That CNCA 06 Extend Voting Participation at the Area Committee Meetings and at Assemblies to the Chairpersons of Area Standing and Sub-committees.

Presentation of New Business at the Area Committee Meeting, 12/16/23
  • That CNCA 06 extend voting participation at the Area Committee meetings and at assemblies to the Chairpersons of Area standing and sub-committees 
    – Presented by Carol H, Jacqueline P, John O, Jose L, Thom H – Standing Committee & Sub-Committee Chairs CNCA06 Panel 73

    Presentation: Jose L.
    We’ve had a few months of discussion and listening to your feelings and opinions about this topic. After the Area decided to stop discussing the topic, we believed it was time for someone to present a motion.

    Q: If we added these votes, would that shift the number of voting members here in the Area (i.e., committee chairs, Area officers, DCMs, and DCMCs) over people representing groups (GSRs)?
    A: It would be 6 or 7 more votes, not creating an imbalance or a bloc.

    Q: What’s the basis for the situation we are in now? Do we not allow chairs to vote because that’s how it’s always been, or was there ever any discussion in the motions deciding that we don’t want them to vote?
    A: When the Area started having who is eligible to vote, the idea was that GSRs represent groups, DCMs represent subdistricts, and DCMCs represent districts. Committee chairs don’t. At that time, it was decided they were not eligible to vote.

    Q: When was it decided not to let committee chairs vote? Was it in the motions book, or was there a discussion?
    A: It wasn’t in the motions book, so I couldn’t find when it was decided. I’d suggest looking at the Dean K. history book. When we talked last panel about whether you had to be present at the assembly to make yourself available, and someone asked me questions about who was available to stand for election, I found some information in that book useful.

    Q: Would chairs be available for delegate or area officer commitments if this motion passes?
    A: This motion does not cover that. The answer would be in the next motion.

    Vote by simple majority to keep the motion at the ACM (23 for ACM; 20 for Assembly).
    Motion will become New Business at the Area Committee meeting on January 20, 2024.
New Business at the Area Committee Meeting, 1/20/24
  • Group Consciences:
    This motion needs to be voted on at the area assembly. Voting participation is a matter that sets precedence and affects the policy of the entire area and should be voted as such.

    There were a lot of questions about the need being addressed in this motion. It’s a complex issue. They didn’t feel there was enough clarity to make an informed decision. A member expressed that the Chairs’ involvement and expertise be part of a vote. Another member believed that they were too far removed from the groups.

    Personal Opinions:
    I propose we revisit the decision to discuss and vote on this at the ACM instead of at the Assembly. A similar motion was sent to the assembly.

    I’d like a definition of the chairs. Someone on the Archives committee mentioned chairs. Would they have a vote?

    The chairs of the committee are the only people under consideration.

    How would we move this to the assembly instead of the ACM?

    Area Chair: If I hear enough discussion, I will take a sense of the room.

    The decision to keep this at the ACM was decided on a simple majority of 23 in favor and 20 opposed. This is a very close vote on substantial area policy and procedure. This affects all business and should be assembly business, not ACM business.

    I don’t support this motion. Chairs don’t fall into the Conference structure.

    I would like to revisit where we discuss this motion. Multiple districts in our area have discussions about this issue (subcommittee chairs having a vote). Where better to reach our GSRs than when we come together at an assembly?

    I agree that this motion should be moved to the assembly. The ACM is below the assembly, and this is where any policy decision should be made. Groups are at the top of the upside-down triangle. Group representatives are at the assembly, not at the ACM. Although chairs do good jobs, they tend to be topic-specific and may not have a background of what’s happening with districts and groups.

    I voted in the majority to keep the discussion at the ACM. Most of the voting these members would be at the ACM, but they would be voting members at the assembly. We should have the discussion here at the ACM before moving it to the assembly. My reservation about giving them voting participation is that they’re appointed to the committees by area officers and then voted as chairs by themselves. I’m curious to know why this may not be a good idea.

    You don’t have to be in General Service to be on the committee or be a chair. If that’s the case, they should not be able to stand as officers. They need some service experience.
    As worded, it should go to the assembly because it affects the assembly.

    I think we should move this to the assembly. I’m concerned about what this would mean for the leadership of CNCA.

    When the vote was taken, there wasn’t a breakdown of online versus in-person votes. We should reconsider this motion.

    Last month, the vote was 23 to 20 to keep this motion at the ACM; now ten people want to reconsider.

    The chair took a sense of the room to determine whether the body would like to reconsider the vote to keep this motion at the ACM. Vote by simple majority to determine whether the motion will remain ACM business or become Assembly business. Assembly: 40. ACM: 11
    Motion to become Presentation of New Business at Pre-Conference Assembly on April 6, 2024.
Presentation of New Business at Pre-Conference Assembly, April 6, 2024.

Presentation: Thom H. presented.
This motion was originally presented at the December 2023 Area Committee Meeting (ACM) and is driven by Concept Four’s “Right of Participation,” which allows a voting representation in reasonable
proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge (A.A. Service Manual). Chairs of CNCA standing and subcommittees tend to practice the policies and procedures of their committees. This often results in motions that move forward the Area’s ability to assist the still-suffering alcoholic. CNCA’s past procedures advise that chairs of standing and subcommittees have no vote. A similar motion came before the body seven years ago. It was passed at the Preconference Assembly in 2016 and failed at the Post-Conference.

Q: Which are standing committees and subcommittees?
A: All those who gave reports today are standing and subcommittees (Accessibilities, Archives, Bridging the Gap, Finance, PI/CPC, Interpretation and Translation, Technology, and Website). There are two kinds of committees. Area Officers appoint Standing Committees to serve the Area (Finance, Tech, Web, I&T). Subcommittees (Archives, BTG, PI/CPC, and Accessibilities) serve districts. There is more sharing, but they still have a chair and still work for the Area but in a different way.

Q: How are the chairs of these standing and subcommittees selected?
A: The chairs are elected by the voluntary members of that committee.

Q: What was the sense or feeling of the chairs bringing this motion forward?
A: A lot of the policies are created by committees and presented to the area, but the committee chairs don’t have a vote on the policies they create.

Q: How would they vote?
A: They would have the same vote as DCMs, DCMCs, GSRs, and Area Officers.

Q: What are the requirements for being part of a standing committee or subcommittee?
A: Anyone can volunteer to be a member of the committee (i.e., have never served as a GSR, DCM, DCMC, etc.) Consequently, a chair does not need those qualifications to be elected chair.

Q: How many committees exist on the list in the General Service structure?
A: We’re not the Conference or part of the Conference structure. We meet the needs of the area.

Q: Where did this motion originate?
A: The chairs of the committees brought it forward.

Q: If this were to pass and the chair could not attend a meeting and vote, would the alternate get a vote instead?
A: As written, just the chair gets a vote.

Q: Is there any consideration for having service requirements for the committee chairs, or is it independent of each committee?
A: There are no service requirements, but they have been participating in current affairs (attending committee meetings and area committee meetings) and have knowledge of and sometimes craft motions brought to the area.

Q: Committee members are volunteers. Do they volunteer and are appointed by Area Officers?
A: Chairs are voted in by the committee members once formed. Area officers appoint standing committee members once they put their names in to say they are available. Subcommittees are volunteers.

Q: Who would the chairperson be voting on behalf of?
A: They would be voting as a representative of their committee.

Q: How would this impact the votes?
A: There are eight committees, so eight more people would be voting. Today, we have 100 people, so eight would be about .8%.

Q:Do other areas do this?
A: Seventy other areas are doing this.

Point of information: It’s only seven new voting members because the PI/CPC Chair is the Alternate Delegate, who already has a vote.

Motion to become New Business at the Post Conference Assembly on May 11, 2024

New Business at Post-Conference Assembly, May 11, 2024.

Group consciences:
Since committee chairs are attending the area committee meetings and assemblies, are informing people and are informed, they should be bringing the vote. They’re doing the work and are
in service, let them vote.

I’m the BTG chair for my district. Our committee considers the subcommittee a liaison to general service. The liaison definition is communication or cooperation which facilitates the close working relationship
between people or organizations. The committee believes for them to be able to vote, they should have general service experience.

My group thinks chairs already have a disproportionate share of influence on what’s on the agenda. It varies by area, and we get to do what we want. My group votes no but loves the chairs.

Most of the district was in favor of this motion. Chairpersons in our district do have a vote.

Personal opinions:
In the A.A. Service Manual, on page 19, it states that the composition, and typically voting members, of an assembly include GSRs, DCMs, Area officers, Area committee chairs, and the area delegate. Also,
under Concept Four, we have the principle of participation: that the trustees, the directors of our service corporations, and respective executive staff shall always be voting members of the General Service Conference itself. The executive staff is like chairpersons for area committees.

Four of the areas in the Southwestern areas do this, and most of the districts do this. It’s consistent with Concept Four as just said. Each category or classification of servants
at a given level should have a vote at that level. Because they have knowledge of what’s going on, it’s good for unity and participation. We want their experience and knowledge at the microphone, and we want them included. It would not be many people, it’s not like it would overwhelm the votes.

Committee chairs are not elected by the area; they are elected by the committee. Their voices are being heard by their GSRs at their home groups. This would give them two votes.

Concept Four has a footnote on page 14 which applies to delegates but can be generalized to the area. It says we aren’t in constant session, but there are a lot of people focusing on the day-to-day working on the
subcommittees. These people have much more working knowledge and their perspectives are valuable for those of us who aren’t spending as much time on the day-to-day service. It behooves us to rely on their expertise when making decisions.

As a past subcommittee chair, this is interesting. As trusted servants, we’ve had votes that weren’t considered in the previous motion. We should let them participate with us and be with us. If not, they’ll be on
the side and not be able to decide on matters that affect the area.

I’m a new GSR. I don’t feel confident to vote in some of these. Committee chairs’ votes may hold more value than mine because of their experience. I have a voting right simply because I got voted in.

I believe they should have a vote. They’re like the DCM, DCMC, or GSR to their committees. To say that they need general service background, they’re already in general service. They have
valuable input that would make us stronger as an area and have better informed groups and decisions. There aren’t many, it’s not as if they’re going to change the vote.

I thought this motion had an amendment that chairs had to have served as a past DCM or DCMCs.

That amendment is to the next motion, not this one.

There are people here today and people who have been here over the years who know nothing about what goes on at assemblies or area meetings, but they have a vote. That’s how we learn. We come here and as we hear others participate; we begin to ourselves. Initially we don’t know what we’re voting about, but we figure it out. The people in subcommittees know what’s going on in A.A. If they don’t vote, they’re not sharing with us what they’ve gotten from their service. We make A.A. stronger by having more people participate.

Motion to become Old Business at the Summer Assembly on August 10, 2024.

District 04 Santa Clara North