A Brief History on Westside Central Office
The Westside Central Office is a result of the fruitful growth of our fellowship over the last 15-20 years. Around the early-to mid 1990s, some A.A. members in the Hillsboro area realized that there was a need for a Central/Intergroup Office closer to the groups on their side of town. At times, the need for A.A. Services on their side of town went unfulfilled and some groups began to feel isolated from the Portland A.A. Community. Some members then proposed opening up an Intergroup in Hillsboro that would be run entirely by volunteers and offer evening and weekend office hours. Although the effort did not get off the ground 15 years ago, the wheels for additional Central/Intergroup offices were set in motion.
In January 2009, the idea was revisited, not just by our friends in the Hillsboro area, but by interested members all over the Portland metropolitan area. Some reasons for revisiting the prospect of an additional Central/Intergroup Office include:
- Providing improved services to groups that are located on the edges of our geographical area as well as to groups that are not currently served by the existing Intergroup.
- Helping the existing Intergroup Service Committees with their 12th Step Work.
- Offering more opportunities for 12th Step Work to our A.A. members.
- Providing conveniently located offices that sell A.A. Conference approved (and A.A. Grapevine) literature and offer evening and weekend hours.
An Exploratory Committee was founded to see if there is a need and support for additional Central/Intergroup Offices. The committee surveyed the Portland metro area A.A. community and received approximately 100 responses from members and groups. The results were unveiled at the committee’s last meeting in January 2010. Based on the results of the survey, the body concluded that there is a need and a willingness to support one additional Central/Intergroup Office on the Westside of town.
Before adjourning the January 2010 meeting, the decision to move forward to create this new entity was made by those in attendance. Under the recommendation of the Exploratory Committee, another committee, called the Formation Committee was created. A monthly meeting time and place were established, the first Saturday of every month at the Barnabas House, 2025 SW Vermont ST, Portland, from 2-3pm. We would meet at this place and time until switching to the first Saturday of the month, 10am, at the Unity Church of Beaverton (12650 SW 5th ST, Beaverton, OR 97005) in July 2011. In August 2012, we settled into our current time and location, the first Monday of the month, 7pm, at the Beaverton First United Methodist Church (12555 SW 4th ST, Beaverton, OR 97005).
In February 2010, the Formation Committee held its first meeting where it elected committee members. Next, a name for the entity was chosen: The Westside Central Office. The Formation Committee was then renamed to The Westside Central Office Formation Committee.
By mid-2010, a website was started, a treasury established, and a P.O. Box rented. Next, the committee registered the Westside Central Office, under the name Westside Central Office, Inc., as a non-profit corporation with the state of Oregon. In late 2010, the Westside Central Office began selling A.A. Conference approved literature.
In October 2011, the Westside Central Office added a telephone number, 503-684-0415, which can be used to purchase literature and to obtain information on A.A. and the Westside Central Office. With the addition of a phone number, the Westside Central Office also formally established itself as a virtual central office. As group support increases, additional services, including a physical office location will be added.
In March 2012, the participating groups approved the creation of service committees.
In July 2012, the participating groups approved guidelines for the Westside Central Office service structure. The guidelines describe how Westside Central Office organizes itself, our service position job descriptions, and how we conduct elections and business at our monthly business meeting.
The Westside Central Office is now poised and ready to take another step. Groups have started to elect Central Office Representatives (“CO Rep”) and include the Westside Central Office in their 7th Tradition distribution. As more groups offer the same support, the Office is created. This partnership among the groups will carry out functions common to all the groups and will be maintained, supervised and supported by these groups. It will exist to aid the groups in their common purpose of carrying the A.A. message to those in need of it.
We invite you to join this effort. Our responsibility for the project is to outline our aims and purposes for approval by the participant groups:
- Site discovery (real estate experts welcome)
- A list of all groups in the community that want to participate
- A reminder that financial support is voluntary and not a condition of membership
- The responsibility for the maintenance of the Central Office rests with the groups
- Assurance that the Central Office will be operated in keeping with A.A.’s Twelve Traditions
We wish to create a vital and fruitful addition to the A.A. activity here. We invite you to take part in the spirit and cooperation that will make the Westside Central Office an effective member of our community.
In loving service,