Allandale Steering Committee 07/15/20
Virtual meeting held using Zoom during the COVID Shelter in Place ordinance
Wes opened the meeting at 1:10 PM with a moment of silence followed by the Serenity prayer.
There were 17 people online in the Zoom meeting room including: Carole J, Charlie P, Dallas McM, Dean B, David C, Evelyn B, Greg McN, Judy V, Mary A, Neil K, Libbi A, Polly S, Tom O, Stacey R, Stewart G, Warren X, Wes P
Wes let us know that our Secretary Eric in on the road in Houston with business and election season stuff, but will be back soon. Stewart G agreed to take notes.
Committee chair reports:
1) Treatment Centers, Karim-not present, no report
2) IGR, Sully-not present, no report
3) Chips and Literature, David C-Feel a little like the Maytag repair man, there’s very little for me to do right now. Phone lists were updated just before we shut down and we have a couple of boxes of them. A few have been sent in the mail and through e-mail.
Our big Books are safely stored at his house and the chips are at the church. He’ll do an inventory when we reopen. If anyone needs help with phone lists or literature please let David know.
a. Wes acknowledged that the electronic phone lists have been very helpful and were passed to Dean B for texting. Thank you David and Dean.
b. Libbi A asked how someone would find out about the hone list. Dean stated he’d cover that in his report.
4) Archives, Stewart G-Rachel did an amazing job getting us started and I’ve been working on filling in some gaps in the Archives. Emails have been sent to former secretaries and
chairs for the dates we’re missing; and I will be sending a few more soon.
5) Facilities, Carol J-The church put together a task force that includes medical professionals and emergency services people to determine the right thing to do regarding re-opening. The church is not expected to reopen before September and may likely be
a. Wes asked if the church would consider in person meetings, to which Carol responded that 7 PM in person meetings would be possible, perhaps for New Comers. Rooms would be available should we decide we want to do that.
b. Dallas added that if and when the church reopens it may be with limited in person services and broadcasts until a vaccine is available. Allandale AA might also want to provide hybrid meetings when that’s an option.
i. Greg McN states he’s had 25 years in the video business and is very willing to help. Wes suggested he join Dean’s team.
6) Treasurer, Dan-not present, current donations are going into Paypal. Dean states we currently have a balance of $1,379.02. Expenditures for texts messages are taken directly
Paypal, any others are turned over with an invoice to Wes.
a. Stacy asked if we could just mail a check for donations. Wes suggested saving money in an envelope and bringing it in when we reopen.
b. Polly wanted to know about Credit cards and Dean said yes, in Paypal the use of Credit cards is an option and he will post guidelines.
c. Carole asked why not wait till this is over since we don’t have many expenses?
Are we paying upstream organizations at this time? Dean states he certainly will if directed to do so. Carole states she hasn’t seen any treasurer reports in months.
Wes says our Austin Telco has several thousand dollars in it and Dean is referring only to the Paypal account.
d. Tom asks if rent has been suspended. Dallas reminds us there is no rent, we make voluntary contributions to the church that we determine but they are not currently being made by Allandale AA at this time. Tom’s concern is that we have a space when this is over. Wes confirms that we are in good shape with the church.
e. Stewart asked what the monthly texting bills have been, Dean says the max is about $40 a month.
7) Social, Judy V says she hasn’t been able to connect with her co-chair Jeanine, but will get on it and that they still need to inventory decorations.
8) GSR David not present, no report
9) Web Master, Dean reports there are two website concerns. When we get ready to hand out printed phone lists Dean has been removing bad phone numbers form the list. He does not want to add the phone lists on the website because that leaves everyone open to spam risks. Of course, he wants the phone lists available but if published on the web it also threatens anonymity. He suggests we could create a “store” for chips, Big Books,
phone list then mail them out. It would be a Service opportunity. Dean doesn’t worry about meeting attendance but there has been some challenge finding meeting chairs. We could call anniversary celebrants and ask them to chair meetings. Have people gotten
numb to text messages?
a. Tom-Have we sent new addresses to all those people on the phone lists? Dean states not yet, he wants to be careful. It has been sent in the past and can do it again if desired. It is $5 per text blast, essentially 1 cent per message. Tom says many people would like to know the new meeting and didn’t have the new address; we’ve gone form 105 participants to 42. Carole agreed whole heartedly because she’s had trouble getting onto in herself. Dean says we could do a survey on our site or send out a text message asking if people are
having problems getting onto the site, or just announce sending out the site information.
MOTION made by Carole: Dean should send text with web address to membership once a week and change it weekly to cover different operating systems. Judy V seconds the motion.
Wes Some people are challenged by Google Chrome browsers and its auto complete function that creates an unsafe site message. Polly doesn’t type anything into her browser, just puts AA in the browser and it completes it for her. Dean says it’s because various security level settings on different people’s devices. Tom asked if Wes has downloaded Zoom. He opened up messenger and uses it for the meeting link and it opens in Zoom. Dean offered to make a video with five different ways to get to our meeting. Wes adds that some folks use Android, others use laptops or iPhone. Wes is not sure the access challenge has caused less participation. We could add direction from Android and Chrome browsers. Dean
states there are easily 200 different set ups so there’s not one easy answer. Dean states everybody has a different set up and agreed to create videos for most major set ups and send messages out weekly and change the message each week for different operating systems.
VOTE: In favor=all, no=none, abstain=none
Wes tells us that Mary presented the idea of a adding a New Comer’s meeting perhaps on Saturday or Sunday at 7 PM. They could be called a Big Book meeting or Beginner’s meeting
especially for those who have joined since Zoom meetings. We would need chair people and moderators. Dean states we have already found volunteers to moderate Saturday and Sunday
nights. Polly says we should leave it as Beginners since we have Big Book and Step meetings.
Do we have a procedure for Beginner’s meetings where someone chairs for a certain amount of time? Mary adds that Living Sober is the best literature for New Comers. Libbi asked if we don’t
already have a Beginners meeting? Wes answered that yes, down the hall in the smaller meeting room rooms we had those meetings but they have been lost since Zoom and now only have one
meeting at noon. Wes states we did have an issue in the Men’s meeting with someone monopolizing the chair persons sports but that has not happened since we moved to Zoom. Mary asked if we could use Monday’s at 7 PM for New Comers and not call them Beginners according to the world Service Office. She offered that Polly could lead the first month with Living Sober.
Tom states it’s important to have leadership and maybe week nights might be better. Libbi said Saturday or Sunday would be great and offered to help. Dallas is reluctant to change the format
of an existing meeting without the input of its regular attendees being involved in the discussion.
Maybe we stick to Saturday and Sunday. He wondered if will we ask chairs to have at least two years of sobriety? Would only New Comers be allowed or can old timers attend too? Judy states
we need to allow people that have some time to attend so they can offer more information. Libbi says at Lambda they have the first 30 minutes where only New Comers can share, then anyone
can share. Dallas asks if we define New Comers as someone with under 1 year? Libbi and Polly answered yes. Wes says Bridge to Shore also allows New Comers to share in the beginning, or
we could allow people to ask questions and have the questions answered in the meeting. Polly says sponsors don’t always have all the issues or answers. Wes said Mary’s document form the
General Service Office is great and we could use it as part of our structure. Dean added we can also have moderators post pages on the screen and he’ll check to see if Living Sober has the
function that allows it to be screen shared. Dean also wonders if we should separate Beginners and Big Book meetings, maybe one on Saturday and one on Sunday? He says he and Sandra are
willing to moderate weekend meetings. Stewart questioned if this was an overreach for Steering Committee, and perhaps is more of a Group Conscience discussion. Dallas said we could do it
on a trial basis then take it to Group Conscience. Stewart suggests that could be problematic because it could set the precedent that small groups can make decisions for the entire group. We
wouldn’t have to wait a month, we could call an emergency group conscience. Wes said w e could post a 10 day notice them have an emergency Group Conscience meeting. Dallas said we
can just wait till the Group Conscience already scheduled in August.
MOTION: Made by Dallas to carry the brilliant idea of adding these two new meetings to the August 19 th Group Conscience meeting already scheduled, seconded by
VOTE: In favor=all, opposed=none, abstained=none
Polly says we should make sure those who had been running our New Comers meetings shouldknow we’re adding these meetings. Dean says we could send this out in our texts.
Libbi asked about the “store” idea. How do people get Chips and Big Books now? Stewart answered that Intergroup is still open Monday-Friday, but with limited hours.
Dean says we can call people on the phone lists to drum up chair people. Judy has been talking to friends. Polly has been chatting with people during the meeting to encourage them to chair a
meeting. Mary states some groups have a service position to find chair people. Carole suggests we add Intergroup days and hours for Books and Chips to the group texts. Wes suggests we table
the “store” idea for now and add Intergroup information to the texts. For security reasons we want to be careful about publishing phone lists. Tom wonders if we should encourage people to
post their phone numbers at the beginning of meetings to give people more time to copy those numbers down? Dean said he can change that in the script.
Wes closes the meeting at 2:25 with the Lord’s Prayer.