March 4, 1999
Dear AA Friend,
Enclosed is a newspaper article for your information. It clearly shows that taxpayer funds were set aside in May of 1988 to subsidize our AA International Convention. It was a 'new' policy for the city of San Diego.
The General Service Board's "policy statement" that was sent from the Trustees' Committee on Finance to be put on this year's Conference Finance Committee agenda actually had nothing to do with the above negotiation. The Board's "policy statement" was drafted in 1989. It was in response to a group of alcoholics, traveling to an International AA convention, who had inquired of the Board whether or not the group could take advantage of an offered group fare rate on an airline. This was approximately 9 months 'after' the negotiations in San Diego.
The current Board is retroactively "borrowing" the statement as a justification for accepting outside monies for AA's International Conventions.
Several Areas have requested that we put on the Conference agenda a discussion about returning the money to San Diego and not accepting the $100,000 from the city of Minneapolis in the year 2000. It appears that the Trustees' Finance Committee has again linked their "policy statement" to this request.
This issue has been of grave concern to many members of AA around the country. Many of us believe that we now have a re-interpretation of the Seventh Tradition. As you well know, for that to happen, we would need a 3/4 vote from all of the groups know to the General Service Office.
Since the last Conference, another chilling comparison has come to light-the International Olympic Committee's bidding practices. Does our Board really want to continue with the present "policy statement" that:
"Whenever a discount or subsidy is that which would be offered to any other organization of similar size requiring a purchased service or product of similar character and magnitude i.e., convention rates at hotels, it may be accepted. Whenever a discount or subsidy is partly or in total offered because we are Alcoholics Anonymous, it must be declined."
This statement implies, for example, that if its okay for the Olympic Committee or any other organization (Kiwanis, Rotary, Moose etc.), it's okay for US. IT IS DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND HOW WE ARE (OR EVER COULD BE) LIKE ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION-WE, AS A FELLOWSHIP, PRACTICE THE SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE OF CORPORATE POVERTY AND REFUSE OUTSIDE CONTRIBUTIONS.
Wishing you well as you do God's work,
In Love and Service,
Joyce K. DCM
District 9, Area 15