Area Assembly Motion on the 12x12x12

That the Conference Literature committee consider producing literature combining Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions with the Twelve Concepts for World Service. – Presented by District 14 Mendocino at the Area Committee Meeting 10/22/22

Background Information

None provided by District 14 Mendocino

Presentation of New Business at the Area Committee Meeting, 10/22/22

Presentation: The idea was rattling around my mind for a long time, and then it was realized this was an agenda topic previously in 2015. We would like to revisit this idea. Many people are not familiar with the Service Manual, and it will help people by having the Concepts more in view. Our district discussed it and took it to the groups. One group was not in favor, but the district conscience with GSRs present was to move it along and bring it to the Area.


Q. Would this include Bill’s essays? 
A. Yes, just like in the 12 & 12 where the essay follows the Step or Tradition. 

Q. How would you intend for this to look? 
A. That would be for the Literature committee to decide. We kept the wording general, but the idea is to extract the Concepts and essays from the Service Manual. 

Q. Does this intend to eliminate the Service Manual? 
A. No, definitely not.

Q. To clarify, you are asking to produce a 12 & 12 & 12? 
A. Yes, exactly. 

Q. I just want to make a point about the wording- the work would be produced by the Trustees’ Literature Committee “if” this were to be approved by the Conference. So, I wonder if you would accept a friendly amendment and replace the word Trustees with Conference. 
A. Yes, thank you. The motion will now read, “That the Conference Literature committee consider producing literature combining “12 Steps and 12 Traditions” with the “12 Concepts for World Service”. 

Outcome: Voted by simple majority to keep at ACM or forward to Assembly. Motion to become Presentation of New Business at the Pre-Conference Assembly on April 1, 2023.

Presentation of New Business at the Pre-Conference Assembly 4/1/23

Presentation: DCM Warren R. presented online. This was a Conference agenda item in 2015 coming from our Area, and the Conference decided not to act. They thought the Concepts had adequate exposure in the current literature. We wanted to revisit this. We’ve seen people have a glazed look in their eyes after being handed the Service Manual. The initial idea was for a book, but we simplified the motion. The intent is to make the concepts more available for the fellowship at large. When we took this motion to groups, they would ask, “What are the Concepts?” We want our groups to have this discussion to increase knowledge. 


Q: Would this mean adding the twelve concepts to the existing Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions book? 
A: This was the original idea, but we decided to simplify it to create any literature combining the three legacies and the summaries and let the fellowship decide. This is not meant to replace the 12X12. We are asking for an entirely new piece of literature. 

Q: Are we talking about having two separate books: the 12X12 as it exists today and another book, the 12X12X12?
A: The idea is to get the concepts more visible, and it would be a way to combine all three. Whether it’s a book or not is another matter.  

Q: Can this be stated in such a way that it’s clear about what will be produced? 
A: We are keeping questions to clarify the intent of the motion.

Q: Is the entire Service Manual going to be reproduced or will there be a new edition that’s not the same? 
A: It would have no effect on the current service manual. 

Q: Is this necessary? 
A: We are keeping questions to clarify the intent of the motion. 

Q: Who is the intended target audience and intended format for use? Service sponsors, meetings, business meetings? 
A: The audience is everybody in the fellowship and could be used for whatever purpose necessary. 

Outcome: Motion to become New Business at the Post Conference Assembly on May 13, 2023

New Business at the Post Conference Assembly 5/13/23

Group consciences:

We are curious about what format, there is not enough information. It’s General Service biased. Concerned about this writing being combined with Bill W.’s. Is this necessary? We should stay focused and limit motions.

One person against. He said we have it in book form, it’s redundant and costly. The majority were in favor because not enough people know about the concepts. The combination would provide better exposure to the concepts. The more we know the better.

There is no need for a combination. One member mentioned that having them combined could confuse the newcomer.

Most had no interest in talking about this. Nobody cares about the concepts because nobody knows what they are. Those that participated were in favor. A minority opinion was that we should add a footnote in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions book (12X12) on where to find the concepts in our literature.

The group is in favor of including the twelve concepts in the 12 X 12. It’s a good way to teach newcomers that they have a voice in AA. The concepts are confusing, seeing them earlier can build familiarity.

We are in favor because the committee is only being asked to consider literature and existing literature wouldn’t be replaced.

We are in favor, but we don’t want to add it to the existing 12X12 book. Our district’s lack of familiarity with general service may be related to a lack of participation in general service. This literature could increase participation.

If more GSRs understood the concepts, they would be less afraid to step into General Service.

My district thinks this is a good idea.

Many in our group are in favor because it can help and support new trusted servants to get familiarized and be informed.

My group was in favor but was concerned about changing the 12X12. One person against said it would spark curiosity to have it in the back of the 12X12.

Personal Opinions:

I’m opposed because there is material like this that already exists in Central Mexico printed in 2006 with the three legacies. It’s only available in Spanish. It belongs to the archives.

General service introduced me to the concepts, and it’s improved my ability to serve.

It seems like a good idea because sometimes our groups have people for whom the concepts are unknown.

If I was introduced to the steps, traditions, and concepts when I was new, I would be less intimidated by them. This would help me convey information to the group as a GSR.

Our program is based on three legacies, and they are principles. I would have been more apt to get involved in GS earlier if I had been exposed to the concepts.

It’s a good idea because it lets people know that the concepts are there and there’s a chance that people will read them. I’m in a 12 and 12- step study each week and it’s probably the least attended. I keep finding things in it I’ve never read before. When I asked the group about this motion, they were really confused. Their biggest concern was whether it would take away the original 12X12 but generally did not have an opinion.

It would create an additional understanding of general service and the concepts are an introduction to service and could help them understand the twelve traditions, which are also part of service.

It’s important to have them together because a lot of people have never heard of the concepts. If they are using the 12X12, they would see a section and it wouldn’t be foreign to them.

I think having all in one book is a great idea. I was not introduced to the concepts until I was involved in general service.

I like it as a separate publication, but I don’t think it should be added to the current 12X12 because it would increase the cost. I’m a member of a book study that goes through about 20 AA-approved books. We dropped the service manual because it was kind of long and there wasn’t much interest, but we kept the concepts. Many people say it’s dry and want to drop that too.

Not knowing about the concepts is like not having all the ingredients for a cake; it doesn’t make for a good cake. I want to do anything and everything to stay sober and I think that includes educating people about general service.

I didn’t know what to do as a new GSR. I think it’s a great idea to have this. If I had a hand on all three, it would have helped me be more knowledgeable walking into general service, and probably would have done it sooner.

I found the concepts at a concept study group before a district meeting. They were very dry and difficult to understand. If they were presented at an earlier stage, I wouldn’t have been put off by it. I’m against adding it to the 12X12 because it would be complicated and expensive.

It’s important to remember that we’re not all geeks. As newcomers, we’re told to keep it simple, and the concepts aren’t simple. My sponsor told me more will be revealed. There is other literature like the twelve concepts illustrated. That’s sufficient and doesn’t need to be included with the steps and traditions. It’s easy to get overwhelmed so we should introduce general service gradually.

I didn’t know about the concepts until I was in general service. I was in general service for a while before I learned about the warranties.

This would be helpful for translation into other languages for countries that don’t know about general service.

My understanding is that this would be a separate publication. I believe the concepts are difficult to understand, but it’s an in-depth view of the service structure which is very important and spiritual. I’m in favor of this.

I want to clarify that this motion is not requesting a change in the 12X12, it is requesting a new piece of literature.

This isn’t the first time we’ve asked the Conference to do this. It takes time for things to get approved. This would bring discussion to all of AA, and I think that’s worth it.

I’m in favor. I didn’t understand the 12 steps or 12 traditions, but I had a service sponsor that helped me understand.

We’re spending a lot of money changing the 12X12 which makes people uncomfortable, so I think this is a good idea.

I would be in favor of a special edition combining the 12, 12, and 12. For example, there is a special edition of AA Comes of Age, a special edition of the original Big Book replica.

Outcome: Motion to become Old Business at the Summer Assembly on August 12, 2023.

Old Business at Summer Assembly 8/12/23

Group consciences:

Substantial unanimity was against creating this piece of literature. There is a feeling we are “watering down” AA. There is agreement that there is a need for more awareness around the 12 concepts, but questions whether this is the best way and if this is the most cost-effective way when there are already materials available. Concern about the cost is even more applicable given that AA is operating at a deficit and contributions are down. Another comment was when a newcomer comes into the rooms, they are just trying to get sober. This is our primary purpose, to help the newcomer, and one alcoholic working with another alcoholic. There is a feeling of moving away from this focus. If you are “all in” in AA, eventually you will find out about the 12 concepts.

Most of my group was in favor and one member was opposed.

This is not accessible for newcomers because it’s too confusing/distracting, let’s focus on accessible literature.

General service is dying, and you don’t even get a copy of the service manual until you become a GSR. This will help inform people how important the Concepts are and how general service can help extend your spiritual program and sobriety.

Our group was split. There were concerns over the cost and suggestions about other ways we could communicate or encourage the concepts. Others agreed we need more information on the concepts and said new literature would be useful. 

Substantial unanimity from my group not to produce a 12×12 with the Concepts. The Concepts are already in the Big Book. It’s too much information and hard to understand. The minority opinion was that Concepts connect us to AA as a whole and present spiritual guidance for service.

Most of my group was in favor because the twelve spiritual principles of the Concepts can be applied to our lives. // One idea from my group was to have a special edition of the 12X12. This would be a good way to introduce new members to general service.

Our district approves this motion.

Most of my district disagreed with this motion.

My group was split in half. Half thought it would introduce more people to the Concepts. The other half thought it was unnecessary and a waste of money; we already have the 12X12. They are afraid it would replace the 12X12 book.

My group is in unanimous support.

My group unanimously supports this motion, but one member mentioned it may not be necessary.

My group opposes this motion, it is unnecessary.

My group was not aware that the concepts were in the back of the Big Book, but they were in favor of literature combining 12X12X12.

It would be good for us to make this available. My group is in favor.

My group thinks this is a good intro to working with a sponsor on this.

My group agreed that it would be good to have this book.

My group doesn’t think this is necessary. It wouldn’t be good to spend our money on this.

My group was against this motion. There is a need for more awareness of the 12 Concepts, but this is not the best or most cost-effective way to do it.

My group is in favor of this motion, but they don’t like the name Twelve by Twelve by Twelve.

Personal opinions:

This motion is superfluous and narrow-sighted. 12x12x12 is for the convenience of those who already are in service. How will this help us carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers? Our fellowship is begging for literature to better reflect the current fellowship (evidence is all the literature agenda items every year). Let’s focus on accessible literature for the alcoholic who still suffers and use the service material we already have.

I’m against this. It’s too cumbersome.

My experience with taking people through the Concepts as a service sponsor has changed. What I do now is take them through the Conference Charter. There’s info in the Service Manual that goes along with Concepts. I love the idea of being exposed to the Concepts, but I’m concerned that there will be information missing that you can only find in the service manual.

I let my sponsees know that there are 12 Concepts when I work the steps with them.

I would like to see this book printed. I didn’t hear of the Concepts for a long time. Up here in the north is a remote community and few people know about them. Let the Concepts be available for people to learn about them.

It’s hard to understand the Concepts without first reading the chapters in The Service Manual. This would be a good way to lead people to The Service Manual.

I’ve been in favor of this for a long time. Al-Anon has literature with the Steps, Traditions, and Concepts combined with ways to apply them to your personal life. People think that the Concepts only have to do with the General Service Conference, but that’s not true.

Members won’t know about the Right of Participation without knowing about the Concepts.

It would be good for newcomers to know about the Concepts.

If more people knew about the Concepts, our group business meetings would go better.

I don’t think this is necessary because the Service Manual already exists.

Young people groups sometimes use the term Right of Decision without knowing what it means. I think it’s important to have information on how people can apply the Concepts to their business. I think it would be good to have literature like this.

I’d like to see this as an agenda item so that groups can discuss it.

This literature is not meant to replace the material we already have.

A new person will not be able to integrate this into their recovery. It’s too hard to understand. I don’t think we should do this. If we integrate the Twelve Concepts into the 12X12, they’ll be distracted.

The Concepts are irrelevant to a lot of people. Literature to make it more relevant and accessible to help people understand how A.A. works spiritually is a good idea.

Outcome: Motion to remain Old Business at the Fall Assembly on November 4, 2023.

Old Business at the Fall Assembly on November 4, 2023

Group Consciences:
Most members agreed with the motion. We had a minority opinion that didn’t explain.

My group discussed, and a question asked was, “Why is this being brought up again?” This was an agenda topic in 2015.

Our group agrees to combine the three books into one.

Our group voted 4 to 3 against combining this. We already have literature on the Steps, Traditions, and Concepts available. A pamphlet, The A.A. Group: Where it All Begins,” has all three.

Our district voted in favor after two months of discussion.

Most of my group thought it would be too complicated for a newcomer, but one thought getting the Twelve Concepts out there was a good idea.

Our group supports this motion with substantial unanimity. We think there’s value in raising awareness for the Twelve Concepts. Members shared that their only previous experience with the Concepts was as a GSR, not through regular engagement with literature. Opposing opinions were around costs and logistics, which the Literature Committee would address.

Our group unanimously agreed that they would use this literature and further explore this idea. A.A. literature is valuable, and the Twelve Concepts are prominent in the program. The Concepts are not generally known or talked about except in dedicated meetings.

Having these consolidated to go through with a sponsor or to expose a newcomer in a literature meeting would be nice. There was some concern that it would confuse a newcomer. They don’t see how it could harm. It’s hard to find anything about the Concepts. The suggestion was that it would be helpful if the Concepts were written more digestibly; it’s a little dry. It would be nice if this proposed literature were put together in a way like The Twelve Concepts illustrated.

Our group was in favor. There were minority opinions that it was redundant and concerns about cost. Some comments were that a working title “12 by 12 by 12” is confusing, that accessible language would be welcome, and to make this online instead of print.

Our fellowship is in favor of moving forward with this literature. Most people were unaware of the Concepts until becoming a GSR. More exposure early on would be beneficial. Any writings by Bill and Bob are valuable to keep people informed and educated.

My group was unanimously in favor of a pamphlet. It could be a tool for a sponsor, a service sponsor, and a literature meeting. It would be putting our money to good use. They don’t like the name “Twelve by Twelve by Twelve” but didn’t have another suggestion for a title.

Our group is in favor. A member shared that it’s good to implement literature, and it’s easier to obtain literature. One is concerned about the cost of paper.

I visited many groups that don’t have a GSR, and many are in favor. They said the General Service Manual is the only place to see Concepts, and nobody buys it unless they’re in General Service. If combined, the Concepts would create more interest in General Service.

My group favors making the Principles and Three Legacies more accessible.

The majority is in favor for reasons already stated. The minority opinion is that the Concepts should stay between service sponsors and their sponsees.

My group is in favor because it is more convenient to learn about the 36 concepts of AA.

My group is happy to have a book with 36 principles to familiarize itself with all 36 instead of just 24.

My group is unanimously in favor. It would create more awareness of the concepts for everybody. As meetings are generated around the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, meetings could be generated around this literature to create a better understanding of the Concepts.

My group in favor. The majority said it’s very practical. Sometimes, if we don’t have a book, we don’t study. If we produce this book, we’d have something we can use to study. They would like the name to be “The 36 Principles for My Recovery.”

My district is in favor.

My group favors a book with the 36 principles.

My district favors this motion for previously mentioned reasons like the accessibility of the Concepts to a wider part of the fellowship. There were concerns about the prudence since the Literature Committee is overloaded with changes and new literature presented, as well as the cost and amount of person-power to make it happen.

Ninety-nine percent were in favor. Combining literature will raise a question of what the Concepts are and provide an opportunity to hook them into general service. One person said it’s a waste of literature.
Our group is up for change; it’s a great teaching mechanism.

In my group, nine were in favor, two were against, and one abstained. Someone asked, “Why can’t we just use the pamphlet?” Perhaps a separate book for the Twelve Concepts would be more efficient. Another opinion was that the Concepts were already in the big book. A final question was, “How would this be used at meeting level?”

Some favored combining literature, but most found it unnecessary and redundant. There were questions about cost, and some shared that it’s already in the AA Group pamphlet.

My group was split. A couple of them didn’t know how to vote because they weren’t familiar with The Concepts. Some shared that the Concepts are too complicated for newcomers, and they wouldn’t be interested in hearing about them. Some were concerned about the cost of producing a new book, and someone shared that the Concepts are already in the Service Manual and other literature.

Many members in the meeting were unaware that we have 12 Concepts of World Service. I read them to the group. Since they weren’t aware, the voting was unanimous in favor.

We read the Big Book in my group. The consensus was that the Twelve Concepts are already in the Big Book, the Service Manual, and pamphlets. However, there could be some benefit if a plain language version of the Concepts existed.

Chitra took a sense of the room and determined the body was ready to vote. Motion passed by substantial unanimity. 125 in favor, 34 against, and 5 abstentions.

The minority opinion was heard.
This feels like a vanity project and doesn’t seem necessary. Our job is to create literature that helps people get sober. I appreciate wanting people to be introduced to the concepts. They’re already published in the Service Manual. We’re in tight shape financially. Is this the best use of group funds?

I agree with what was just said. Additionally, I feel strongly that my heart goes to whether it’s what we need or want. I want this as someone in General Service for a long time. As a new person, who would grab this literature in a meeting? This would be a considerable amount of money for our current financial situation.

I’m against producing this literature. The Twelve and Twelve book was hard to understand. Our triangle is designed for a reason. Once we learn unity and recovery, we go into service. Our books are written the way they are because they’re working.

I opposed the motion because not everyone is prepared to look at all three simultaneously. It’s too much for a newcomer. The expense is important, especially since the Concepts are available elsewhere. Yes, people in General Service want people to know about concepts. We should be careful not to use our desire to bring people into General Service as a reason for the expense.

I’m against it because we make changes for a need. It’s not necessary if we already have it in a book.

Our group thinks we already have the literature, and this isn’t the best way to get the message across about the Concepts, especially our financial position. Maybe there’s a more cost-effective way to get it out. Financially, it is not a wise expenditure. It would dilute the power of our 12 and 12 to make it so broad.

If you read the Concepts without the Service Manual, you’d have to go to the Service Manual to understand it anyway.

We want more people in General Service, but we get lost on the principle of attraction over promotion. Our Big Book says none of us makes a sole vocation of this work. Nor do we think its effectiveness would be increased if we did. Elimination of drinking is just the beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies in our respective homes, occupations, and affairs.

We’d be spending more when we need to save money.

Motion to reconsider passed by simple majority.
Motion to remain Old Business at the Pre-Conference Assembly on April 6, 2023.

Old Business at the Pre-Conference Assembly, April 6, 2023

The Area Chair shared that this motion was voted on at the Fall Assembly and failed. A motion to reconsider that passed, making it an item of Old Business again.

Group Consciences: This is unnecessary. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions help individuals and groups. It’s not necessary to include the Twelve Concepts. It’s not for the average member.

This is unnecessary. We have the book the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. The Concepts are in the A.A. Service Manual. The General Service Board is low on funds. There are better things to spend money on.

This is not necessary. In AA, there are enough expenses due to a critical recession. We need to be more prudent in how we spend money.

The wording of this motion is to consider. My group supports exploring and gathering more information on logistics and cost. Having combined literature makes the Concepts more accessible.

Personal Opinions: I didn’t know about The Concepts until 20 years of sobriety. That’s a real loss.

Vote by substantial unanimity. In favor: 131 (105 in person; 26 online). Opposed: 108 (91 in person; 17 online) Abstained: 11 (4 in person; 7 online).
Motion did not obtain 2/3 in favor. No minority opinion was heard, as this item was previously reconsidered.
Motion Failed.

District 04 Santa Clara North