The 2016 Region 6 Spring Assembly was held the weekend of April 16th in Albany, NY. We had 52 reps and 6 board members present at the event hosted by the most active OA region in the world!
If you—yes you—don’t already do service beyond the group level, we want to make sure you know that service is for everyone! Not only that: it’s vital to your personal recovery. To that end, we decided to put this quick report together to fill you in on all the great work we did in Albany.
Our Shrinking Fellowship, and Our Plans to Reverse the Trend
Year after year, OA worldwide and in our region continues to decline. The Intergroup Outreach Committee (IGOR) has some ideas about how to strengthen OA in our communities:
Intergroup Officer Training Workshops: This item was the hot ticket at this Assembly’s agenda, and it was quite the coup!
The IGOR committee made an emergency motion to amend the 2016-2017 budget to add $15,000 in order to hold three Intergroup Renewal Officer Training Workshops in 2017. The purpose of the workshops is to make all the Intergroups in our region viable, strong, vibrant, powerful bodies to attract more members, support current groups, and improve personal recovery thus improving the overall health of OA.
The same committee also moved to adjust the 2016 budget by $4,800 to allow for one similar training event in the NY area this year to begin the process for respondents who have been requesting/waiting for the officer training workshop since the initial proposal was sent last October.
Both motions were hotly contested with members fulfilling the maximum amount of questions, pro arguments, and con arguments that are allowed by the assembly format. Some, who were concerned about the budget—$15k – were of the opinion that this is a lot of money to spend in a non-convention year (conventions are known to be a good money-maker for the region). This expense could require us to dip into our prudent reserve, although one member stated that there have been sufficient funds leftover in the budget in the prior two fiscal years to cover the cost. Others supported the amendment strongly, as it’s believed the workshops will be worth their cost to strengthen Intergroups region-wide, and to carry the message. Several impassioned members spoke about the need for these officer training sessions in the face of our shrinking fellowship, as they referenced the success of similar workshops that have already taken place.
Ultimately, both motions passed. The IGOR committee will be able to hold its officer training workshops in 2016-2017.
The workshops will be held on a Friday evening and all day Saturday with the Region 6 money allocated for hotel costs; individuals or Intergroups will be responsible for travel and meal costs.
Each officer training workshop can accommodate up to 50 Intergroup Officers (or members who will become officers shortly), and it should be centrally located to be accessible by car from several states.
Region 6 is willing to adjust the budget with the understanding that our reps will now have to work hard to promote these events, ensure they’re well-attended by Intergroup Officers or those who will soon be Officers, and put the new knowledge base to good use.
Building a database: Our IGOR committee chair reached out to all of the Intergroups in Region 6 in an attempt to build a database of Intergroup contacts. Of 38 emails sent, there were only 13 responses.
If you’re reading this, and you’re one of the 25 Intergroups that didn’t respond, consider getting in touch with our Region 6 Coordinator, Mary, at email@example.com to assist with this service.
Replacing the Young Persons Committee with the “Unity with Diversity” Committee
The bylaws committee moved to close the Young Person’s committee (it was unchaired and untended for some time). In its place, the committee has proposed that we create a “Unity with Diversity” Committee, a committee that already exists in OA at the World Service level. The purpose of the new committee will focus on outreach that incorporates the melting pot of our region, to better reach people across the racial, gender, sexual orientation, education, income, language and age spectrums. The motion to close the Young People’s committee carried. At the fall assembly, a motion will be put on the floor to create the new committee. If diversity and inclusion is an area of interest, consider attending Region 6’s Fall Assembly to throw your hat in the ring for participation.
Getting Podcasts on the Website! What took us so long?
A member moved to add all convention/speaker event recordings to the Region 6 website to be available for download through iTunes, and available for free across the world. As speaker event recordings are generally sold as a fundraising initiative, these will be made available a year later – generally after the following convention. The motion carried! The Web and Publications committee will work to get these live as soon as we can.
Revamping the Region 6 Website: Cleaner Layout, Stronger Content, and French Language Translations
The Web and Publications committee has three goals for the upcoming season:
We’re excited about our upcoming Website redesign, scheduled for July. Our goal is to make the site easier to navigate, and to make information easier to find. In preparation for the redesign, committee members will go over existing content to cull and organize what’s there, and to better plan management of future content.
The committee also plans to have the new improved Website properly translated into coherent French (as opposed to machine-translated French) in order to better serve our French speaking groups and Intergroups in Canada. This effort is long overdue, and we’re so pleased we’ll be able to reach more of our OA family once this effort is complete.
Finally, committee members are planning to discuss the mandate of “The Messenger,” Region 6’s Assembly newsletter. We wonder if it’s still serving its purpose, and we’ll continue the conversation about how to create content going forward that’s most useful to our members.
Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Dates for Region 6 Fall and Spring Assemblies, which will all take place in Albany
2016; July 26: Postmark deadline for R6 Scholarships, Public Information Blitz proposals and Motions for Region Assembly
September 24th R6 Fall Assembly
2017: April 8 and September 9th or 16th (pencil it in—we’re still venue shopping)
2018: April 14th and September 29th
2019: April 13th and September 21st