A Weekly 12 Concepts Study will be held at the Winston Salem Intergroup Office, 1020 Brookstown Ave, Room 11, Winston Salem, Tuesday, May 31, 6-7 PM.
This week we will be studying Concept IV, led by Robin B., DCM District 18.
reprinted with permission AAWS
Short From: At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional “Right of Participation,” allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.
Long form: Throughout our Conference structure, we ought to maintain at all responsible levels a traditional “Right of Participation”, taking care that each classification or group of our world servants shall be allowed a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.
Read Concept IV, AA Service Manual, pages 17-21.
Twelve Concepts Illustrated
reprinted with permission AAWS
Throughout our Conference structure, we ought to maintain at all responsible levels a traditional “Right of Participation,” taking care that each classification or group of our world servants shall be allowed a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.
The principle of “Right of Participation” is built into the General Service Conference through the Conference Charter. Voting members include not only delegates, but also the trustees, and the directors and staff members of A.A. World Services (i.e., G.S.O.) and the A.A. Grapevine. In the same way, the boards of these two operating entities include as voting members not only trustees, but also non-trustee directors and paid administrators and staff members. The chairperson of the General Service Board appoints non-trustee members to the standing committees in order to have the advantage of their expertise, and staff members serve as committee secretaries. “There are no ‘superiors,’ no ‘inferiors,’ and no ‘advisers.’”
New trustees on the General Service Board and new directors of the A.A.W.S. and Grapevine boards are sometimes surprised to see paid executives, staff members and outside accountants attending the board meetings. They are invited because of A.A.’s “Right of Participation.” Thus, the trustees and directors “are put into direct communication with these workers, who. . . feel wanted and needed. Although they do not vote, these workers may freely participate.”
Bill warns against the possibility of new delegates or trustees trying to “weaken, modify or toss out” the “Right of Participation.” He cites arguments by delegates to take away the trustees’, directors’ and staff members’ vote at the Conference. “Certainly,” he says, “our trustees and service workers are not less conscientious, experienced and wise than the delegates.”
It is vital,” he continues, “to preserve the traditional ‘Right of Participation,’ in the face of every tendency to whittle it down.” Finally, there is a spiritual reason for the “Right of Participation.” All of us desire to belong. In A.A., no members are “second class.” The “Right of Participation” therefore reinforces Tradition Two, that no member is placed in “ultimate authority” over another. We perform our service tasks better “when we are sure we belong-when our ‘participation’ assures us we are truly the ‘trusted servants’ described in Tradition Two.” Office personnel voting? In A.A. we’re all equal.
Due to an inability to find a suitable volunteer, Area 51 has decided to hire an A.A. member, Hal LeDay, as a part-time computer programmer as webmaster for the Area website. Because of the amount of technical knowledge required, the webmaster position is a salaried position not subject to rotatlon, but is responsible for making reports to the Area Committee and Assembly. The amount of compensation is decided by the Area Committee and Assembly.
-In addition to having a voice should Hal have a vote at the Area Committee and Assembly, even though he does not represent any A.A. entity? Why or why not?
-Should Hal have a voting membership on the Website Subcommittee, which is composed of DCMs responsible lor recommending content changes of the website to the Area Committee and Assembly?
-Assuming Hal has a vote, should he have a vote on the amount of his
compensation? On accepting his report?
-What are the spiritual principles underlying the “Right of Participation”?
-What does “in reasonable proportion” mean?
-How do we determine what constitutes enough responsibility to “earn” a vote?