New Hampshire AA Area 43 / District 9
Brentwood, Candia, Derry, East Derry, Epping, Hampstead, Kingston, Londonderry, Newton, Raymond, Sandown
This document contains the current procedural and organizational documentation for the District Assembly of District 9, New Hampshire AA Area 43. It is maintained by the Ad Hoc By-laws Committee of District 9. For information, questions, or copies, please see the Committee Chair.
Draft as of May 7, 2007
Table of Contents
The General Service Assembly of Alcoholics Anonymous (District 9) is the guardian of local services and of the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous. The District shall be a services body only, never a government for Alcoholics Anonymous.
The District shall be composed of all registered A.A. Groups located within the confines of the communities of the District as recognized by the New Hampshire Area Assembly, with adjustments made for exceptional circumstances.
The District Assembly shall be composed of the Groups' General Service Representatives, Alternate GSRs, Contact people, District Committee Chairmen, Committee Members, Local Committee Members, and Officers.
Individual members of Alcoholics Anonymous, N.H. District Nine, are invited to attend and participate in discussion at any or all District Assembly or District Committee Meetings. Although they have no vote in the Assembly meeting, their input is needed and greatly appreciated.
In the spirit of Concept III, District Assembly members should be free to vote as their conscience dictates; they should also be free to decide what questions should be taken to the group level, whether for information, for discussion, or their own direct instruction.
The District shall relate its service voice and activities to the N.H. Area Assembly by means of its District Committee Member (DCM), GSR, Committee Chairs, and otherwise duly elected or appointed representatives. However, the District shall always exercise it's own guided conscience voice in relations to other service entities, based on the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous. It shall always carefully consider the intent and spirit of these principles when defining its place and actions within the service structure of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Consultation and a lateral exchange of ideas between Districts are encouraged. The primary responsibility of The District shall remain the guardianship of services within the confines, and related to the specific informed conscience, of District Nine.
The District will act for A.A. in the perpetuation and guidance of its world services at the local level. It will also be the vehicle by which the A.A. movement can express its view upon all matters of vital A.A. policy and all hazardous deviations from A.A. Tradition.
The District Assembly shall support their duly elected officers and committees in the exercise of their legitimate service responsibilities. The Officers and Committees shall keep the Assembly duly informed of all service activities and expenditures they have undertaken or wish to propose.
It will be understood, as a matter of tradition, that a defined majority of District Members voting shall be considered binding upon the duly elected or appointed District Representatives and related service committees. This in being provided the total vote constitutes a District Quorum. A quorum shall consist of the voting members in attendance at any District Meeting. Unless otherwise indicated by the recognized parliamentary or procedural authority, the District Assembly (Ultimate Authority) ought not to impair the ability of the District Representatives (Delegated Authority) to conduct routine service business. Routine being that guided by the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, Twelve Concepts, Guidelines and related GSO approved A.A. literature, District Guidelines and Assembly By-laws.
A Motion to Reorganize the District may be made at any time by any voting member of the Assembly. A Motion to reorganize the District may bring about a change in the District Charter, officers, and/or Services and Committees. A vote to carry such a motion will require an affirmative vote of at least 3/4 of the voting members present when the vote on a Motion to Reorganize the District is taken. In order to assure proper communication, prudent discussion and full representation of the groups in District 9, such a vote to reorganize shall occur no sooner than the next regularly scheduled District Assembly after a Motion to Reorganize the District is presented to the District Assembly, and seconded.
Members of the District Assembly who are eligible to vote on issues placed before the District shall be: all duly elected GSRs (alternate GSR in the absence of the GSR). The District Committee Chairman may vote in the event of a tie.
The General Service Representatives and Alternate GSRs are to be elected by the informed group conscience of their individual A.A. groups and meetings. The term for such positions is suggested as two years in duration
The GSRs and Alternate GSRs carry the voice of the informed consciences of the individual groups and meetings to the District Assembly. At the Assembly they work towards unity of purpose with the Officers and Committees in serving A.A. as a whole. In doing this they may and, when needed, ought to qualify or depart from their group's opinions on district matters in accordance with Concept III. The group's representatives possess greater on-hand knowledge of actual events, experience in current district issues and more abundant exposure to general A.A. service literature and responsibilities.
All District Representatives, (excepting registered committee staff members), are to be elected by the entire District Assembly at the District Meeting. The election Assembly will occur during the month of November, in the odd year, every two years. The duration of term of office for all District Representatives shall be two years. Elected District Representatives shall be all Committee Chairs, Local Committee Members, officers, and any position the Assembly deems necessary of this qualification.
Consecutive terms of office for a District Representative may be allowed if the representative has served only a portion of a full two-year term and only if the Assembly at each specific election meeting grants approval of nomination.
If a District Representative leaves office for whatever reason, the District Assembly may approve a new nomination and proceed to a vote to fill the office at any given District Meeting.
The District Assembly is at liberty to allow Committee Chairs to appoint assistant chairs, treasurers and staffs of their committee. It may also allow and call for an Instance of Approval of any appointments at the time of notification of such appointments at the District Meeting.
Election of all District Representatives, at the regularly scheduled election assembly, shall be conducted according to the Third Legacy Procedure (AA Service Manual), or as close to this as deemed practicable by the District Assembly. Election of District Representatives at any other Assembly Meeting (i.e. to fill a vacancy) shall be conducted by written ballot of two-thirds majority to carry or, if contested, Third Legacy Procedure shall apply. In each case the Third Legacy Procedure will be modified as follows: Rather than voting for all qualified candidates, only those willing to serve will be available for ballot. Their availability shall be indicated by having all qualified candidates stand and then having those unwilling to serve sit.
The District Officers, Local Committee Members, Committee Chairs, and Committee Staff Members shall be the actual service arm of the District, whose duties are essentially custodial in character. Excepting for decisions upon matters of policy, finance, or A.A. Tradition liable to seriously affect A.A. as a whole, these positions have entire freedom of action in the routine conduct of the local policy and business affairs of the A.A. District. They may name suitable committee members and subsidiary committees in pursuance of this purpose. The Officers are primarily responsible for the integrity of the policies and finances of the District, its subsidiary services, and for such other service entities that the District Assembly may desire to form.
Except in an emergency, neither the District Officers, Local Committee Members, Committee Chairs, Committee staff members, nor any of the related services ought ever take any action liable to greatly affect A.A. as a whole without first consulting the District Assembly. It is nevertheless understood that the Officers shall at all times have the right to decide which actions or decisions may require the approval of the District Assembly.
The District Assembly will hear all financial and policy reports of the Officers, Committee Chairs, Local Committee Members and other related service entities. The District Assembly will advise with the Officers, service entities and staffs upon all matters presented as affecting A.A. as a whole as well as locally. The District Assembly will engage in debate, form necessary committees and pass suitable resolutions for the advice or direction of the Officers and service entities.
The District Assembly may also discuss and recommend appropriate action respecting serious deviations from A.A. Traditions and Concepts, or harmful misuse of the name "Alcoholics Anonymous".
The District Assembly may draft any By-laws, Guidelines or Policies and Procedures to assist it in the pursuance of its primary duties. The Assembly may also formulate and adopt any amendments to such By-laws, Guidelines, or general Policies and Procedures that it deems necessary. Any amendments thereto should always be subject to the approval of the District Assembly by a two-thirds majority vote of the voting members present, and only with previous notice.
District Assembly Meetings shall be convened once during each month of the calendar year on a day and at a time deemed practical and effective by the District Assembly.
The District Charter, any subsequent Bylaws, Guidelines, and Policies and Procedures are not legal documents. They rely more so on tradition, unity, singleness of purpose within our local fellowship and the A.A. purse for their final effectiveness.
In all its proceedings the District Assembly shall observe the spirit of the A.A. Tradition, taking great care that the Assembly never becomes a seat of perilous wealth or power; that sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve, be its prudent financial principle, that none of the District members shall ever be placed in a position of unqualified authority over any of the others; that all important decisions be reached by discussion, vote, and whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that no District Assembly action ever be personally punitive or an incitement to public controversy, that though the District Assembly may act for the service of Alcoholics Anonymous, it shall never perform any acts of government; and that, like the Society of Alcoholics Anonymous which it serves, the District Assembly itself will always remain democratic in thought and action.
All terms are for a duration of two years. '
It is suggested that all officers have achieved at least five (5) years continuous sobriety.
It is suggested that all Local Committee Members, Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs have achieved at least three (3) years continuous sobriety
Voting status is defined by the District 9 Charter, Article 5 - Voting Members of the District Assembly .
It is suggested that officers and committee chairs all attend regular District Assemblies. Three absences without contact may provide cause for removal from post.
It is suggested that all Officers, Local Committee Members, Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs familiarize themselves with the following materials:
- The A.A. Service Manual.
- The Twelve Steps Of A-A.
- The Twelve Traditions Of A.A.
- The Twelve Concepts For World Service.
- The Legacies Of A.A.
- Various GSR Approved Reports (District 9 NHAA) available through Group Services.
- Numerous Conference Approved Books and Pamphlets Of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The DCM position assumes ultimate responsibility for all district activities. Although the DCM is not personally involved in each and every instance, the GSRs have entrusted to this position the burden of remaining informed of all current and upcoming issues. In addition, the DCM is the primary channel between the district and Area Assembly. It is the DCM who regularly attends the area meetings, reports there on the district status and activities, carries the district voice (vote) and delivers area information back to the district Just as the GSR is a group's initial voice speaking to GSO, the DCM speaks for the district as a whole. To qualify for the position a person needs: (1) a solid background in service work, preferably at both group and district level; (2) enough continuous sobriety (5 years); (3) the time to fulfill responsibilities to the district for the entire two year term.
- Chairs monthly district meeting
- Attends monthly area meeting and assemblies
- Works closely with the Alternate DCM
- Meets regularly with LCM’S
- Reports back to the district about the area meeting and GSO
- Reports to the area about the district events and group concerns
- Assists the delegate in obtaining group information in time to meet the deadline for A.A. directories
- Keeps GSR’s informed about Conference activities
- Makes sure GSR’s are acquainted with The A.A. Service Manual, the Twelve Concepts for World Service, the G.S.O. Bulletin Box 4-5-9, workbooks and guidelines from G.S.O., and any other service material
- Helps G.S.R.’s make interesting reports to groups, and encourages them to bring new A.A. members to service events
- Organizes workshops and/or sharing sessions on service activities
- Sends district minutes to the Delegate and alternate, and exchanges them with other districts
- Brings Traditions problems to the attention of the Delegate
- Makes regular practice of talking to groups (new and old) on the responsibilities of general service work
- Writes monthly agenda for district meeting
- Stands in for DCM when needed
- Contact person for rental agreement fill out annual paperwork to Community Center in August, noting months where holidays affect schedule
- Assist, participate and share in the DCM’s responsibilities at district and area meetings
- Makes regular practice of talking to groups (new and old) in zone on the responsibilities of general service work
- Assists GSR’s and/or groups with no contact to district
- Encourages groups to elects a GSR, or have a mail contact
- Elected by GSR’s in corresponding zone
- Has no vote in district, or area business
- Maintains records of groups in zone and reports to secretary and district about changes, or new group if GSR is not available
- Is an accessible reference to GSR’s and group members of traditions and concepts
- Attends monthly district meeting
- Attends quarterly Area Assemblies
- Attends LCM meeting with DCM
- Assist groups in getting involved in district activities
The District Treasurer is responsible for keeping track of all district financial matters. This person shall maintain accurate records showing the financial health of District 9. Some experience in accounting, bookkeeping, and computer skills is helpful but not required. The District Treasurer shall hold a key to the district P. O. Box and shall log donations from groups and process the funds to the district bank account. The Finance Chairperson shall hold a second P. O. Box key. The treasurer shall pay the bills of the standing committees and present a monthly report to the district (e.g. month of January presented at the February meeting; February at the March meeting, etc.) The District Treasurer shall not be the District Finance Chairperson. The District Treasurer shall meet as needed with the Finance Chair and/or Committee. A copy of the balanced bank statement and a copy of the monthly transactions shall be given to the Finance Chairperson each month. The District Treasurer shall make sure that another officer (Secretary, DCM or Alt. DCM is recommended) is also able to sign checks on this account. Five (5) continuous years of sobriety is suggested.
- Records and distributes minutes of district meeting
- Keeps mailing lists updated
- Collects and sends in New Group Forms and Group Change Forms to the area office.
- Bimonthly hotline meetings
- Every 2 months (usually area assemblies are where we meet)
- Maintains district hotline list
- Receives hotline call list from area assembly
- Correlates called numbers against list
- Create score sheet of:
- Answering service responded
- Individual calls answered
- Individual calls unanswered
- Reason for unanswered calls e.g. disconnected, no answer, etc.
- Lists unavailable numbers, e.g. disconnected, wrong numbers, repeated unanswered calls, etc.
- Receives districts hotline sign up sheets and lists them
- Submits information d and e above to (at this time, area chair) the area office.
- Reports to the district
- Have available hotline sign up sheets
- Receives filled hotline sheets
- Have "score sheet" of calls received
- Have available most recent call list as it exists
- Have available hotline call list from area assembly
- Attends monthly area hotline committee meeting and reports information to the district
- Collects names and other information for the volunteer call list
- Coordinates district functions (Picnic, Roundup, Assemblies, Breakfasts and Alkathon)
- Arranges facility rentals and contracts
- Sets up sub-committees and coordinates meetings for each event
- Convey information about A.A. to the general public, including the media
- Informing members of the professional community (clergy, therapists, medical professionals, etc.) about A.A.
- Attend monthly area PI/CPC committee meeting and report information to the district
- Provides display at district functions
- Chairs district PI/CPC committee
- Provides speakers and information about A.A. to organizations such as schools, or civic groups in district 9
- Upholds the tradition of anonymity at the level of press, radio, television and film
- Coordinates A.A. members in district 9 to carry the message of A.A. to alcoholics who are incarcerated
- Liaison to the Brentwood Corrections Facility and coordinates speakers for meetings
- Collects Conference approved literature to send to prisons
- Keeps update volunteer forms available to district members
- Keeps updated lists of “approved” volunteers
- Chairs district corrections committee meeting/encourages A.A. members to participate
- Attends monthly Area Corrections meeting
- Coordinate A.A. members in district 9 who are interested in carrying the message of A.A. to alcoholics in treatment facilities
- Coordinate call lists for “Bridging the Gap”
- Contact Treatment facility administrators in district 9 to discuss ways A.A. can cooperate with the facility to provide literature, meetings, or any other help within A.A. tradition
- Attend monthly area Treatment committee meeting and report information to the district
- Provide displays at district functions
- Informs the district about A.A. conference approved literature, audiovisual materials, the A.A. Grapevine, LaVina and other A.A. items
- Displays materials at district functions
- Travels to groups to encourage them to have a Grapevine Representative as a group position
- Provides guidance to GvR’s
- Chairs district Literature/Grapevine Committee
- Attends monthly Area Literature/Grapevine meeting and reports information to district
- Encourages purchase of A.A. literature from the NH area office
- Preserves the history of A.A. in District 9
- Maintains records of district and group histories
- Provides information to any group, or member who wishes to learn more about a group or district’s history
- Gathers and files items of historical information
- Provides displays at district events
- Attends area archives committee meeting
- Maintain GSR packets for new and alternate GSR’s
- Chair monthly district orientation meeting
- Orient new GSR’s to district and area information and responsibilities
- Maintain the operation and content of the district website
- Collects e-mails sent to the “Webmaster” address and processes this e-mail in the spirit of district service
- Maintains contract for service of website and makes sure Treasurer receives bill
The purpose of the Finance Committee is to make sure that our Financial Principles are maintained in accordance with Steps, Traditions, Concepts and Bylaws (see District Finance Committee By-laws on page 10) so as to assure that District 9 does not become money-crippled or go broke. This is where "Money and Spirituality" should mix. Sound accounting practices will be used to show the complete financial picture regarding all money that is collected and disbursed. It will assist the District by maintaining sound fiscal policies such as maintaining a prudent reserve. The committee will draft the annual budget and call a general meeting in which all standing committee chairpersons (and any interested member of AA-District 9) are invited to attend. The participants will provide input to help the finance committee finalize the proposed budget which will be presented to the voting body of District 9 for approval. The Finance Committee will review the budget estimates after the third quarter (Sept) and submit a revised budget if adjustments are needed. They will meet on a quarterly basis (more if needed) making sure that a detailed report is presented to the District. Any interested AA member may participate at any meeting. The voting body of the Finance Committee will consist of all GSR’s present at such votes The budgets will be voted on and ratified by the group conscience present at the monthly GSR meeting for District 9.
The District 9 Finance Committee shall oversee all financial matters so as to provide guidance and advice to the District when and where money is needed to provide service work. These bylaws will allow continuity and a path to follow for future financial leaders of District 9.
The most common responsibilities of the District 9 Finance Committee are:
- To actively seek help from any AA resource (from GSO to the individual alcoholic) when an issue arises and to keep District 9 informed.
- To be the advisory committee to the District when and where money is an issue or fiscal policy needs to be updated.
- To maintain a written outline showing recommended ways to generate funds and how these funds shall be allocated (see Appendix B).
- To make recommendations to add, change or delete any type of fiscal policy if the need arises.
- To draft the yearly budget for approval and make recommendations periodically when financial changes are needed.
- To submit a detailed quarterly accounting report and comments regarding the general financial health of District 9.
The District 9 Finance Committee will make themselves available to all officers, committee chairs (and their members), GSRs and any District 9 member to answer any questions and will consider any good idea pertaining to finance. The fiscal year will begin on January 1st. All financial books of District 9 will be open to all members.
- The District 9 Finance Committee shall be composed of 7 members:
- The District 9 Treasurer and the District 9 Finance Chair Person plus 5 of the members who are current chairpersons for their committee ie. DCM, ALT DCM, PI/CPC, Functions, Corrections, Archives, New GSR, Treatment, . The Treasurer will be voted in by the District voting body every two years and their two (2) year plus three (3) week term will start on January 1st of every even year. The Chair Person will be voted in by the District voting body every two years and their two (2) year plus three (3) week term will start on January 1st of every odd year. They will be required to participate in finalizing the last quarterly report of their term (inc. yearly results) with the new incoming treasurer. This meeting to be held before the first District meeting of the transition year (even year/January).
- If these members miss two (2) consecutive quarterly meetings without informing the other Committee members, the Finance committee may request through the District Committee Member that the District voting body replace that member in accordance to Article III, la or Ib depending if an elected treasurer or member.
- All Finance Committee Meetings shall be held at the call of the chair making sure that everyone is notified in a timely fashion. Meetings will be held at least two times a year so as to provide the District with complete and updated reports. At quarterly meetings all three treasurers bookkeeping reports shall be up to date so as to allow the information to be combined into one quarterly report to be presented to District 9. The chair shall call the first meeting to be held in January before the first District meeting of the year. The final quarter and the yearly results of the prior year will be its agenda. A report shall be submitted at the January District meeting. During the transition year, the three (3) outgoing and the three (3) incoming treasurers will participate (incoming to chair) in this first meeting. The first quarterly report of the current year will be presented at the Districts April meeting showing the results for the first three (3) months (Jan., Feb. & March) and then every three (3) months after (July, Oct., and Jan). These reports shall include a year to date update plus comments to the financial health of the District.
- A yearly budget meeting shall be called by the chair to be held in October. Any member of District 9 is invited to attend. All standing committee chairs are strongly encouraged to participate (non voting) and to provide input. During the transition period, the incoming and outgoing committee chairs are invited to participate. The incoming and outgoing treasurers (outgoing to chair) will have a vote on what shall be drafted into the proposed budget that is to be presented at the November GSR meeting. Approval of the budget by the District voting body to be voted on at the November or December meeting.
- The District 9 Treasurer will chair the committee. A basic knowledge of parliamentary procedures is helpful.
- A Recording Secretary shall be appointed by the chair. If this person is not an elected member, he or she may participate in a non-voting capacity.
- The Chairperson shall preside over all District 9 Finance Committee meetings. He or she shall call all meeting and make sure that all members are notified of the time and place of such meetings. Bi annual meetings are held in the month when they are due and shall be announced at the preceding District meeting giving any AA member the opportunity to participate in a non-voting capacity. The Chairperson shall combine all three (3) treasurers reports into one main report showing how each segment is doing. A complete general financial health statement is required.
- A subcommittee that may be needed to resolve a financial issue shall be appointed by the chair. A nominee must be approved by a majority vote of the Finance Committee.
- When a vote is needed, the Finance Chairperson may cast a vote only when his or her vote will break a tie, or his or her vote will create a tie. If a tie results (chairperson to vote last), the motion is defeated and cannot be reintroduced at the same meeting.
- The duties of the Recording Secretary are to assist the presiding chairperson and to record the minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting.
Amendments to these By Laws may be submitted in writing (at least 30 days before a quarterly report) to the Finance Committee for consideration . This proposal, with recommendations if needed, shall be presented to the District voting body at the next quarterly report meeting. A 2/3"1 majority is needed for the amendment to pass.
The District 9 voting body, the Chairperson or quorum of members of the Finance Committee may call a special or emergency meeting. At least a 72 hours notice shall be given to the Finance Committee members. They should do their best to inform all interested parties of time and place.
- Contributions from groups in District 9 to the General Treasury.
- Maintain a one (1) to three (3) month operating expense in the general account.
- Additional moneys may be transferred to the Prudent Reserve.
- Contributions from groups in District 9 to the Answering Service Treasury.
- Maintain operating expenses up to three (3) to six (6) month in the service account.
- Prudent Reserve of 3 months operating expense be set aside.
- Direct contributions from members of District 9.
- This may happen if an unexpected service need becomes clear.
- Transfer from the Function Committee any proceeds exceeding their allotted $2000.00 seed amount into the General Treasury.
- 7th Tradition at each District Meeting and General Service Meetings to the General Treasury.
- Contributions received by sponsoring a special event such as a convention or conference to the General Treasury.
- Budgeted moneys for A.A. Services including business expenditures:
- Alternate DCM
- Cooperation with the Public Community
- Group Services
- Operations (rent, insurance, coffee, etc.) Cost.
- Local Committee Members
- Finance Committee
- Other ways to spend money during year (Group Conscience needed).
- Suggestions from any Committee.
- A good idea, even if going over budget, should be discussed.
- Transfer money into Answering Service if its Prudent Reserve is not maintained.
- Donations to Area and/or G.S.O.
- From moneys received from D, E, & F (not to be retroactive)
- A good idea from an A.A. member, GSR or a Group that helps to improve service to the groups and the newcomer.
- Set aside unexpected windfall for a cause that is in committee being debated.
- Prudent Reserve Fund may be looked at if needed.
- Spend Down due to an inflated Treasury (recommended by the Finance Committee).
- Should try and spend in District 9.
- Any suggestion by any member of District 9 to go wherever Group Conscience decides is best (A.A. service entity only).
This outline suggests ways District 9 should manage its Inflows and Outflows. It is in a form of a resolution and the Finance Committee may add, change or delete a portion; however, changes may not be permanently binding. A simple majority from the voting body is needed for change which may come in the form of accepting a fiscal budget. The Prudent Reserve Fund not to exceed 12 months of operating expenses for general treasury, answering service and function committee combined.