Delegates’ Briefing:

2022 LifeRing Annual Congress Delegates’ Assembly

 

Introduction

LifeRing is governed by the people for the people. The Delegates' Assembly is your opportunity to ensure LifeRing continues to provides a positive, supportive recovery community. Thank you all for volunteering your valuable time and your invaluable insight.

The LifeRing Secular Recovery Congress proper meets on Sunday morning, June 5th, 2022 at 9:00am Pacific Time. This is a virtual meeting and will be hosted through video conferencing.  If you have any questions about this briefing, please contact The Registrar.

 

Contents:

 

The LifeRing Congress proper meets on Sunday morning, June 5th, 2022 at 9:00am Pacific Time.
This is a virtual meeting and will be hosted through video conferencing.   

 

Useful background reading on the delegate's role: 

Relevant resources:

 


 

What’s the difference between Annual Conference, Annual Meeting, Annual Congress and Delegate’s Assembly?

  • Annual Conference is the umbrella term for the two-day event. The Annual Conference is a virtual event and will be hosted through video conferencing. The Conference is open to convenors, volunteers, meeting members and the LifeRing Community. [See also Rules of Procedures]
  • Annual Meeting is held on Saturday, June 4, 2022, and is the first day of the Annual Conference. At the Annual Meeting, convenors and the LifeRing Community gather to hear speakers, participate in workshops and socialize.
  • Annual Congress is held on Sunday, June 5th 2022, and is the final day of the Annual Conference. The Annual Congress is made up of the Delegates’ Assembly and the LifeRing Secular Recovery Board of Directors meeting. 
  • Delegates’ Assembly is held on Sunday, June 5th 2022, and is the first segment of the Annual Congress. During the Assembly, BOD nominees and proposed Bylaw changes are brought to the Delegates for review and consideration. Delegates also bring forward their meeting reports for the Assembly to review.

 


 

Provisional Agenda for the Delegates’ Assembly — Sunday, June 5th, 2022

9:00am Pacific Time
Board of Directors and Officer Reports

  • Report from the Board of Directors, including Financial Report
  • The complete Annual Report and Financial Report can be found on the LifeRing website. A summary will be presented at the Delegate’s Assembly. 
  • Questions and comments are invited.

9:30am Pacific Time
Board of Director Nominees

  • Any new BOD nominees introduce themselves and outline their goals if elected.
  • Following the Nominee introductions, the floor will be open for Delegates to ask any questions that might support their decision.

10:00am Pacific Time
Introduction and discussion of motions to change current LifeRing Bylaws


10:30am Pacific Time
Delegates' Reports

  • Reports from the Meeting Delegates – Each report must be no longer than three (3) minutes long. 
  • If a Delegate’s report requires more than the allotted time, the Delegate should present a brief summary at the Delegates’ Assembly and provide the full meeting report prior to the Annual Conference or within five (5) days of the Delegates’ Assembly. 
  • These reports should be submitted to the Service Center and will be posted on the LifeRing website. .
  • See the following “Ideas for giving a report on your meeting”
  • See also Meeting Reports from Non-delegates following below.

11:30am Pacific Time
Delegates’ vote to approve the candidates and any proposed bylaws changes to be included on the absentee ballot.


12:00pm Pacific Time
Delegates’ Assembly Adjournment

  • The Board of Directors will hold their June 2022 meeting directly following Delegates’ Assembly Adjournment. Delegates and members of the LifeRing Community are encouraged to attend. 

 


 

Draft Motion(s) for Discussion and Decision

A meeting delegate may submit proposals for Bylaws changes and Board Actions in writing to the BOD by way of the Service Center at least 30 days prior to the Annual Congress and no later than 6:00pm Pacific Time on May 6, 2022. For more information about submitting bylaw changes, please see LifeRing Bylaws: Article 7 – Proposals for Bylaws Amendments and Board Actions.

Executive Director Compensation
The only motion presently on the agenda is a proposed Bylaws amendment to ratify section 11.5 of the Current LifeRing Secular Recovery Bylaws to allow the LifeRing Executive Director to receive compensation for services as a LifeRing Officer. The Executive Director currently serves as an unpaid officer of LifeRing. The LifeRing Secretary and Treasurer shall remain uncompensated for their services as LifeRing officers.

Current 11.5:Officers shall serve in their roles as such without compensation. For the avoidance of doubt, this Section 11.5 shall not prohibit a LifeRing employee from receiving compensation for his or her services as an employee, or reimbursement for expenses incurred in connection with such employment services, regardless of whether such LifeRing employee also serves as an officer.

Proposed 11.5: The Secretary and Treasurer shall serve in their roles as such without compensation. For the avoidance of doubt, this Section 11.5 shall not prohibit a LifeRing employee from receiving compensation for his or her services as an employee, or reimbursement for expenses incurred in connection with such employment services, regardless of whether such LifeRing employee also serves as an officer.

Rationale: The Board recommends this bylaws change because it anticipates that it may be beneficial to LifeRing to hire an Executive Director in the future.

The amendment requires a two-thirds majority.

Additional Bylaw ratification resources:

 


 

Elections for the Board of Directors

Candidates for the Board of Directors must be in recovery from a substance addiction, at least 21 years old, and have at least two years continuous sobriety. 

(§ 6.5) Board terms run for three years. (§ 6.2) The Board meets directly after the Delegates' Assembly as it does throughout the remainder of the year. 

Board members may serve successive terms without limitation. This year, the terms of five members of the Board of Directors are expiring. Board members  may be re-elected indefinitely: Casey Cannizzaro, George Gidaro, Paula Gillen, Christopher John Smith, and Lisa Swing-Corney. The Office of the Secretary will become available at the end of the 2022 Assembly.

Nominations for the Board may be made at the time of the Delegates’ Assembly. Details on requirements and restrictions for late nominations can be found here.

Additional election resources:

 


 

Voting

The delegate’s role includes the express power to vote at the Congress, the implied duty to report to the Congress on the meeting’s status, and the implied duty to report back to the meeting after the Congress. 

Delegates are encouraged to ask BOD Nominees questions about their experience and objectives, and of the Bylaw Committee regarding proposed changes to the Current LifeRing Bylaws to make an informed decision on how to vote in the Absentee Election. 

Registered delegates shall be the only persons allowed to vote on the matters before the Annual Congress. Delegates’ vote to approve the Absentee Ballot directly before the adjournment of the Delegates’ Assembly. Delegates will vote which BOD Nominees and proposed bylaws changes to be included on the Absentee Ballot. 

The Absentee Ballot will be posted on the website within ten (10) days of the Delegates’ Assembly. Once posted, Absentee Election voting is opened and continues for fifteen (15) days. Votes will be verified and tallied and certified prior to the results being publicly posted on the LifeRing Secular Recovery Website. 

One member, one vote – A LifeRing participant may attend any number of online and in-person meetings, but can cast only one vote for a delegate. It’s the Delegate’s choice in which meeting they cast their vote. Each Delegate is entitled to cast one and only one vote. Delegates’ cast their votes for new BOD members and ratification of any bylaws during the Absentee Election. For more information, please contact the Registrar

Additional voting resources:

 


 

Rules of Procedure

Normally, the Delegates' Assembly is open to all LifeRing participants and guests, but the Assembly has the power to restrict participation and/or attendance at the gathering. All LifeRing participants are invited to audit the Board of Directors' meeting and to speak during the open comment period, except if the Board is discussing personnel matters, at which time the meeting may be closed.

The Bylaws provide generally that "Robert's Rules of Order shall apply to the procedures of the Congress to the extent they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws or with procedural rules the Congress may adopt." §5.10.  In practice, past Congresses have run on a consensus-building model, and parliamentary maneuvering (point of order, point of personal privilege, etc.). 

 


 

Meeting Reports From Non-Delegates

To ensure the widest possible sharing of information and experience, the Delegates' Assembly also encourages participation by non-delegate reporters. 

For example:

  • The convenor of a meeting in a special setting where no delegate election is possible is automatically a delegate. This convenor can give a report on the meeting as a non-delegate reporter.
  • A convenor convenes two meetings. One of the meetings does not have a delegate present. The convenor reports on one meeting as its delegate, and on the other meeting as a non-delegate reporter.
  • A meeting was formed too recently to qualify to send a delegate. Anyone present who participates in that meeting or has other knowledge about it may present a report on the meeting as a non-delegate reporter.
  • A meeting is represented at the Congress by its delegate, but a non-delegate participant in the meeting wants to present additional information about it, or has a different viewpoint than the delegate. That person may present a report as a non-delegate reporter.
  • Non-delegates are encouraged to provide a copy of their meeting reports prior to the Annual Conference or within five (5) days of the Delegates’ Assembly. Non-delegate reports should be submitted to the Service Center and will be posted on the LifeRing website LifeRing website.

 


 

Ideas for Giving a Report on Your Meeting 

A major agenda item for the Delegate’s Assembly is sharing and hearing meeting reports. There is no required format, but Delegates are encouraged to provide a copy of their meeting reports prior to the Annual Conference or within five (5) days of the Delegates’ Assembly. These reports should be submitted to the Service Center and will be posted on the LifeRing website.

Following are some ideas of topics that might go into a meeting report. These are just suggestions to help you get started. Please only report on what’s relevant to your meeting and of interest to your group.

Ideas for All Meeting Types

  • The day, time, and geographical location (or url) of the meeting.
  • History of the meeting: who was the founding convenor, how long has it been in existence, what other locations did it used to meet at before its current location, if any. How many different members have been convenors of this meeting?
  • Is there a meeting co-host, co-convenor or alternate convenor? 
  • What kind of place or facility or web server hosts the meeting? Is this a good location or are there problems with it? Are there other recovery meetings in the same time slot at the same location?
  • Does the meeting have a special public that it serves? For example, women only, LGBTQIA+, prisoners, co-occurring, etc.
  • About how many people attend the meeting on the average during the past year? Is attendance growing, holding, or shrinking; how many men, how many women, the approximate age spread. 
  • About how many people who attend the meeting are regulars? About how many people tend to show up only once or a few times?
  • What range of sobriety times are represented? How many people have more than six months clean and sober? About how many people have more than one year, more than two years? Do you have a lot of people who need meeting attendance verification? Do you have a lot of people who are court-ordered? Do you have a lot of people who also attend 12-step meetings?
  • About what percentage of the participants in an in-person meeting also participate in LifeRing online? About what percentage of the participants in an online meeting also participate in an in-person LifeRing meeting?
  • What opening statement does the meeting use, if any? Who usually reads it?
  • What is the usual meeting format? Do you use the "How Was Your Week" format? Do you use a topic, and if so, how do you select it? How do you handle crosstalk? Do you ask people to say how long they've been clean and sober? Do you usually applaud them when they state their sober time? What do you do to mark the close of the meeting?
  • Has the meeting experienced any particular problems, issues, challenges, events, or victories? For example, has it been flooded with Salvation Army folks, has there been a problem with disruptive individuals, have counselors or students monitored the meeting, has it had good word of mouth from referral sources, have any of its members distinguished themselves in the world, have people met and got married in the meeting?

Ideas Specific to Online Meetings

  • How many different countries and states of the US are represented?
  • Do meeting attendees spend too much time playing in the chat window?
  • How do you feel about the time taken to provide Verification Links?
  • Do you like Zoom as a meeting tool? 
  • How can we make Zoom meetings better?

Ideas Specific to In-Person Meetings

  • Do you circulate member phone lists and email lists? 
  • About what percentage of the participants in an in-person meeting also participate in LifeRing online? About what percentage of the participants in an online meeting also participate in an in-person LifeRing meeting?
  • Is LifeRing literature normally displayed at the meeting? Does the meeting have a supply of pamphlets and books to give out, lend, and sell? If online, is there a regular reminder or referral to LifeRing literature?
  • How does the meeting treat newcomers?
  • Has the meeting experienced any particular problems, issues, challenges, events, or victories? For example, has it been flooded with Salvation Army folks, has there been a problem with disruptive individuals, have counselors or students monitored the meeting, has it had good word of mouth from referral sources, have any of its members distinguished themselves in the world, have people met and got married in the meeting. 
  • What if anything does the meeting do to get out the word about its existence? Do members speak to audiences, do you post flyers or signs around your meeting place, etc. What kind of relations does the meeting have with referral sources such as treatment professionals, counselors, etc.? Does the meeting have any contacts with the media? Do members table at recovery events? 
  • Does the meeting normally pass the basket? How does the meeting handle the money it collects and what expenditures, if any, has the meeting encountered? Does the meeting contribute to the Service Center?
  • Does the meeting hold any social events such as going out to a restaurant after the meeting, or going to movies or on outings together?
  • Does the meeting maintain contacts with other LifeRing meetings? Does the convenor attend convenor workshops? Do participants in this meeting also attend other LifeRing meetings?

Current Delegates Assembly Meeting Reports

 


 

Thank You!

The Elections Committee and the LifeRing Secular Recovery Board of Directors would like to thank all the delegates, the convenors, and the LifeRing Community for their support and participation in the 2022 LifeRing Annual Congress. LifeRing is made stronger with your voice and your vote.