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SSP + Resolutions, Straw Polls, World Board Motions & Regional Proposals.

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Presentation on theme: "SSP + Resolutions, Straw Polls, World Board Motions & Regional Proposals."— Presentation transcript:

1 SSP + Resolutions, Straw Polls, World Board Motions & Regional Proposals

2 SSP + Introduction The 2012 CAR contains more than the SSP (Service System Proposals). Also for voting at WSC 2012: 8 Resolutions 9 Straw Polls (A through I) 5 World Board Motions 5 Regional Proposals (A through E) This presentation was created to provide information & different views about the Resolutions, Straw Polls, World Board Motions & Regional Proposals that were not included in the presentation available from

3 SSP + Objectives Provide an overview & different views (where feasible) of the Resolutions, Straw Polls, World Board Motions & Regional Proposals Help to understand the Resolutions, Straw Polls, World Board Motions & Regional Proposals Answer as many questions as possible

4 SSP + Background The CAR is based on the WB’s point of view, therefore it contains no ‘cons’ A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something & is generally voted on before a project begins in order to get an idea of where it’s going A straw poll is a vote with non-binding results (they don’t have to be followed) to see if there is enough support for an idea NOTE: Robert’s Rules prohibits straw polls because they undermine “the deliberative charge of deliberative bodies” (in this case they don’t give the NA Fellowship as a whole the opportunity for consideration or discussion) A proposal, which the WSC can amend, is an act of putting something forward or stating something for consideration

5 SSP + Resolutions Overview “These resolutions are the broad-based ideas about which we [the WB] need to reach consensus before we can move forward in the transition to new service system” “The results of the votes on these resolutions and the straw polls which follow will form the basis upon which we [the WB] will move forward” “These are resolutions rather than “motions” because they are calling for an agreement in principle, but not for any specific action at this time” NOTE: All quoted text can be found on pages 11 & 12 of the 2012 CAR

6 SSP + Overview Consensus Based Decision-Making (CBDM) has no voting, is about how to say ‘yes,’ there is no saying ‘no’ & the resolutions will be discussed on the floor of the WSC until “consensus” is reached on how to go forward There is potential that the WB will continue the SSP even if the Fellowship disagrees Votes on ‘agreements in principle’ can & will be discussed on the floor of the 2012 WSC, the result of which will be changes to the Resolutions followed by motions (with specific actions) to be voted at the 2014 WSC

7 SSP + Resolutions Overview “If the conference adopts them, these issues will be “resolved”: The principles outlined in the resolutions will be binding insofar as they will determine the direction we [the WB] will take in transitioning to a new service system” “Adopting these resolutions does not, however, mean agreeing to any concrete action” “...the results of the discussions, votes, and straw polls at this conference will help the board develop a set of motions for the 2014 CAR. These 2014 motions will call for specific actions” NOTE: All quoted text can be found on page 12 of the 2012 CAR

8 SSP + Overview “Resolved” non-binding ‘agreements in principle’ will become binding regarding the direction taken in transitioning to a new service system if adopted without first being returned to the Groups If a non-binding ‘agreement in principle’ becomes binding when adopted it most assuredly means agreement to a concrete action Unless the funding in the 2012 CAT is voted down, the WB will develop a set of motions (calling for specific actions) for voting at the 2014 WSC

9 SSP + Resolutions Overview The ideals described in the resolutions “are important principles we [the WB] feel need to be realized to achieve our vision and be true to the spirit of the Traditions and Concepts” “At the same time, we [the WB] are attempting to design a system that is flexible and practical; variations in the application of the ideals laid out here are expected” “Everything that occurs in the course of NA service must be motivated by the desire to more successfully carry the message of recovery to the addict who still suffers” “These resolutions are offered in that spirit” NOTE: All quoted text can be found on page 12 of the 2012 CAR

10 SSP + Overview The “ideals described in the resolutions” were specifically worded to make NA members think they would be voting against those ‘ideals’ by voting ‘no’ to the Resolutions Flexibility & practicality appear to be sorely lacking in the system the WB designed & it gives no indication that variations are either expected or welcomed Resolutions offered in the spirit that “everything that occurs in the course of NA service must be motivated by the desire to more successfully carry the message of recovery to the addict who still suffers” would not totally dismantle our current service structure, undermine Group conscience, remove the autonomy of NA Groups, require changes to member-defined boundaries, cater to outside enterprises, etc.

11 SSP + Resolution 1 “Our service efforts will be carried out through a system that includes structure, process, people, and resources.”

12 SSP + Resolution 1 Unnecessary, the Fellowship already has a service structure in place that includes structure, process, people & resources Redundant, describes current & past practice Violates Concept Two, “The final responsibility and authority for NA services rests with the NA groups” not with ‘a system’

13 SSP + “The service system is group-focused and includes a local level body dedicated exclusively to addressing group concerns.” Resolution 2

14 SSP + Resolution 2 Unnecessary, current ASCs (Area Service Committees) already provide an effective means to address Group concerns of participating Groups Removes Groups from the decision- making process by isolating them from the information & decisions LSUs (Local Service Units) will address Removes the current power, authority & flexibility for Groups to decide the best way their needs can be met

15 SSP + “Training and mentoring of trusted servants are essential functions of the service system.” Resolution 3

16 SSP + Resolution 3 Training & mentoring trusted servants are the responsibilities of sponsors, Areas, Regions & current trusted servants, not a ‘service system’ Doesn’t establish any boundaries for how this will happen, which are needed before a decision can be made Violates Concepts Two, Three & Five

17 SSP + “Service bodies are purpose- and vision- driven.” Resolution 4

18 SSP + Resolution 4 Current service bodies were created by Groups to “fulfill our fellowship’s primary purpose” (Concept 1) Groups “create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve” (Tradition 9) If ‘vision-driven’ is referring to “A Vision for NA Service,” service bodies already do this & the SSP creates more barriers to the vision statement than already exist

19 SSP + “Service bodies work together to utilize planning processes to organize and coordinate their efforts.” Resolution 5

20 SSP + Resolution 5 Our existing service bodies (Areas & Regions) currently operate this way (Concept 1) Limits “the responsibility to carefully consider all viewpoints in their decision-making processes” Doesn’t include Groups as a necessary part of the process (Concept 9)

21 SSP + “Service bodies make decisions by consensus.” Resolution 6

22 SSP + Resolution 6 Consensus Based Decision-Making (CBDM) allows for a minority opinion to take the process hostage Current services bodies have decision- making processes in effect, what works for one may not work for another Decision-making processes should not be dictated by a service system

23 SSP + “The service structure includes local service bodies, state/nation/province service bodies, and intermediate bodies if needed. Service bodies follow established geographic boundaries. They are not self-determined, but are formed, based on need, through a collaborative planning process and agreement with other affected service bodies at the next level of service.” Resolution 7

24 SSP + Resolution 7 Existing Areas & Regions were established locally by the members Seems to make outside entities more important than NA members We’re supposed to work from the base of the inverted pyramid, many NA members for few WB members, & this Resolution changes that

25 SSP + “State/national/province boundaries are the primary criterion for seating consideration at the World Service Conference.” Resolution 8

26 SSP + Resolution 8 Some Regions will lose their seat at the World Service Conference (WSC) Limiting the representation of Groups’ consciences is opposed to our primary purpose Doesn’t address the number of votes the WB has at the WSC on new business; the WB should remain a small minority voice at the conference

27 SSP + Straw Polls Overview “In order to create a proposal for a transition plan...we [the WB] plan to take a number of straw polls on more concrete ideas” “...we [the WB] have not yet worked out all of the detail of how a transition to a new system might actually take place” “We’ve [the WB] already spent several years (two conference cycles) and thousands of dollars on the work to date...” “The results...will “guide the board in the next steps in the process of developing and transitioning to a new service system” NOTE: All quoted text can be found on page 14 of the 2012 CAR

28 SSP + Straw Polls Overview The Straw Polls contain very few “concrete ideas” regarding the creation of a transition plan proposal yet the WB notes their attempt to design a system that is flexible & practical when flexibility & practicality are anything but concrete Details are a necessity before any truly informed Group conscience decisions can be made Time & money already spent aren’t valid reasons to continue if the Fellowship doesn’t agree or want to continue The WB has had its say & it’s time for more Fellowship experience, strength & hope

29 SSP + Straw Poll A “There is a small, neighborhood-sized body devoted to group needs. This group forum, which is typically not part of the delegation stream, is informal in nature and operates through conversation not formal decision-making. (See page 56 for a detailed explanation of the body devoted to group support.)”

30 SSP + Straw Poll A With problems of attendance & vacancies being widespread, MORE meetings, trusted servant positions, etc. are being proposed Directly conflicts with Resolution 2 (“...system is group-focused...”) The current structure allows each Group & Area to determine for themselves the best way to address their needs

31 SSP + Straw Poll B “Groups send a delegate quarterly to a local service planning meeting. One of those quarterly meetings is a general assembly where all interested members are encouraged to attend and input is given to help plan service activities for the cycle. (See page 61 for a detailed explanation of the local service body.)”

32 SSP + Straw Poll B Instead of monthly oversight, direction & decision-making meetings, Groups are limited to quarterly ‘planning’ sessions In direct conflict with Resolution 2 (“...system is group-focused...”) Requires another trusted servant position to be added

33 SSP + Straw Poll C “Services are coordinated by a local service board and carried out by members, committees, and project workgroups who report to that board.”

34 SSP + Straw Poll C Further removes Groups from direct oversight, responsibility, authority & opportunities to provide direction to service bodies Includes & says nothing about current Area & Regional Subcommittees Changes the focus from a committee or workgroup, which imply a collaboration of people, to a board, which implies a group that directs or governs, the change in semantics is deliberate

35 SSP + Straw Poll D “Local service bodies follow county, city, or town boundaries, where practical. (They are much larger than the group forums mentioned above and in many cases larger than the current ASCs.)”

36 SSP + Straw Poll D Current service bodies follow boundaries as determined by the NA members who know their Area & what works for them Many current ASCs are big enough already & making them bigger is likely to create the same ‘unmanageability’ problem the SSP is supposed to solve Group conscience & autonomy are the determining factors, not a rule

37 SSP + Straw Poll E “The boundaries of those local service bodies are agreed to at the state or national level.”

38 SSP + Straw Poll E Violates the autonomy in Tradition 4, the accountability in Tradition 9, the responsibility in Concept 7 & the spirit of NA service in Concept 12 Transferring authority away from the Groups (against the inverted pyramid) with their collective superior knowledge of local facts- on-the-ground is generally a bad idea, leading to planning in the abstract rather than based in current, direct experience Local service bodies already have boundaries as determined by the NA members who know the Area & have come together out of common needs & goals

39 SSP + Straw Poll F “Planning cycles are synchronized from level to level (local to state to global) as well as across each level.”

40 SSP + Straw Poll F This is already implemented & carried out through our current service structure based on the inverted pyramid (NA members to Groups, Groups to Areas, Areas to Regions & Regions to World) Conflicts with Concept 5 (no single point of accountability) Conflicts with Tradition 4 (no Group autonomy)

41 SSP + Straw Poll G “When service needs cannot be accomplished effectively by local service bodies and state/ national/province bodies, an intermediate level of service can be added. (See page 64 for a detailed explanation of an intermediate service body.)”

42 SSP + Straw Poll G Further distances the Groups from authority & responsibility over & for services Adds the need for more trusted servants when many Areas are already having a hard time filling positions GTLS, p 65, “Area Committees in Rural Communities,” already provides for the formation of “Co-ops,” which are intermediate bodies

43 SSP + Straw Poll H “Most states, provinces, or countries have one state-, province- or nationwide service body that is responsible for state- or national-level public relations and coordinating efforts such as training across local service bodies. (See page 67 for a detailed explanation of state-, province-, and nationwide service bodies.)”

44 SSP + Straw Poll H One State/Province/Nationwide service body for large states or states with isolated Groups is totally impractical Will put unnecessary financial burden on trusted servants & service bodies who would have to travel extensive distances in order to attend Could easily be reworded to fit the current service structure

45 SSP + Straw Poll I “Zonal boundaries are decided through a collaborative process with neighboring NA communities, other zones, and the WSC.”

46 SSP + Straw Poll I Throws Concept 1 out the window, the Groups join together The WB &/or WSC shouldn’t have a say in setting up ‘boundaries’ anywhere in the NA Fellowship There is no indication of where or how zones/zonals even fit into the SSP

47 SSP + Motions Overview These are to be voted ‘yes’ or ‘no’ Amendments are discouraged but not prohibited – RD makes an amendment & has 3 minutes to discuss, WB has unlimited time to rebut & discourage Only the WB can make motions Motions 2, 3 & 4 all start with “To allow the World Board” (in other words, give the WB authority) & end with “The World Board will announce” (tell, not ask, the Fellowship)

48 SSP + World Board Motion 1 “To approve the book Living Clean: The Journey Continues contained in Addendum B [of the CAR].”

49 SSP + World Board Motion 1 It’s Fellowship-written literature, which seems to have captured a lot of the feelings & ideas members wished was in other literature Low amount of input received from the Fellowship as a whole (less than 500 posts on the Discussion Board, which some felt was difficult to locate on & thereby limited participation) Voting seems to be more of a personal preference (some like it, others don’t)

50 SSP + FIPT Motions 2, 3 & 4 According to the Fellowship Intellectual Property Trust (FIPT), the Fellowship of NA is the Trustor & May add to, modify or delete property from the Trust (Instrument, Article III) Is responsible for the creation, approval, revision & decommissioning of NA recovery literature, trademarks, service marks & other intellectual properties (Operational Rules, Article I, Section 3) Has sole authority to commission, direct & approve the creation & revision of books, booklets & informational pamphlets for & on behalf of the NA Fellowship (Operational Rules, Article III, Section 1) Has sole authority to create or revise trademarks & service marks for & on behalf of the NA Fellowship (Operational Rules, Article III, Section 1) NOTE: The complete FIPT can be found at

51 SSP + World Board Motion 2 “To allow the World Board to make non-substantive corrections to Fellowship-approved literature which do not impact the original meaning of the Fellowship-approved text and which fix typographical errors, obsolete references, references to outdated literature, and other similar corrections. The World Board will announce such corrections in advance of publication.”

52 SSP + World Board Motion 2 Non-substantive means any word that isn’t a noun (person, place or thing) & anything deemed by the WB to be not important, meaningful or considerable “...other similar corrections” implies the WB could make ANY change it wants under the guise of ‘correction’ As submitted,‘corrections’ would be made without our direction or input, without our approval & without the ability to change course or stop action

53 SSP + World Board Motion 3 “To allow the World Board to bundle, excerpt, and repackage Fellowship- approved literature without changes to the texts themselves. The World Board will announce these actions in advance of publication.”

54 SSP + World Board Motion 3 The WB could create new literature from existing literature An IP could be created by combining a sentence here & a paragraph there, which would indeed change our literature even “without changes to the texts themselves” As submitted, our literature would be bundled, excerpted &/or repackaged without our direction or input, without our approval & without the ability to change course or stop action

55 SSP + World Board Motion 4 “To allow the World Board the ability to create and approve enhanced electronic or digital versions of texts that include supplemental materials or connections to other NA materials. The World Board will announce such enhancements in advance of publication.”

56 SSP + World Board Motion 4 The WB would have sole authority to create & approve ‘enhanced’ versions of texts (which ‘texts’ aren’t defined) There are no examples or definitions of what type of supplemental materials would be included Again, as submitted, this would be done without our direction or input, without our approval & without the ability to change course or stop action

57 SSP + World Board Motion 5 “To hold the World Convention of NA every three years, beginning 2018, alternating North American and non- North American locations, as follows and contained in the revised World Convention Map contained in Addendum C [of the CAR].”

58 SSP + World Board Motion 5 WCNA has become a celebration of our collective recovery & a fellowship development activity WCNA is too big for a hotel, too small for most convention centers & 2 years is too frequent Changing the rotation schedule will ultimately cause conflicts between the WSC & WCNA A well-managed convention is a consistent money maker

59 SSP + Regional Proposals Overview “At the 2010 WSC, participants unanimously supported an experiment for WSC 2012 that would replace regional motions with a process for discussion of ideas from regions” “... the board has long been saying let’s figure out how to discuss regional ideas within the discussion- based, consensus-based culture of today’s conference” “The process of considering these proposals...will differ from simply voting yes or no on a motion” “...we will discuss and perhaps refine these ideas and measure support for them among conference participants...ideas with enough support may be moved into the planning process...” “The board will clearly state its understanding and intent on the matter...” NOTE: All quoted text can be found on pages 34 & 35 of the 2012 CAR

60 SSP + Overview When using CBDM, unanimous doesn’t always mean 100%, which is misleading; A motion from a Region has already been discussed (Members to Group, Group to Area, Area to Region, Region to World) The WB is directing the Fellowship, the Fellowship isn’t directing the WB Our current service structure (the inverted pyramid) already deals with discussion of Regional ideas & includes everyone’s voice; Simply voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a motion is a process that works The voice of Group conscience is slowly but surely being extinguished when Regional motions can be discussed & changed on the floor of the WSC without returning them to the Groups The WB’s understanding & intent is nowhere near as important as the Fellowship’s understanding & intent on NA-related matters

61 SSP + Regional Proposal A “Carolina Region: For the Fellowship of NA and the WSC to consider a proposal for the creation of Written Service Material dedicated to assisting the members of NA as a whole on (1) how to actively participate in literature and publication projects as well as (2) to have resource material available in providing guidance for the development of Literature and Publication processes locally. Intent: To enhance and broaden fellowship service material for the development, input, and review processes of our printed publications: Informational Pamphlets (IPs), Service Related IPs, Books, Booklets, Service Manuals/Handbooks, Journals, Newsletters, and other written materials for the good of the NA Fellowship.”

62 SSP + Regional Proposal A The fellowship has been able to shape the direction of projects better & better, actually contributing words & ideas on the front end of a project The need expressed here is real...but our [the WB’s] ideas are still evolving & we [the WB] don’t really have the resources to prioritize this as a formal tool or collection of tools at this time The Fellowship is kept in the dark regarding the ‘prioritization’ of projects when it should have the most say NA literature should be written by addicts, for addicts & can be developed locally

63 SSP + Regional Proposal B “Hawaii Region: To produce a book- length publication called 'The NA WAY: Celebration Edition' comprised of a compilation of articles published in the NA WAY 1982-2012. Intent: The publication of a book length piece literature featuring the selections of message(s) of recovery illustrated by already reviewed and published articles contributed by members to the past 30 years of Recovery in the NA Way.”

64 SSP + Regional Proposal B While it’s true that republishing articles would be less labor intensive...such an enterprise is not as cost-effective as one might think This idea wasn’t raised by anyone in our [the WB’s] recent literature survey; We [the WB] feel it’s our responsibility to prioritize the strongest literature needs first A significant number of NA Way articles address issues not found elsewhere in our literature & provide a unique insight into the early recovery process & growth of NA For 30 years NA Way articles have passed the test of maintaining fidelity to our Steps, Traditions & Concepts

65 SSP + Regional Proposal C “Tejas Bluebonnet Region: For Board Approved Literature be clearly marked on front “Service Related Material” and not intended to be read during recovery meetings. Intent: To further make it clear to fellowship that this is not fellowship approved Literature and not intended for use in recovery meetings. We feel that the statement on the back in somewhat small print is not noticeable enough for members that may not know or understand the difference. That although this is explained in the GTWS that many members do not read that service handbook.”

66 SSP + Regional Proposal C Service pamphlets are slightly larger, the front covers look similar to each other & are labeled ‘World Board-approved’ Explanatory text that these pamphlets should be used as a resource, not read in NA meetings, will be included in future service pamphlets & new printings of existing SPs Pamphlets that are not Fellowship-approved & not intended for use in a meeting should be boldly noted on the front cover, not in small type on the back A design layout change is all that’s required to put the disclaimer on the front where members can see it

67 SSP + Regional Proposal D “South Brazil Region: That members who wish to receive the NA Way Magazine in hard copy format pay a subscription fee to cover the costs of printing and mailing. Intent: To distribute the costs of printing and mailing the magazine in hard copy format among members who wish to receive the magazine in that format rather than having NAWS cover those costs.”

68 SSP + Regional Proposal D The NA Way magazine has never had broad enough appeal to make paid subscriptions a viable alternative Soliciting donations to offset the cost of The NA Way might be a more prudent way to proceed given that paid subscriptions don’t seem to be cost effective NA literature, in any form, should be made available to members regardless Many NA members would rather take a loss mailing The NA Way to members willing to pay for a subscription than continue to pay rent in one of the highest rent districts in the United States

69 SSP + Regional Proposal E “Upper Midwest Region: Our idea is to revisit the discussion of the world board members no longer having voting status at the world service conference.” (No intent was published in the CAR)

70 SSP + Regional Proposal E CBDM is based on a principle of full participation for all members of a decision- making body To limit the participation rights of the WB members seems to go against the spirit of CBDM & the principles of the concepts WB members make recommendations on what they believe would be best for the Fellowship & have input on the decision- making process that the Fellowship as a whole can’t make & doesn’t have WB members should not have 2 votes on anything (1 at their Home Group & another at the WSC)

71 SSP + Wrap-Up The CAR doesn’t present any ‘cons,’ which doesn’t mean there aren’t any Voting ‘no’ to all of the Resolutions & Straw Polls at WSC 2012 doesn’t prevent us from taking them up again at later WSCs if the Fellowship wants Some groups & areas are already trying the SSP model – let’s see how it works for them for the next 2 years before making decisions Changing who “may add to, modify or delete property from the Trust” [FIPT] is a recipe for disaster now & in the future For far too long the WB has exercised a disproportionate voice in Fellowship discussions

72 SSP + Conference Agenda Report Webpage More information of the World Board view is available here:

73 SSP + SSP + Additional viewpoints & information are available online: Ask how you can join a closed (no-one except members see posts) Facebook discussion group

74 SSP + Thank you... for taking your time to become more familiar with the Resolutions, Straw Polls, World Board Motions & Regional Proposals contained in the 2012 CAR. They have the potential to divide those who believe the WB knows best & those who believe it has overstepped its authority. Please keep an open mind & learn as much as you can. If there is common ground to be found, let’s find it by agreeing to disagree & by using spiritual principles rather than character assassination & anger.

75 SSP + Current Service Structure (No changes or ‘options’ needed) TOP: Groups of members where Group Conscience exists Next lower: Area & Regional Committees where Group Conscience is collected Lowest: US or World Service “...We may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.” Tradition 9 of NA

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