LifeRing Bylaw Committee Seeks Your Help

A message from Jeff K., chairman of the newly formed LifeRing Bylaws Committee:

A group of us have begun to form and staff a Lifering committee that will
probably do a number of things, but will first be tasked with coming up with a
formal proposal to implement absentee voting at the next LifeRing Congress. This
was initiated at the 2012 Congress, the details are HERE

The goal of this effort is to give people a more direct say in how
Lifering evolves in the future, without placing unnecessary burdens on people
who are not local to the location of the annual Congress.

Currently, the Congress is the supreme deliberative and legislative body within
Lifering, and matters that go before Congress are voted upon at Congress by
locally elected representatives of the various meetings spread throughout the
organization, elected board members, officers, and regional representatives –
all of whom must be present at Congress in order to cast a vote. These matters
include bylaws changes, board position elections, directives to the board, and
other issues that require a Congress vote.

The committee will explore how to modify this arrangement in the future, in a
way that allows and encourages broader participation by people who are not
required to be physically present at Congress. The details are actually
complicated, and digging into the question of how – exactly – to do this raises
even more questions that must be answered at the same time, but we thought that
one of the first things to do might be to cast a very broad net throughout the
organization and ask for feedback on a few key questions.

1) Do you feel that you and the people who share their recovery world with you
in meetings, email lists, forums, ning, chat, and other venues have an adequate
say in the direction of the organization?

2) How would you like to see the absentee ballot proposal unfold, addressing
questions like:

– Who should be eligible to vote? Should this continue to include just elected
representatives of meetings (plus others specified in 5.6 of the bylaws), or
should that be changed? Should we include convenors explicity? Paying
contributors? Everyone who wants to vote?
– What kinds of matters should be put before the whole organization?
Everything that currently goes before Congress, or just some things?
– How should future proposals be put out for organization-wide votes, and what
role should the annual Congress continue to play? Should ratification by
Congress be necessary before matters are brought before the whole organization?

3) However the proposal unfolds, what would you like to get out of it for
yourself and the people who share recovery space with you?

4) However the proposal unfolds, what do you *not* want to see come out of it?
What worries you?

We will be unable to make everyone happy, but we’d like to try and see what we
can come up with together that makes the most people happy and the fewest people

You comments are welcome, please do send them by email to the committee chair –
JeffK – at All input will be reviewed by the
committee and we will do our best to craft something good that helps move
everyone forward.

Jeff, for Jeff, Joe, Byron, Becca, Scott, Andy, Mona, …..