2022 Bylaws Change Proposals Summary

World Service Business Conference 2022 Bylaws change proposals SUMMARY
Proposal 1, from Miami-Dade and Florida Keys Intergroup:
Currently the annual World Service Business Conference (WSBC) must be held in Albuquerque or in such place as the Board of Trustees (BOT) designates. This proposes that future WSBCs should be hybrid, with the BOT in Albuquerque and everyone else attending virtually. The stated purpose of the change is to reduce cost so more service bodies can have delegates participate.
Proposal 2, from one of the virtual intergroups:
Currently members of the BOT can serve no more than eight consecutive years. This proposes that in the future, members of the BOT can serve no more than eight consecutive years and no more than twelve years total. The stated purpose of the change is to encourage rotation of service and benefit from more new voices and new points of view on the BOT.
Proposal 3, from Oregon Intergroup:
Currently the WSBC is held in person unless there are extreme circumstances, as there were in 2021, when WSBC was virtual. This proposes that WSBC be held in person in even-numbered years and virtually in odd-numbered years. In the event of an emergency, the BOT could call the conference to be virtual in an even-numbered year. The purpose is to increase participation in WSBC.
Proposal 4, from a BOT member:
This proposal calls for interpreters to be allowed to address WSBC so that non-English speakers can have a voice at the conference.
Proposal 5, from a BOT member:
This proposal, if adopted, would require that whenever possible, at least two members of the BOT should come from outside North America. This is part of a group of bylaws related to a reorganization of OA’s service structure that has been delayed by quarantine.
Proposal 6, from a BOT member:
This proposal also relates to the service structure reorganization. It specifies that we will gradually reduce the number of trustees from 17 to 12; that trustees will have had experience at the region level, as determined by each region; that trustees will not have to reside in the regions they represent, but will be assigned to the various regions as liaisons.
Proposal 7, from a BOT member:
This proposal also relates to the service structure reorganization. It removes language related to trustees that live in and represent their regions, allowing for the future planned change to trustees who need not live in the regions for which they are liaisons.
Proposal 8, from a BOT member:
In 2021, WSBC took out language that distinguished between national and language service boards on the one hand and special focus service boards and intergroups on the other hand. This proposal cleans up the language so that all types of service boards are treated equally.
Proposal 9, from a BOT member:
This proposal is similar to Proposal 8, just for a different section of the bylaws.
Proposal 10, from a BOT member:
This proposal specified that English will be the language of record for all official OA documents. The proposal states that while participation is welcome from speakers of all languages, prudence dictates that there should be one language of record.
Proposal 11, from two virtual intergroups:
This proposes that all future WSBCs will have a way to include hybrid participants. The purpose is to be more inclusive of a worldwide and virtual fellowship, to include people who cannot or prefer not to travel due to disabilities, to make participation safe for LGBTQ+ people who may not feel safe traveling in the US, to lessen the environmental impact caused by travel, and to better represent the existing virtual component of the OA fellowship.
Proposal 12, from Region 8:
The proposal rewords the membership of Region 8. Currently the bylaws say that the Virgin Islands are part of Region 8, along with several US states, Central America and South America. The amendment would state that membership includes the US Virgin Islands and the Caribbean islands, along with the same US states as before, Central America and South America. The stated purpose is to better reflect the actual components of Region 8.
Proposal 13, from a BOT member:
This proposes a wording change similar to proposals 8 and 9, for a different section of the bylaws.
Proposal 14, from two BOT members:
This proposes that unaffiliated OA groups may affiliate with the nearest language or national service board that produces translated OA literature in their language. The proposal mentions that “close to 1,000 groups, more than one in seven groups in the Fellowship, are unaffiliated and therefore isolated, often without access to translated literature and support in the group’s language.” The stated purpose of the proposal is to encourage groups to affiliate with a nearby service body that uses their language, so the groups can learn from and participate in OA as a whole.
Proposal 15, from six BOT members:
This proposes a change of the date by which bylaws amendment proposals must be submitted to WSO and the date by which the proposed amendments are sent to WSBC delegates. The dates for WSBC have been moved earlier in the year, from May to mid-April, so these proposals must be transmitted earlier than in previous years. This specifies that proposed bylaws amendments be submitted ten days earlier than before, and that they be transmitted to delegates five days earlier than before.
2022 WSBC New Business Motion Proposals—SUMMARY  
Proposal A, from Saint Louis Bi-State Intergroup, Region Four, Cyndy L. and Dianne S.
The motion is that the OA Responsibility Pledge be included in/on all published OA literature, social media, newsletters, and bulletins maintained by the World Service Office.  
The intent is to position OA’s Responsibility Pledge prominently and frequently in front of all OA members on a regular basis.  Tradition Five focuses on group purpose, but individual responsibility is equally important in carrying the message.
Proposal B, submitted by the WSBC Bylaws Committee, Cyndy L chair
The motion is that the WSBC conference committee membership should include an equal percentage of the year’s registered delegates at WSBC (with exception listed in 1991a 6) and that each committee will include delegates from across the regions, whenever possible.  Also, that the Conference delegate cochair will preside over the meetings throughout the following year.  There is also one grammatical correction proposed in the same policy. 
The intent is to update the practice to meet current or future situations and that dividing the number of delegates equally among the committees will allow for a best use of the available resources. 
Proposal C, submitted by OA Virtual IG UK Europe & Beyond of OA (OAUKEB), Virtual Region Sharlotte G.
The motion is that the OA Board of Trustees permit registered OA groups to Screen Share and Voice Share OA-copyrighted material during OA meetings without being able to make any changes to the material. Screen Shared and Voice Shared OA-copyrighted material would be accompanied by a notice that OA-copyrighted material may not be copied, reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, used to create derivative works, or in any other way exploited without the prior written permission from Overeaters Anonymous, Inc.
The intent is to assist registered OA groups in carrying the message through OA literature; to provide clarity to groups and service bodies as to the correct way to share OA literature in meetings without harming OA’s copyright; to provide a way of using OA literature in meetings, while adhering to OA Traditions, Concepts, and Spiritual Principles and while at the same time not infringing on copyright laws; to support the recovery of each individual member of OA; and to protect and not to expose OA literature to exploitation in any way.
The WSBC Motions Review Committee notes that the World Service Office is continuing to look into this and plans to have more information available at WSBC 2022.
Proposal D, submitted by San Francisco IG, Region Two, Aishlin O.
The motion is that the OA Board of Trustees refund the $134,800 initially received from the Paycheck Protection Program and subsequently forgiven. 
The funds are perceived by the maker as a tax-free gift from a non-OA source in violation of Tradition 7 and Concept 12.
Proposal E, submitted by Israel NSB, Region Nine, Esti O.
The motion is to establish July as OA Service month.
The intent is to raise awareness of the importance of service as a Tool.
Proposal F, submitted by East Bay Unity IG, Region Two, April H.
The motion is to create a policy that OA allow for the issuance of annual licenses for a fee to OA-registered groups and service bodies to permit screen-sharing of selected Conference-approved literature, including The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition; Overeaters Anonymous, Third Edition; For Today; Voices of Recovery; Abstinence, Second Edition; and any other titles OA so chooses. Pricing of these annual licenses not to exceed three times the price of a single, physical copy of the literature.
The intent is to allow newcomers, visitors, and members, who cannot afford or have not had the opportunity to purchase literature, to fully participate in online literature meetings while observing OA’s copyrights.
The WSBC Motions Review Committee notes that the World Service Office is continuing to look into this and plans to have more information available at WSBC 2022.
Proposal G, submitted by East Bay Unity IG, Region Two, April H.
The motion is to create a policy that allows members to download and print one copy, free of charge, of PDF copies of Conference-approved newcomer-oriented pamphlets including Where Do I Start?; To the Newcomer; Welcome Back; To the Family of the Compulsive Eater; A Common Solution: Diversity and Recovery; Black Members Share their Experience, Strength, and Hope; To the Young Person; and To the Man Who Wants to Stop Compulsive Overeating.
The intent is to help carry the message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers.
The WSBC Motions Review Committee notes that they are unaware of any method of limiting downloads or the number of copies printed.

Proposal H, submitted by OA Great Britain NSB, Region Nine, Teresa M.
The motion is that the Board of Trustees instigate a review of the role, scope, membership, distribution, function, and structure of the regions of OA worldwide.
The intent is to consider the tasks, scope, distribution, membership, form, roles, and functions across the separate regions, so that the complexity and “member reach” of each region is compatible and equitable, and to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of the regions in OA.
The WSBC Motions Review Committee notes that an ad hoc committee was established at the November 2021 meeting of the Board of Trustees to look at realignment and reapportionment of regions.
Proposal I, submitted By Nassau County IG, Region Six, Debbie H.
The motion is that OA establish a member literature fund to provide literature to members who may not otherwise have access to it.
The intent is to carry the message to all who need it; to provide equal access to the most essential literature in our recovery; to expand the access to OA literature; and to carry forward the Seventh Tradition in supporting the Fellowship from within.
The WSBC Motions Review Committee notes that this is unfeasible at the world service level and is more appropriate at service body levels.


Thoughts About Being Good Tenants

We don’t always think of our meetings as tenants, but we are, in a way, tenants of the churches and hospitals and other buildings that host our meetings. I was taught early on that it is important for our groups to be good tenants of the buildings we use. If we are good tenants, we will continue to be welcomed and treated well. If we are not good tenants, we will rightly be tolerated at best or kicked out at worst.

I was thinking of this recently when reading the new annual contract from Skipwith United Methodist Church for one of our meetings there. For about a year now we have been required to lock the outside door fifteen minutes after the meeting begins. It’s not always easy to remember to do, and we don’t have to do it on Tuesdays, because there’s a big AA meeting that day and the door stays open for that. But it is important to the church, so it needs to be important to us. They have a building to care for and liabilities to be concerned with, and it is their call. We need to follow the rules of our landlord.

Similarly, it was a year or two ago that the pastor of the same church spoke to a couple of OA members, asking them to have the meetings consider raising their rent. Costs for heat, air conditioning, light, insurance, custodial services and supplies, and maintenance continue to rise; we have to be conscious of this. We were asked to leave Brookland United Methodist Church when they found that utilities costs were just too much for them to handle, given our needs for heat and air conditioning during the middle of weekdays–not times they would normally heat or cool the church.

I’m a little concerned, too, that we sometimes treat our meeting places like clubhouses–for instance, meeting with sponsees for an hour before or after a meeting. That meeting time and space is not really ours; in general we have the room for an hour, with a few minutes before and after for setup and cleanup. If we need extra time in the meeting place, I think we should reserve it and pay for it.

If the building has a going rate for space, we should be paying that. Many of our hosts don’t really have a going rate, and they just ask us to donate what we can. But we should really give some thought to what our meetings can donate, and consider raising the payments if we haven’t done that for a long time. Your group might consider discussing this at the next group business meeting.

Susie H., Intergroup chair

Meeting Visit and Service Opportunities

I had the pleasure this morning of driving to Charlottesville for the Saturday 10 am meeting. It was a gorgeous day for a drive, so I passed a pleasant hour on the way. Nine people were at the meeting, including two folks I know from our online Intergroup meetings; the sponsee of one of those folks, who’d driven down from Maryland do do her fifth step; a nursing student, there to observe; and a woman attending her second OA meeting, though she described having had long experience in another 12 Step program in New York City.

It was a lovely meeting–we opened with a long version of the Set Aside Prayer, read two pages in Step 7 from the OA 12 & 12, and had some great sharing, closing with the “we” version of the Serenity Prayer. And then had a nice chat after the meeting!

During announcements I told them a little about what Central Virginia Intergroup provides, thanks to the donations we receive from groups–a website, a newsletter, a weekly email update for those who want it. We do some public information work, we present 12th Step Within workshops, and we throw a great retreat–this year at Massanetta Springs, near Harrisonburg, September 27-29. Group donations have made it possible for us to offer low rates this year, as well as partial scholarships to members of our intergroup (contact the retreat chair–her name and number are on the retreat registration form, which you can get on richmondoa.org). And we pay for our region representative to attend two region assemblies a year, as well as the World Service Business Conference in New Mexico.

We’re looking for service help, too–we need a Fun & Fellowship chair to plan some social events for us, and we’ll be needing a new region representative this fall, when our current rep, Catherine W., rotates out of service. In fact, while we’re thinking ahead, several officer and committee chair positions will be open in August/September, so start thinking about those service opportunities now!

And you can certainly make sure that your group is represented at our monthly Intergroup meetings–online using Zoom on the first Sunday of the month. If that sounds too technical, we can help you to use Zoom or your phone to attend the meetings–it’s pretty simple!

Susie H., Intergroup chair

Central Virginia Intergroup Opportunity

Central Virginia Intergroup is the organization that meetings in our area support with our meeting contributions. Our intergroup has several officers and committee chairs who give service by organizing things our intergroup provides–a website, a phone line, an annual retreat, frequent special events focusing on different aspects of OA recovery, and a monthly newsletter. We also send a delegate to our regional organization (OA Region 7) and OA’s World Service Business Conference. We have a Public Information committee that gets information about OA out to people who don’t know about us, a secretary who takes and circulates the minutes of our monthly intergroup meetings, and a treasurer who manages the money taken in from the OA meetings in the Richmond/Charlottesville/Fredericksburg area and distributes it to cover our expenses (web hosting, phone line, retreat center, travel expenses for our delegate, etc.) We have a committee devoted to Fun & Fellowship that’s supposed to organize social events for our members. If you have an interest in serving in any of these areas, please let the Intergroup Chair, Catherine W., know. We can use multiple people on many committees. So, if you feel inclined to service, inquire.

Each meeting is supposed to have a representative who attends our monthly online intergroup meeting. Does your meeting have a representative? It takes only about an hour a month, and we always send out instructions about how to dial in to the monthly meeting, or to join it online via the Zoom app. If you need some help with the technology, we can provide you with that! Representatives bring the concerns of their meetings to Intergroup and take information back to their groups. It’s a wonderful service to give. Has your sponsor been prodding you to make a service commitment?

Catherine W. Central Virginia Intergroup Chair