History

Compiled by Josh S:

#1 Western General Service Assembly (later renamed PRAASA) Held in Fresno, California January 26 th -28 th, 1968

Stan W was the General Chairman.

He invited everyone with the exception of Idaho ! Stan later apologized for the oversight and cited hasty organization as the reason.

In a resolution which has since been amended and adopted as the PRAASA guidelines, a method for selecting trusted servants is outlined.

The same resolution states that the assembly is never to be glamorized (no dances, banquets, etc.), that unity, service, and recovery the theme, and that service always be stressed.
 

#2 Western General Service Assembly (Not yet re named) Held in Reno, Nevada January 24 th -26 th, 1969

Reno experienced one of the worst blizzards in many years during the assembly. Many were unable to leave the city until Monday or Tuesday because of all the closures.

The General Service Office expressed their support of the assembly and recognized it as an important event.

Stan W says that it was agreed after the assembly to change the name to the Pacific Region General Service Assembly. But the following year, the assembly is called PRAASA!

The name change was partially because the name Western General Service Assembly gave many people the impression that the delegates in the Pacific Region were trying to separate themselves from the General Service Office in New York .
 

#3 PRAASA Held in Phoenix, Arizona April 10 th -12 th, 1970

The Saturday night banquet was the first of its kind at PRAASA.

Al-Anon had some programs at this assembly.

Chuck C. gave a presentation on the Twelve Concepts.

Some of the topics discussed were: “Rehabs and their relation to AA”, “Should we be concerned about pills?”, and “Medication and AA”.

There was some controversy from PRAASA #2 that spilled over into the business meeting.
 

#4 PRAASA Held in Santa Maria, California March 5 th -7 th, 1971

GSO pitched the assembly in the Box 459 and in the Grapevine.

At the General Service Conference in 1971, the Pacific Region Delegates were noted as being the best informed Delegates present.

This year the business meeting was “open” for the first time.
 

#5 PRAASA Held in Pasco, Washington March 3rd-5 th , 1972

Guidelines for future PRAASA's were read and adopted unanimously. There was a Delegate's luncheon this year.
 

#6 PRAASA Held in Las Vegas, Nevada March 2 nd -4 th, 1973

There was no banquet and no dance, the chair said everyone seemed to have a good time anyways, and the standard for service was raised in the area.
 

#7 PRAASA Held in Boise, Idaho March 1 st -3 rd, 1974

The assembly resulted in increased interest in AA and it's Principals. It also got more people active in service work, and resulted in better attendance at service assemblies.
 

#8 PRAASA Held in Salt Lake City, Utah Feb 28 th -March 2 nd, 1975

A resolution was brought forward that the Pacific Region elect their own candidate for Trustee by a vote of all the Delegates and past Delegates. A vote was asked for, and the resolution was dropped. Another motion to create a committee that would be charged with running PRAASA on an ongoing basis caused a lot of flap, and was ultimately dropped.
 

#9 PRAASA Held in Tucson, Arizona March 5 th -7 th, 1976

Much to the surprise of visitors, a late snowstorm blanketed Tucson during the assembly. A controversy that had been building for most of the year came to a head. The greater part of the business meeting was given over to heated exchanges concerning voting privileges of assembly attendees.

All the areas were well represented on the panels, with the exception of Oregon.

After much debate and discussion, it was decided that the authority for changing the PRAASA guidelines would continue to rest within the assembly itself. Changes are made only in accordance with a group conscience vote of those in attendance at an assembly. PRAASA's role within the General Service structure was clarified as follows: PRAASA is not a policy making body but exists (as it's guidelines state) for the purpose of exchanging ideas and experience and providing the opportunity for the discussion of pertinent aspects of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Another motion to have the Delegates vote, and remove voting power from the body failed.
 

#10 PRAASA Held in Seattle, Washington March 4 th -6 th, 1977

The logo for the assembly included “paper dolls” holding hands. This raised protestation from those who were fighting the new trend of holding hands while reciting the “Lord's Prayer”. After discussion, it was decided to keep the logo.
 

#11 PRAASA Held in Honolulu, Hawaii March 3 rd -5 th, 1978

First PRAASA to be held in Hawaii ! In response to GSO's concern that the Grapevine was in trouble, the literature table was replaced with a Grapevine display.

The Hawaiian AA's felt the benefits of PRAASA, from increased awareness of how the service structure works, to how other AA's operate through out the Pacific Region. The operation of the districts has improved. Hosting PRAASA is credited with the improvements by the Co-Chair of PRAASA #11.
 

#12 PRAASA Held in Sparks, Nevada March 9 th -11 th, 1979

Chair noted that having those not yet familiar with how PRAASA was handled help in the facilitation of it, was one of the best growing experiences they ever had. The flier for this PRAASA said, “Alcoholics Anonymous in cooperation with Al-Anon”
 

#13 PRAASA Held in Anaheim, California February 29 th -March 2 nd, 1980

The committee decided to have coffee available only during breaks. This received a large amount of negative feedback. Due to financial concerns, 60 cents per cup was charged for the coffee to make up a deficit that never existed. As a result there was a profit of $1,720 which was forwarded to GSO.
 

#14 PRAASA Held in Anchorage, Alaska February 27 th -March 1 st, 1981

There were six panels plus DCM sharing. They had a banquet and a speaker meeting.
 

#15 PRAASA Held in Portland, Oregon March 5 th -7 th, 1982

This was the first year Oregon hosted a PRAASA. Oregon had refused to participate up until 1980. The chair noted that two dear friends who were deeply involved in service were against it and most folks just trusted them. She goes on to say that these two were probably just misinformed.

One of the speakers made some comments about homosexuals and offended some people.

The podium partially collapsed while one of the panelists was speaking at it.
 

#16 PRAASA Held in Santa Clara, California March 4 th -6 th, 1983

Chuck C. spoke and it was the last major speaking appearance that he made before his death 21 months later.

No Al-anon speaker at the banquet, no mention of Al-anon on the flyer. There was, however, an Al-anon assembly going on at the same site simultaneously.

All of the controversy from previous assemblies had dissolved.
 

#17 PRAASA Held in San Diego, California March 2 nd -4 th, 1984

Don C. chaired and Cliff R. served as Co-chair.

There was a contribution made to GSO in the amount of $1789.54.

At this assembly it was decided that we should try and get some sort of archives together and keep them going as the assembly moves forward.
 

#18 PRAASA Held in Pocatello, Idaho March 1 st -3 rd, 1985

12 of the Trustees at Large were there.

There were 5 inches of snow which may have contributed to the light attendance.

Topics included finance, prudent reserve, group policy, equal authority, equal responsibility, new approaches to districting and how to improve.
 

#19 PRAASA Held in Las Vegas, Nevada February 28 th -March 2 nd , 1986

It was moved and carried that the by-laws be changed to reflect that the future assemblies shall pay the Trustee's expenses in full.

Topics included the home group, AA's future, the Conference committee system, lessons from the past, odds and ends, and back to basics.
 

#20 PRAASA Held in Sacramento, California March 6 th -8 th, 1987

This was the first PRAASA to feature “Round Tables” which have become an enduring feature of the assembly.

Wayne P., the General Manager of the General Service Office was the speaker after the meal.
 

#21 PRAASA Held in Salt Lake City, Utah March 4 th -6 th, 1988

It proved to be a challenge to find people qualified to serve as chair of PRAASA who were available. So it was decided that a Delegate and a volunteer would Co-chair together. After many problems with unity thru out the area, the Delegate asked the Co-Chair to step down. So the Delegate became Chair.
 

#22 PRAASA Held in Honolulu, Hawaii March 3 rd -5 th, 1989

The assembly would have normally been held in Hawaii in 1992. Hawaiian locals however felt that due to their over seas separation, serious consideration should be given to moving up the assembly. At the April 1987 General Service Conference Hawaii was chosen to host PRAASA in 1989.

There were some comments after the assembly that there should be more round tables, even if it means fewer panels.
 

#23 PRAASA Held in Bakersfield, California March 2 nd -4 th, 1990

Some of the committee thought it might have been beneficial to devote more time to discussing the specific jobs that the hosts of the roundtables were expected to do. The roundtables covered DCM's, Alternate Delegates, and Secretaries etc.

There were also some complaints about the financial report and the minutes of the business meeting.
 

#24 PRAASA Held in Tucson, Arizona March 1 st -3 rd, 1991

The committee Chair says that the most glaring error was the breakdown in communication with participants. Folks weren't given enough advanced notice of their topics and schedules.

The number of registered attendees set a new record at 1,005.

There was a musical interlude and a Swami act that was met with mixed reviews.
 

#25 PRAASA Held in Portland, Oregon March 6 th -8 th, 1992

25 th anniversary of PRAASA!!!

Bottomless cups of coffee were sold for $5 each.

There were 17 round tables.
 

#26 PRAASA Held in Torrance, California March 4 th -7 th, 1993

“AA Takes it's Inventory” was the theme.

This PRAASA lost $3,277, the Pacific Region came thru with donations to help defray the cost of the shortfall.
 

#27 PRAASA Held in Juneau, Alaska March 4 th -6 th, 1994

On March 3 rd , a snowstorm caused a cancellation of all flights in and out of Juneau . Attendance was a big concern.

The committee had limited experience structuring a large event like this. They followed the samples sent and examples set by Portland . Everything seemed to have worked out. Delegates appointed a committee to gather the missing archival material and resurrect and update the PRAASA history.
 

#28 PRAASA Held in Tacoma, Washington March 3 rd -5 th, 1995

For the first time the BC-Yukon Delegate was officially invited to participate in the program.

Subjects at the assembly adhered strictly to the topics that were explicitly in the conference agenda or that were implied in it. This is credited as one of the reasons for this PRAASA's success.
 

#29 PRAASA Held in San Jose, California March 1 st -3 rd, 1996

The fliers showed the wrong dates and the program read: “The Purpose of PRAASA”. This was not the exact wording from the PRAASA guidelines, so the committee took some flack for that.
 

#30 PRAASA Held in San Diego, California March 7 th -9 th, 1997

The committee elected not to have ribbons on the name badges. The primary argument being that this practice of using ribbons promotes class distinction and causes resentment. The area Delegate wanted to be noted as being in the minority on this issue.

The key to the success of this PRAASA is noted as being the use of experienced AA and Al-anon members.
 

#31 PRAASA Held in Boise, Idaho March 6 th -8 th , 1998

The PRAASA committee was presented with a very comprehensive report from an ad hoc committee that was formed two years earlier. This report included suggested amendments to PRAASA guidelines. Some of the topics addressed were interpreters for the deaf and how to best manage the cost associated with it, and distributions of the excess funds generated during PRAASA.
 

#32 PRAASA Held in Kona, Hawaii March 5 th -7 th, 1999

The assembly's theme was “Moving Forward: Unity through Humility”.

Some of the topics discussed included the principle of rotation, harmony in the AA community and the spiritual significance of anonymity.
 

#33 PRAASA Held in Ogden, Utah March 3 rd -5 th, 2000

Bob P., past General Manager of the General Service Office was the Saturday night speaker.

Greg M., current manager of the General Service Office was also invited.

Much of the committee meeting's time was spent reviewing and reconciling with PRAASA guidelines.
 

#34 PRAASA Held in Spokane, Washington March 2 nd -4 th , 2001

There was a motion presented at the business meeting that the PRAASA guidelines be amended to include a new provision regarding Spanish translators. The motion suggests that the host committee should plan on providing professional translators for the assemblies. The motion was discussed and passed.
 

#35 PRAASA Held in Fresno, California March 1 st -3 rd, 2002

Committee worked diligently to follow the new guidelines regarding Spanish translators at the assembly. The committee sought help and guidance from the Spanish speakers and from the Delegate. Traditions and Concepts were the theme of the assembly.
 

#36 PRAASA Held in Reno, Nevada March 7 th -9 th , 2003

“Living AA's Principals Through Sponsorship” was the theme of the assembly.

It was suggested at the business meeting that the Delegate Advisory Committee prepare a list of PRAASA Customs (traditions) that are unwritten but expected by some attendees.

“Should we have a pamphlet on Religion and Spirituality?” was one of the panel discussions.
 

#37 PRAASA Held in Irvine, California March 5 th -7 th , 2004

Approximately 1,575 people were registered participants making this the largest PRAASA to date.
 

#38 PRAASA Held in Tucson, Arizona March 11 th -13 th, 2005

About a year and a half after Tucson 's bid to host PRAASA was accepted, the hotel informed the committee that they had double booked for the first weekend in March. Due in part to the fact that it is stipulated in the PRAASA guidelines that the assembly will be held on the first weekend in March, the Chair and committee were very concerned about how to handle this issue. After contacting several Delegates (past and present) and discussing options, it was decided to move the assembly to the second weekend (one time only). This seems to have worked out okay, however even at the 2006 assembly, there were lingering complaints about the rescheduling.

There was a mariachi band asked to play for freewill donations during the banquet only.

And there was some discord surrounding a decision by the committee to not allow Co-Chairs voting privileges on the host committee.
 

#39 PRAASA Held in Woodland Hills, California March 3 rd -5 th, 2006

The theme of the assembly was “Sponsorship Service and Self Support in a Changing World”.

Some of the topics discussed included leadership to deal with a changing world, performing service without expectations, how does an informed group conscience protect the 7 th Tradition in a changing economy, and sponsors role in guiding newcomers first to sobriety and then into service.

George D., past Manager of GSO spoke at the assembly.

#40 PRAASA in Portland, Oregon in March 2, 3, & 4, 2007 
The theme was “A.A.’s 12th Step—Are We Going to Any Length?”

#41 PRAASA in Anchorage, Alaska March 7 - 9, 2008
The theme was "Communication and Participation-The key to Unity and Self-Support"

#42 PRAASA in Oakland, California on March 6th-8th, 2009.
The theme was "Carrying AA’s message with Enthusiasm and Gratitude"

#43 PRAASA in  Los Angeles, California, March 5th, 6th, and 7th, 2010   
The theme was "Practicing A.A.'s Principles-the Pathway to Unity"

#44 PRAASA in Honolulu, Hawaii March 4-6, 2011
The theme was "We Are Responsible for A.A.’s Future-Let it Begin With Us"

#45 PRAASA will be in Bellevue, Washington March 2-4, 2012
The theme will be  "Anonymity: Our Spiritual Responsibility in the Digital Age"

 

 

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