Joy Of Living Happy Hour

Minutes May 3, 2024 Business Meeting


Officers: Dan A.-Chair, John D. - Service Chair, Jo -Treasurer, Herb-GSR & Website Chair, Ann Z.- Secretary

Others: Dave B., Wendy, Diego, Sally R., John R., Daniel, Denise, Julia, Lisa, Justine, Judy, Jess, Bud

Dan A. opened the meeting with the Serenity Prayer

Treasurer’s Report: Jo reported that the current balance for the Happy Hour

Meeting is $418.71 (not counting the reserve of $400). $813.71was deposited into the

GSB account. Jo noted that all checks sent out have been cleared. Income was reported for Big Books ($24) and 7th tradition contributions ($185). One expense was reported for Zoom ($34.01). Herb made a motion to accept this report, John D. seconded and the report was unanimously accepted.

Old Business: none

New Business:

Motion to add Safety Language to The Joy of Living opening script:

Discussion on a suggested motion made by a special session of the women’s breakout group to amend the Chairperson’s Opening Script was withdrawn/postponed from the 4/5/24 meeting to this meeting. There is a recommendation by this group to include a statement about “women’s safety being an issue in AA.”

Per a suggestion from the earlier April meeting, John D. edited related language that is currently in the Joy of Living live morning meeting script. A motion has been proposed to include the following language presented by John D.:

“An A.A. meeting is no different than the world in which we live. Problems found there can be present in A.A. If you think your safety is in jeopardy (for ex., bullying, threats of violence, stalking, or sexual harassment), notify the hosts and discuss it with your sponsor or support group after the meeting. These behaviors are unacceptable and need to be addressed by the group. Additionally, the suggested safety protocols are outlined in the Safety and A.A. pamphlet and are posted on our website.”

John D. noted that the script was crafted to add the language to related announcements already in place: “Recordings of our meeting of any kind, such as video, still images or audio is expressly forbidden. The private chat feature of Zoom has been disabled for security reasons. You may, however, chat the host, or a co-host if you have questions related to your recovery.”

Dan A. asked if anyone had anything to add to this language and made a motion to add the proposed language if there were no additions. WendyLou commented that the rewritten language was terrific but advocated that “predatory behavior” needed to be added to the list of safety threats in the above language. She requested that the motion be changed to add “predatory behavior.” Dan A made a motion to change the new script per WendyLou’s request.

Jess asked “why change the existing language and where the new language would be in the script.” WendyLou made a motion to add the new language and Lisa seconded it.

Jo referenced the existing Pamphlet on Safety. She mentioned that if A.A. members’ safety was violated in any of the ways described in the new language, it should be reported to the police-no one in our group has the type of experience to handle such violations. Moreover, this focus goes away from the A.A. principles as originally written.

Jess added that those words are frightening especially for newcomers and would leave the suggestion that A.A. is not a safe place, that there is gender bias. She reiterated that bad things happen everywhere. “This language leaves an unsettling feeling-taking away from the primary purpose of A.A.”

Denise said she “agreed 1000% with Jo-that A.A. members, in general, are not trained to handle harassment. These are legal/criminal issues and it is not up to the host or chair to handle them. The A.A. scripts should not suggest that A.A. is an unsafe place.” She expressed her view that such language should be in the Safety Brochure/Pamphlet.

Julia agreed with those opposing the addition of new safety language to the opening script. She specifically highlighted that the primary purpose of A.A. is to help members achieve sobriety. It is hard enough to get newcomers to stay when A.A. is represented as a safe place. Suggesting that there are dangers in A.A. would make it easier for newcomers to decide to leave. Julia advised to keep the language simple-avoid complex and negative language. We are supposed to be welcoming and stay sober, she said.

Diego also expressed agreement with Jess, Jo, Denise and Julia.

John R. reminded the group that there is already a statement in the script indicating that if you have a concern, you should notify the host-this should be reassurance the A.A. is a safe place.

John D referred to the origin of the new language and asked how the poll results from the women’s breakout room led to introducing this motion. Judy said she was not aware of a poll taking place in the breakout room.

Dan A. raised his concern as to “why” the need for adding this new language has never been answered. He said he has raised inquiries but gotten no answers—he felt that here was no causal connection for this change.

A motion was made to vote on accepting the proposed language. Lisa seconded the motion. Absent any further discussion, there were nine votes no, three yeses and one abstaining. The motion did not pass.

B. Proposed motion to define Joy of Living Zoom Group Governance: Dan A. raised the second item of new business. John D. clarified that the proper name of the Business Meeting Group is the Steering Committee. Herb stated that most A.A. Groups have Guidelines or Bylaws. The following motion was drafted by Herb at the request of several group members:

The governance of the Happy Hour group lands ultimately with the group conscience.

To get to that point, the Happy Hour Group has an Executive Board made up of the group officers, and monthly business meetings.

The Happy Hour Executive Board serves the group by facilitating open, safe, respectful, and democratic discussions and decision-making at full group business meetings. To aid in this process, they meet a week or more before the business meeting to review any motions put before them for consideration at the business meeting (these may not be all the motions the full group will see) to:

1. Ensure they are well-crafted, and

2. Ensure they do not violate any of our 12 Traditions

The Happy Hour’s Executive Board’s job is NOT to debate or discuss “content” of a motion, only to review motions for Group Conscience for the two (2) things above.

In the event a member wishes to make a new motion during a business meeting, the motion will be heard, and if seconded, discussed, and voted on. Any motion, new or otherwise, may be tabled until the next business meeting by a motion, a second, discussion, and finally a vote of those attending.

Our Executive Board does NOT govern – it SERVES!

The officers making up the Executive Board are:

1.Chairperson: The Happy Hour Chairperson chairs the Executive Board meetings and the group business meetings, making motions, voting and sharing as a member of the group without any special standing. The Happy Hour Group uses an abbreviated version of Roberts Rules of Order found elsewhere on this website.

By keeping Tradition One firmly in mind and encouraging members to become familiar with all the Traditions, the Chairperson will help to ensure a healthy A.A. group.

2. Secretary: The Secretary takes minutes at Executive Board meetings and sends a copy of the resultant agenda to the Webmaster at least a week before the Business Meeting to be posted on the website. The Secretary also takes the minutes at the group business meeting and sends them to the Webmaster to be posted on the group website.

3. Treasurer: The Happy Hour Treasurer maintains the group bank account, accepts donations in the form of checks, PayPal and Venmo, and presents a simple accounting of income, expenses and balances at the monthly meetings. After the meeting, this report is sent to the Webmaster to be posted with the business meeting minutes.

4. General Service Representative (G.S.R.): Working via the district and area committees, the G.S.R. is the group’s link with the General Service Conference, through which U.S. and Canadian groups share their experience and voice A.A.’s collective conscience. Sometimes called “the guardians of the Traditions,” G.S.R.s become familiar with A.A.’s Third Legacy — our spiritual responsibility to give service freely. Usually elected to serve two-year terms, they:

• Represent the group at district meetings and area assemblies.

• Keep group members informed about general service activities in their local areas.

• Receive and share with their groups all mail from the General Service Office, including

the newsletter Box 4-5-9, which is G.S.O.’s primary tool for communicating with the


G.S.R.s also may assist their groups in solving a variety of problems, especially those related to the Traditions.

5. Coins and Literature Representative: The group’s Coins and Literature Representative makes certain that anniversary coins are available to be sent to people with anniversaries and that Big Books are available sent to newcomers. The Coins and Books representative may also be asked by the group to purchase other books and pamphlets to be mailed to members who need them.

6. Service Chairs: The Service Chairs manage the elections of all Service Positions, including Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, GSR, Coins and Books Representative, Service Chair, Webmaster, Hosts and Meeting Chairs, and arranges substitutes when necessary. The Service Chairs also train the hosts.

7. The Webmaster: The webmaster maintains the group’s website.

Herb put forth a motion to adopt this wording as guidelines for the Joy of Living Group. Denise asked that it be posted on the Website. Herb said the Governance Language would be posted on the Website for a week to give people a week to review it. John D. seconded Herbs motion

for a vote. There were 12 yeses, one abstained, and no nos. The new Governance language was approved.

Secretary’s Report: Dan A. reported that the minutes for the 4/5/2024 Business Meeting had been posted on the group’s Website and ask for any comments. None were made and Dan made a motion to accept the minutes. Herb seconded and the report was unanimously approved.

Service Chair Report: John D. reported that Liz had resigned as Service Co-Chair but that all is running smoothly. Dan motioned to approve John’s report, it was seconded by Jess, and passed unanimously.

Coins and Books Report: Dan A. shared Pam D.’s report that 3 coins with cards had been sent out. No books were requested in April. The report was unanimously approved.

Web Chair Report: Herb reported that the Website was receiving a good volume of visitors every day, which carries a message that the information posted is useful and important to users. He requested that Group members visit the site to identify areas for improvement and make suggestions.

Adjournment: Dan asked if there was any other business to bring up. None was mentioned and the meeting was unanimously called to adjournment.