What Happened with the Proposals this Year?

Proposals at the ABC

Ballots that did not pass in our Fort Lauderdale business meeting were 2,6,7,14

Proposal 1 (submitted by meeting group AL025): We propose that the following statement on “I Statements” be posted on the ACA website as a resource: “Why Using “I” Statements is So Important!”. When sharing with an individual or as part of a group, using “I” statements can make a big difference. An “I” statement is sharing in the first person, as opposed to using words such as “we,” “they,” “us,” and “you.” At first, it may seem like an insignificant detail, but using third person statements is distancing and impersonal. It can even be an attempt to subconsciously control others or place responsibility outside of oneself. Example: “When you get abused, it hurts you.” Change this to: “When I got abused, it hurt me.” Sharing in the first person promotes self responsibility by divulging information only about yourself. When you are tempted to use the generic “you,” “we,” etc., try to catch yourself and replace it with “I.” You will be surprised how different it feels and how much more you and others get out of your share. It may feel uncomfortable at first. That’s because you are casting off your protective shield and revealing the real you. Remember: 1) An “I” statement exercises my self control. 2) “I” statements build my self respect while offering others a true opportunity to have a real relationship with me. 3) Struggling with “I” statements will often reveal the hidden aspects of the issues at hand. If you truly want to disclose your feelings so that you and others can learn more about YOU, use an “I” statement!  Passed

Proposal 2: (submitted by FL164) Tony A’s 12 Steps: We propose that the Conference adapt or incorporate Tony A’s 12 Steps from his book THE LAUNDRY LIST as the conference approved steps.

Proposal was skipped because the widow of Tony A. will not currently give copyright permission for ACA to publish Tony A.’s 12-Steps. In addition, there is valid concern that changing the official ACA Steps may alienate new members who are in other fellowships, and other proposals 5 and 16 are also about adopting the Tony A. 12-Steps as conference approved literature. However, as ACA has an open literature policy, meeting groups are free to use any literature relevant to the primary focus and purpose of recovery from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional family including and not limited to Tony A.’s 12-Steps.

Proposal 3 (FL158): We propose that the WSO create a workbook on “Becoming Your Own Loving Parent.” Activities, questions and tools will be drawn from chapter 8, related parts of the BRB and ACA member suggestions. This endeavor will need support!  Passed

Proposal 4: We propose that the WSO revise BRB Chapter 11 and the sponsorship pamphlet for clarity and consistency. The word “sponsor” is used throughout the chapter and elsewhere in the BRB. However, under direct sponsorship, instead of “sponsor” the word “Fellow Traveler” is used. This leads to confusion. We believe you recommend that all sponsors follow the Fellow Traveler method, meaning both are on equal footing. This method tries to prevent the sponsee from becoming triggered, in believing the sponsor is an authority figure. We recommend: 1. Defining, at the chapter start, that anyone on the ACA path of recovery, regardless of their time and progress in the program, is a fellow traveler. 2. Defining, at the chapter start, that not all Fellow Travelers can be sponsors, as per the requirements outlined in the BRB. (See #3.) 3. Changing “Fellow Traveler” to “Sponsor” under the heading “Direct Sponsorship.” 4. Clarifying that the “Fellow Traveler” method supports a relationship in which sponsor and sponsee are on equal footing, rather than in teacher / student roles. 5. Clarify the requirements of a sponsor (the type referred to as “traditional” in the pamphlet and “fellow traveler in BRB). From the WSO website: “A sponsor is someone who attends ACA meetings regularly and who has worked the ACA Twelve Steps. The person has made progress in recovering from the effects of growing up in a dysfunctional home.” Not all Fellow Travelers meet this requirement. We need clarification in chapter 11 about this and consistency between the website and pamphlet. 6. Adding that one of the supports a sponsor provides is to help the sponsee connect with their loving parent and inner child. Passed.

Proposal 5: We propose that the WSO of ACA, and the Fellowship of ACA, “go to any lengths” to adopt the 12 Steps of Tony A. We request that Tony A.’s 12 Steps be printed in our ACA literature and texts, side-by-side with the already adapted 12 Steps from AA. Defeated as Tony’s widow is in the process of copywriting Tony’s books and was advised not to give us permission at this time.

Proposal 6: We propose that WSO creates a Directory page on the website listing the names and public contact information of the WSO Board of Trustee Members and their job descriptions. The list would also include the names of all the existing committees, who are the chairs for the committees and who are on the committees and their public contact information. The list should also include the description of the special worker jobs, who holds the jobs and their public contact information. The list should also include all of the other ways to contact WSO, that is, general phone numbers and general email addresses. We are not asking for personal email information or personal phone numbers. We are asking for transparency and a more personal approach putting a name to a job.

Proposal was skipped. Anonymity was deemed more important than public transparency.

Proposal 7: We propose that; so more groups could participate through the delegate voting system, delegates be allowed vote on proposals, brought to the ABC, using electronic methods (Survey Monkey), in advance of the ABC. An adjustment would need to be made in the final round of nomination procedure so that this can happen. The exact method of adjustment would need to be determined. There will be no change regarding delegates who want to travel to ABC meeting to vote.

Proposal was skipped.

Proposal 8: We propose that a Telephone Conference Meeting Committee be created, since telephone conference meetings have issues unique and separate from face to face meetings. The purpose of the committee is to be a liaison between the board and the telephone meetings intergroup, and meetings. The responsibility of the committee is to field questions and concerns from the telephone community, interpreting them, making recommendation to the board and then giving explanations to the telephone community. Areas to be involved with are: Literature Issues, Autonomy Issues, Anonymity Issues, Safety Issues, Donation Issues, Clarification on sanctions, delisting and mixed messages. Ultimately a position of Service Board Trustee could be created representing the virtual community.  Encourage your groups to participate in telephone meetings! Passed

Proposal 9: We propose that when Regions register with WSO, the Board of Trustees promptly (within 30 days) seat the duly elected Region Representatives as full members of the Board in accordance with the maximum number of Trustees set by the ACA foundational documents. Defeated

Proposal 10: We propose that the reference to prescription medication in the Big Red Book Chapter 1, page 13 be made more clear because genuine prescription medication use for both mental and physical conditions is often necessary. Therefore, the text would say in future editions: “we refrain from all prescription medication misuse” rather than “we refrain from all prescription medication use.”  Passed

Proposal 11: We propose that this additional sentence should be added directly after the sentence in the previous proposal: “We also recommend that the adult child guards against the misuse of any other substances or processes to selfsoothe the pain of a dysfunctional childhood (eg, work, food, gambling, sex, relationships, shopping, internet use, exercise.)” Defeated.  Due to it being presented too early in the BRB and the newcomer might be discouraged.

Proposal 12: We propose that anti prescription medication use comments, rather than a misuse of prescription medication comments, be removed anywhere the sentiment is expressed in ACA/DF official literature or amended to make it clear that misuse is the issue. Passed

Proposal 13: We propose that that the WSO explains more specifically what ‘closed’ means anywhere that the term is used.  Passed

Proposal 14: We propose that all vetted ballot proposals for the annual ACA ABC, that are voted on prior to the meeting, be admitted to the agenda by a favorable vote of 50% by all voting groups (as opposed to the 2/3 demanded now).

Proposal was skipped.

Proposal 15: We propose that the fellowship would consider changing the first statement in The “Laundry List” to read as: These are characteristics we seem to have in common due to being brought up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional household.  Passed.

This was amended to add the word ‘otherwise.’ These are characteristics we seem to have in common due to being brought up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional household.

Proposal 16: We propose that ACA/WSO open up discussion among our fellowship to introduce Tony A’s ACOA 12 Steps to our membership as conference approved material. We motion that ACA/WSO include on this years ballot discussion to make Tony A’s 12 Steps available as conference approved material. Defeated.  See # 5.