We are very happy about the growth in our region.
Thank you for letting me be of service,
Robin P., AD