NCIG & Central Office
WHAT WE DO FOR GROUPS IN THE AREA & NEWCOMERS
Intergroups part of a long tradition of Intergroup / Central Offices in A.A. The Northern Colorado Intergroup is similar to any other Intergroup in the US, from Baltimore to Boulder County to Oahu. A.A.'s World Services call them A.A.'s Front Line. As a service center, the history of Intergroup / Central Offices is intertwined with the development of Traditions 8 and 9 in the 1930-40s. The forerunner to today’s Intergroup / Central Offices, the Central Committee, was established in Cleveland Ohio in October 1939, four years after AA’s co-founders Bill W. and Dr. Bob met.
How an A.A. member performed their 12th step work was strictly their own business. The role of headquarters in New York was to arrange the 12th step call, but not to oversee or direct the content of 12th step work. A similar example occurred in the Philadelphia area. And, although Cleveland already had a Central Committee by 1940, Chicago’s one-room office is often referred to as the first Intergroup / Central Office or organized service center. Back in New York, a local service center began to be operated informally out of an A.A. clubhouse that had been established in 1940, on Manhattan’s West 24th Street. While A.A.’s “headquarters” in Newark responded to inquiries on a national level, this local service center responded to local inquiries.
The New York Central Committee was eventually replaced, as membership grew, with what is now known as the New York Inter-Group. This Inter-Group was formed in 1946 by 23 founding groups from Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, The Bronx, and Westchester County. Over time, many service centers incorporated as not-for-profits, similar to the New York Inter-Group. The naming conventions for these service centers changed over time too. Names like Central Committee or AA Association were replaced by the naming convention of Intergroup or Central Office. The term “intergroup” was first used in 1953 in Charleston, West Virginia. Currently, there are 757 Intergroup / Central Offices registered with AA’s General Service Office; 514 are located in the United States and Canada.
Just as each A.A. group functioned autonomously from other A.A. groups, each service center functioned autonomously from any other service center. Clearly, A.A.’s organizational structure, whether consisting of a service center, intergroup, central office, board, or committee, is not meant to govern. But A.A. does need some organizational structure, and the reason for that is succinctly summed up on page 175 of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions:
"Just as the aim of each AA member is personal sobriety, the aim of our services is to bring sobriety within reach of all who want it. If nobody does the group’s chores, if the area’s telephone rings unanswered, if we do not reply to our mail, then AA as we know it would stop. Our communications lines with those who need our help would be broken."
In early A.A., the fundamental role of a service center was to be there when the phone rang, to help the still suffering alcoholic find a meeting or connect them to a sober alcoholic willing to do 12th step work. It’s the bedrock.