Linguistic Sharing Session

That CNCA hold a linguistic sharing session for Spanish Speakers at 10 am on the day of the ACM at the Petaluma Community Center. – Presented by CNCA Alternate Delegate Miguel H. on 3/25/2023

Presentation of New Business at the ACM 3/25/23

Presentation: This sharing session has already been happening unofficially. Twenty to 35 people have been coming.


Q: If this is already happening, is this just to formalize it? A: Yes.

Q: Have you considered a different time? A: That is something for the sharing session to decide.

Q: Who will attend? A: Spanish speakers, most likely.

Q: Will there be an interpretation? A: That’s up to the sharing session. // Q: This time conflicts with Archives, can there be a different time? A: That’s up to the sharing session.

Q: What is the content of this meeting and why does it need to be at the Area level? A: Currently, the room costs $38/hr., with a minimum rental of $76. The content would be reported by one member during Sharing Session Reports.

Q: Friendly amendment to remove “at 10 am” from the motion? A: Accepted. // Q: If it’s been going on for 8-9 months, what is the need for it to become official? A: It’s a way to book the room. In the past, the room has been used for other meetings that are now meeting on zoom.

Q: Will this include a report back? A: Yes. // Q: Why did we start eight months ago? A: A need was identified.

Q: Will this create any new service positions? A: Not now.

Outcome: Voted by simple majority to become New Business at the ACM on April 22, 2023.

New Business at the ACM on 4/22/23


Group consciences: None.

Personal opinions: I think it’s helpful to GSRs. It’s a great idea to keep it up.

Q: Is it open to everybody, and will there be English interpretation? A: We don’t know.

Many GSRs participated in the last panel. I think there is a need.

Q: Will this involve any additional expense from the Area, and if so, how much? A: The cost will be $76 per month rent with a two-hour minimum.

I’m the facility contact for the ACM and in favor. This session started when we returned in person. We were saving the conference rooms but not yet having the committees there, and that’s when they started to gather. I’ve seen 50-60 in attendance. It’s important for them to have an hour to speak with each other without needing an interpreter. The fact that it has happened month after month and enriched the area means it’s needed.

I agree with this motion. This is something that allows us to learn. We don’t have English interpretation now, but we could in the future.

It felt good to participate as a visitor. I would like that door to stay open to continue to learn more and will help future GSRs.

In the meeting there are lots of questions due to a lack of information about service, and in the meeting, those questions were answered. There are a lot of new people this panel coming here wanting to learn.

This separates Spanish-speaking from Englishspeaking members. We have a sharing session for DCMs with interpretation already. // My first time attending the ACM, I didn’t know what meeting to go to. This sharing session isn’t just for GSRs, it’s for anyone from the area.

I see the value we have of the DCM sharing session which has interpretation. All are welcome there. If that was more attractive, that may meet the need.

I learned and shared so much of what I learned after attending this sharing session. When I work with the Spanish-speaking community, they don’t have information and are hungry for it. This sharing session gives them the information they are seeking.

I agree with what was said about the difference between going somewhere where you must rely on interpretation and being among people speaking the language.

I’m with the accessibilities committee. I hear a lot of people wanting this to happen. Our district has always had a focus on educating new participants at every level. I don’t understand how this should be an area responsibility and expense. The DCM sharing session used to be packed.

This sharing session sounds casual and isn’t going to take the place of other sharing sessions. Perhaps English speaking participation could be done later.

The topic of how to get people interested in General Service comes up constantly, and this sharing session is accomplishing that. I would want to do everything possible to get people of any language involved in service.

When English-speaking GSRs come to me and wonder what they’re doing, I encourage them to come to the ACM to hear the experience of others, and I think this sharing session is a very wise way to do this for Spanish speakers.

We have seen increased participation from the Spanish-speaking community over the past few years. They should be able to attend either the DCM sharing session or the proposed one to maintain unity. Perhaps in the 10 AREA COMMITTEE MINUTES—MAY 2023 future, we could expand to other languages.

It’s easier to speak with others in my language. // This meeting has been going on for seven months, but we’ve been doing it for free. The members will now pass a seventh tradition basket to pay rent. It doesn’t interfere with the DCM sharing session. It helps as a filter before you get into the business of the ACM.

In my district we hardly study the concepts or general service positions. This is a good opportunity for people from the Hispanic community to start learning. Our area tries to be inclusive. This sharing session is giving them the opportunity to fall in love with service. // I attended an H&I NCCAA conference. I attended a Hispanic Women’s meeting, and it changed the way I look at service. I learn the most when I learn from people that are different from me. I would like the opportunity to attend as an English speaker to learn from you.

I’m in favor of this if it’s at a different time from the DCM sharing session. I’d like to go as an English speaker to listen and learn from you.

When I arrived here for the first time, my sponsor had to do his service and he sent me to a different meeting. I was very shy and did not know what to do. I felt bad and I didn’t feel a part of it. This is why it’s very important that we all welcome each other and learn to communicate in Spanish and English. I love the sharing session because there is a lot of participation. I got to present something from my district, and we are growing. I am in favor of finding a solution for all.

Outcome: Motion to become Old Business at the Area Committee Meeting on May 27, 2023.

Old Business at the ACM on 5/27/23

Motion was on original the agenda to discuss but this item was not covered.

Old Business at the ACM 6/24/23


Group consciences: None.

Personal opinions: This is a great opportunity for the Latino community. We need it.

I support this from an accessibility standpoint. We want to make AA available regardless of language.

I support this but wonder if there would be an Area officer to attend to support this meeting.

The chair gathered a sense of the room to determine whether the Area is ready to vote on this motion. The body voted on whether to vote by substantial unanimity (2/3) or simple majority.

Initial Outcome: Vote by simple majority in favor of the motion. A minority opinion was heard.

I don’t think we’ve considered all the implications yet. It’s not about having a meeting or not having a meeting; it is about setting a precedent of having a meeting that is only in Spanish, which has associated costs (i.e., rent for the room and interpretation) and additional commitment of area officers to attend. I support Spanish speakers having a place to meet, but I’m not sure if we should do it within the Area structure.

There was a motion to reconsider, which was seconded. Vote by simple majority to reconsider the motion. There were 22/14 in favor of reconsidering.

Outcome: Motion to remain Old Business at the Area Committee Meeting on July 22, 2023

Old Business at the ACM on 7/22/23


Group consciences:

We’re not in favor of the motion. This meeting has helped us a lot, but the motion should not be exclusive to Spanish-speaking members. It should be open to everybody.

Personal opinions:

This is not about having a closed meeting for linguistic members. The sharing session will decide whether they want inter-pretation and/or a visiting area officer. // If we add interpretation, there is a financial impact, there could be an officer impact, but it sounds like those can be addressed later. But this motion is not about that, it’s just about having the sharing session.

English speakers have more experience and history with participation in General Service than Spanish-speaking members. Our Area was formed in 1950. The first linguistic district was formed in 1970 in Los Angeles and formed in the 90s in CNCA. I see this as a matter of equity. There is a need for education in Spanish speakers’ native language. Is this service needed? This marginalized group has expressed it is. I believe that English speakers are worried they will lose participation from Spanish speakers at other sharing sessions if we hold this sharing session. I hope they will continue to participate.

I attended this sharing session for the first time today and saw a lot of excited new people. We need more information for our Spanish-speaking community. Let’s not take away the opportunity for people to learn.

I’ve seen the enthusiasm in our Spanish-speaking companions to have a meeting where they can speak their own language. I understand the concern that Spanish speakers don’t attend the Archives committee. It’s difficult for Spanish speakers to learn the language of General Service. When I have a question and it’s explained in my language, it’s a lot easier for me to understand. I have seen the benefit of this sharing session. If there is a need for English interpretation later, we can meet that.

I’m concerned that 10 am is the only time that Spanish speakers can meet. We’ve had participation from Spanish speakers in Archives in the past, and there is no longer participation. I wish it could be at another time so they could participate

The linguistic districts would like English speakers to attend this session, too.

I’m concerned that the lack of interpretation is a reason not to financially support this motion.

Outcome: Motion to remain Old Business at the Area Committee Meeting on August 26, 2023.

Old Business at the ACM on 8/23/23

Group consciences:
Our district supports this.
Personal opinions:
Vote by substantial unanimity: 34 in favor, 2 against.
No minority opinion was heard because this motion was previously passed and reconsidered.
Outcome: Motion passed 8/26/23

District 04 Santa Clara North