GaL-AA Newsletter, Spring (Apr-Jun 2018)
News from our 2020 Detroit International Committee Chairs
Greetings, and welcome to the preparations for the 2020 International AA Convention. My name is Megan M, and I am the GaL-AA 2020 convention chairperson. My deputy chair Marty and I will be giving you steady updates on our progress – and updates on ways you can get involved both at the convention itself and in pre-convention fundraising near you to support GaL- AA’s 2020 events, including the Friday night dance and a hotel hospitality suite.
Please sign up on the GaL-AA website, gal-aa.org, to receive email communications about the 2020 conven- tion (and the rest of the great work GaL-AA does!). On behalf of the entire 2020 convention GaL-AA team, we are looking forward to working with you, and we are excited to welcome you to Detroit.
Yours in service, Megan M., Detroit Committee Chair
It was very exciting at “Together We Can” the LGBT recovery conference in Detroit, held at the Troy Mar- riot this March. The GaL-AA Board came out in force to help get us started on the 2020 International Conven- tion to be held in Detroit. The Board was here in De- troit back in 2017 to plant the seed for “Love and Tol- erance is Our Code” in 2020. This year they held a meet and greet before the conference, where we met the Atlanta 2015 chair. They also held a very success- ful workshop to help us start getting organized for 2020 and to think about fundraising.
Atlanta had a very successful LGBT presence at the 2015 International Convention and we hope to be equally successful. Atlanta instituted the first “Miss International Sobriety” and we plan to continue this tradition. It was a very fun and engaging fundraiser for the Atlanta Committee. Speaking of Fundraising, we plan to start off small, first with events among the LGBT groups in Detroit. We will need your help, we can not do this alone. Between the March Roundup (mainstream AA) And Together We Can, we collected over 50 e-mail addresses.
We would like to get support from across the country and around the world. We in Michigan have a tradi- tional rivalry with Ohio and we have garnered some interest with our friends from the Buckeye State. The attendees from Toronto, Canada have already shown support. Just as AA grew from a handful of people, we plan to grow in order to have the best LGBT represen- tation at the 2020 International Convention. The theme of “Love and Tolerance is our Code” could not better reflect our attitude of acceptance of ourselves and others in AA, as well as the world at large. Hope to see you and meet you at the convention.
Yours in service, Martin Mc., Detroit Committee Deputy Chair
GaL-AA 2018 Election Results
Greetings and Happy New Year,
We have received one service resume for each of the open positions during our election timeline. These positions are Deputy Chair, Secretary and Advisor II. They were received from the current incumbents Carol N., Mark P. and Eric W., respectively. According to our Bylaws and election process, no voting need take place should there not be more than one nomination. Therefore, I say congratulations to the three incumbents and thank them for their continued service to our organization. I would, however, like to encourage future participation in our organization. If you have any interest or talents that you feel would be useful to our organization, please feel free to contact us.
Notice of GaL-AA Bylaw Updates
Dear Members of GaL-AA:
At the Executive Committee’s face-to-face meeting in Troy Michigan in mid-March, the committee unanimously voted to revise the GaL-AA bylaws that had been in effect since August 29, 2014. These changes do not affect your overall rights as members of GaL-AA and they are summarized below. A version marked to show the changes we are proposing is posted here. According to Article 13 of the bylaws, the revised bylaws shall be posted on our website. As members of GaL-AA, the bylaws empower you to challenge the proposed revisions.
Summary of changes:
- References to lesbians, gay men and other gay people have been replaced with the more current/appropriate term “LGBT+”.
- The Statement of Inclusion in Article 3 was brought up to date with changes made by the Executive Committee at another in-person meeting in October of 2016.
- Article 7.2 was revised to require one in-person meeting annually as opposed to two (the committee believes there is a cost benefit associated with this change).
- We made other stylistic/non-material changes throughout the bylaws to correct typographical errors, misspellings and punctuation and use better grammar.
As further provided in Article 13, as members, you may challenge revisions at any time prior to October 11, 2017. As was always required, a challenge must be submitted to the GaL-AA chairperson in writing and shall include justification for the challenge. The committee will uphold or deny any challenges received at a subsequent meeting as further provided in Article 13.
Please take a moment to review the revised bylaws. Send any questions or challenge related e-mails to us using the contact form under “Contact Us”. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the LGBT+ AA community.
GaL-AA Executive Committee
Contributing to GaL-AA
7th Tradition: Self-Support and 12th Step Work
We received inquiries from members on our committee’s use of funds. Like all groups in our fellowship, GaL-AA is self-supporting and relies on contributions from groups and individuals. In keeping with the 7th Tradition, we do not accept donations from non-AA sources. Groups (regularly, some sporadically) send monies to GaL- AA from meeting collections. We also receive contributions from AA round-up committees, and individual AA members send contributions as a way of giving back to the fellowship – in short, GaL-AA’s operating funds come from you.
What we do with contributions? We maintain an internet website, operate hospitality suites at AA’s International Conventions, distribute literature, sponsor registrations for round-up attendees that lack resources, maintain databases of LGBT meetings and roundups, mass mail communications about and from GaL-AA to AA members, and pay fees to service providers necessary for our operations. None of our committee members are compensated with contributions (each donates his or her time freely). We do not use funds for travel expenses (other than hotel accommodations for limited in-person meetings annually), and we meet monthly online so we do not have normal rental expense. Although different from home groups’, our expenses are necessary in performing 12-Step work. A summary of contributions from groups/sources is below. Is your group contributing or should it consider contributing? There is an AA world outside any home group that includes special purpose groups (other groups similar to GaL-AA with individuals from distinct backgrounds: International Doctors in AA, International Lawyers in AA, “Birds of a Feather”/ airline pilots and aviation professionals in AA, etc.), the fellowship’s General Service Office (GSO), regional intergroups, district and area committees. No matter what their composition, special purpose groups have the same primary purpose as any AA group: carrying the AA message to the alcoholic who still suffers. We are united in the first tradition with one another as it states our common welfare comes first with personal recovery depending upon unity. What a great tradition that binds us.
AA’s GSO has suggested guidance on the 7th Tradition and financial matters groups should consider in adhering to the traditions and upholding the concepts for AA service. GSO’s guidelines remind groups to consider distributing excess funds for 12- Step work. Naturally, the home group’s expenses (rent, literature, coffee/snacks, other supplies) are paid before any distributions outside. The guidance recommends groups consider a plan of distribution (a matter for your group’s own conscience) for funds in order to further carry out the 5th Tradition and 12th Step work. Many group treasurers are familiar with the percentage plan for sending monies to GSO, intergroup/central office, district and area. If your group doesn’t already contribute to GaL-AA, ask your group members to consider us as another AA service entity that relies on your support to carry the message. We are grateful to the groups and individuals for their continuous support. See the website and newsletter for more information on ways to contribute. [Those interested in GSO’s guidance may find it in the AA pamphlet “Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix”: http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/f- 3_selfsupport.pdf.]