Structure Manual

District 38
Area 59
Eastern Pennsylvania
General Service Area

General Service Structure Manual

Summary

Early in 1999 questions were being raised about how District 38 “normally” handled certain situations and procedures. Some in attendance at the district meeting seemed to remember that “it was always done” this way or that. When asked why, the answer was often “just because that’s the way we have always done it”. It became clear that we could benefit from putting in writing some of the important procedures commonly used, at present, in our district. This is a revised edition of that structure manual by the panel 59 Structure committee. Revision date May 2009

The General Service Representative (GSR) – (See The A.A. Service Manual – Current Edition).

The GSR is a vital part of AA. They serve as the link between the Groups and the District. Each Group elects its own GSR. It is usually a two (2) year commitment and it is suggested they have at least two (2) year’s sobriety. They are the guardians of the AA Traditions. Also see the pamphlet “G.S.R.” and “The A.A. Group.”

  • Regular attendance at the Home Group
  • Attendance at Group Monthly Business Meetings
  • To understand Group Conscience and take back to the District
  • Brings all appropriate handouts back to the Group
  • To share their service experience with the Group
  • Attendance at Monthly District Business Meetings
  • Gives Group Status Report at District Meeting
  • Participates on at least one (1) District Sub-Committee
  • Brings Group announcements to District meetings
  • Attends yearly E.P.G.S.A. Area Convention/Assembly
  • Attends at least one (1) Area Business Meeting
  • Attends at least one (1) Mini-Assembly
  • Reads and follows District 38 Structure Manual
  • Attends annual District 38 Workshop

The Alternate GSR – (See GSR Description)

The alternate GSR’s role is two part. The first is to back up the GSR in case they are unable to fulfill a commitment. For example, if the GSR cannot attend the District Business Meeting, it is the alternate GSR’s duty to attend. The second role is to step into the GSR position if the GSR resigns. Suggested time of sobriety is one (1) year, depending on Group Conscience.

  • Regular attendance at the Home Group
  • Fills in for GSR when unable to fulfill commitment
  • Attendance at Group Monthly Business Meetings
  • To share their service experience with the Group
  • Recommended Attendance at Monthly District Business Meetings
  • Optional participation on a District sub-committee
  • Suggested Attendance at yearly Area E.P.G.S.A. Convention/Assembly
  • Suggested attends at least one (1) Area Business Meeting
  • Suggested attends at least one (1) Mini-Assembly
  • Reads and follows District 38 Structure Manual
  • AGSR votes only in absence of the GSR


District 38 Officers

DCM –                     Liaison between District/GSR’s and Area Delegate (5 Yrs. Sobriety Suggested)

ADCM –                 Backup for DCM and steps up to position if DCM resigns (3 Yrs. Sobriety Suggested)

Secretary –           District Record Keeper (3 Yrs. Sobriety Suggested)

Treasurer –           Maintains District’s funds (3 Yrs. Sobriety Suggested)

Officer at Large – Fills District officer position if anyone other than the DCM resigns (3 Yrs. Sobriety Suggested)

* If no candidate is available with the minimum sobriety requirements, then the voting body can waive this suggested sobriety time, provided the potential candidate is familiar with service at the District level. Those wishing to stand for a District Office should also be familiar with the AA Service Manual (current edition).

DCM – District Committee Member (See “The A.A. Service Manual” – Current Edition).


District Level Duties
(including but not limited to):

  • Holds/Chairs Monthly District Meeting
  • Gives DCM Report during meeting
  • Gets guest speakers for District Meeting as required/requested
  • Recruits Sub-Committee Chairpersons as needed
  • Stays in contact with Sub-Committee Chairpersons as needed
  • Responsible for, and Advisor to, District Workshop Sub-Committee
  • Makes reports of all Area 59 and GSO functions
  • Represents the District as Spokesperson in all matters
  • Makes written report of all Area 59 and G.S.O.

Area Level Duties (including, but not limited to):

  • Attends Quarterly Area 59 Meeting
  • Gives District Report – verbal and written
  • Participates in Area 59 Sub-Committee (Sub-committee and duties determined by the Area officers)
  • Participates in Mini-Assemblies, Share-A-Day, District 38 Workshops and E.P.G.S.A. Convention/Assembly and NERAASA

ADCM – Alternate District Committee Member (See “The A.A. Service Manual” – Current Edition).

District Level Duties (including, but not limited to):

  • Attends Monthly District Meeting
  • Gives ADCM Report during meeting
  • Advisor to Sub-Committees
  • Shall assume the duties of the DCM as needed
  • Familiarizes GSR’s with the Service Manual

Area Level Duties (including but not limited to):

  • Attends Area 59 Meetings with DCM
  • Participates in Mini-Assemblies, Share-A-Day, District 38 Workshops and

E.P.G.S.A. Convention Assembly and NERAASA

Secretary

District Level Duties (including but not limited to):

  • Attends Monthly District Meeting
  • Keep minutes of District Meeting
  • Copies and distributes monthly minutes to GSR’s and District Officers
  • Maintains and Updates District Meeting List and GSR list (Confidential List)
  • Fulfills all other District correspondence as directed
  • Turns over original District meeting minutes to the archivist each year
  • Fulfils all other District correspondence as directed

Area Level Duties (including but not limited to):

  • Attends at least one (1) Area 59 Meeting
  • Participates in Mini-Assemblies, Share-A-Day District 38 Workshops and E.P.G.S.A. Convention/Assembly

Treasurer

District Level Duties (including but not limited to):

  • Attends Monthly District Meeting
  • Gives Treasurer’s Report (Verbal and Written)
  • Speaks on 7th Tradition each month at District Meeting
  • Collects Donations from District’s Groups, and sends thank-you notes
  • Pays District Expenses
  • Maintains and balances District checkbook
  • Prepares Yearly District Budget for January District Meeting
  • Works with District Sub-Committees to establish and maintain their budgets

Area Level Duties (including but not limited to):

  • Attends at least one (1) Area 59 Meeting
  • Participates in Mini-Assemblies, Share-A-Day, District 38 Workshops and E.P.G.S.A. Convention/Assembly

Officer-At-Large (No special election to replace Officer-At-Large, if steps up to another position)

District Level Duties (including, but not limited to):

  • Fills any position (except DCM) if District Officer resigns or is temporarily unavailable to fulfill their duties.   The OAL will take over the vacant position temporarily until the position is filled by the election of GSR or Alternate GSR. (See Page 10)
  • Familiarized with the District 38 Structure Manual
  • Should have experience as a GSR
  • Attends monthly district meeting

Area Level Duties (including, but not limited to):

  • Attends at least one (1) Area 59 Meeting
  • Participates in Mini-Assemblies, Share-A-Day, District 38 Workshops and E.P.G.S.A. Convention/Assembly

Sub-Committees

The purpose of District 38’s sub-committees is to allow GSR’s, District Officers, and District AA members to meet, share information and take action to carry the AA message on a District level. Each sub-committee is to have a Chairperson, subcommittee members and a District Officer who will act as an advisor. The District ADCM will be liaison to all subcommittees. The Chairperson should be a GSR and have at least two-(2) year’s sobriety. The Chairperson will be chosen from within the subcommittee, and if none are found, the advisor will appoint someone.

Archives – To maintain and document the history of District 38 with materials relating to information about District 38, Area 59 and AA as a whole (where relevant to the District).

District Workshops(s) – To share information about AA related topics in a larger format than regular meetings. The ADCM will be responsible for forming a District Workshop subcommittee each year and overseeing the workshop (as needed).

Grapevine – To stress the importance of The Grapevine magazine and other Grapevine materials as tools for sobriety and to aid new Grapevine Representatives in learning about The Grapevine and how to sell subscriptions and related items. The District ADCM will be the Advisor to this subcommittee.

Structure – To create and maintain a systematic procedure for District activities. The DCM will be the Advisor for this subcommittee.

Visitation – To visit Groups in the District in order to facilitate communication between the District and groups, especially with District Officers.

Special Needs – To provide outreach service to local community members with needs that present a challenge to being a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and the achieving of sobriety. Including, but not limited to physical handicaps, language barriers or learning disabilities. (See AA service pamphlet: Serving Alcoholics With Special Needs.)

Website/Newsletter – To publish a monthly record of events relating to District 38 and other AA related articles.   The newsletter will be handed out at each District meeting, when available. The content of the newsletter will be given to the DCM, at least one week before     publication, for   review   and comment.   All   content should   be   AA related. If   no comment/response is made by the DCM, the Editor has the option to publish the newsletter, before the District meeting. The website is to maintain information on District 38 activities, meetings and external links to EPGSA 59 and GSO (New York).

Intergroup Liaison – Attends intergroup meetings and reports at monthly district meeting

Community Awareness – Inform the community at large within the district 38 as to how AA works and what AA does and does not do.

Special Terms:

Liaison – Will be the DCM, who is to represent the District authority and be ultimately responsible for the functioning of the subcommittees.

Advisor -To represent the District, appoint a Chairperson and attend subcommittee meetings.

DISTRICT 38 MEETING FORMAT

The open District Meeting will be held once a month. The District hosts 2 socials during the year. Currently (2014), it is being held at St. James UCC in Limerick, PA at 7:00 PM the last Tuesday of every month. All District officers, GSR’s and/or Alternate GSR’s should be in attendance. The DCM will be the chairperson. If the DCM is not present, the chairing order will be ADCM, Secretary and the Treasurer.

  • Grapevine report
  • Answering service report
  • Treasurer’s report and 7th Tradition basket is passed (Motion to accept).
  • Summaries and Actions
  • Call for any Groups missed.
  • Secretaries report
  • Roll Call by Secretary and Group reports .
  • The Chairperson will read, or appoint, a GSR to read the Concept corresponding to the month and discussion will follow.
  • The Chairperson will read, or appoint, a GSR to read the Tradition corresponding to the month and discussion will follow.
  • The Chairperson leads the Unity Pledge.
  • The Chairperson will call the meeting to order.
  • Subcommittee Reports – Given by Subcommittee Chair or designated member: Archives
  • District Workshop(s)
  • Structure Visitation Special Needs
  • Website
  • Intergroup Liaison
  • Community Awareness
  • First Contact
  • Newsletter
  • DCM Report
  • ADCM Report
  • OAL Report
  • Guest Speaker / Presentation (If any).
  • Old Business
  • New Business
  • Motion to end meeting with Responsibility Pledge
  • Chairperson asks for GSR or Officer to volunteer to do next month’s Tradition reading.
  • Chairperson asks for GSR or Officer to volunteer to do next month’s Concept reading.
  • Motion to end meeting with Responsibility Pledge

DISTRICT 38 MEETING PROCEDURES

  • Meeting time is limited to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Any overage must be voted on and approved.
  • Only GSR’s, acting Alternate GSR’s and District Officers may sit at the tables and speak, so as to keep participation limited to those representing Groups. Also to aid in counting during any voting.
  • Motion Procedure: 1) Motion brought to floor, 2) discussion, 3) call, if motion remains, if so; ask for a second, 4) call for vote. GSR’s or acting Alternate GSR’s, and current District Officers all have one vote.
  • After a vote has been taken, minority opinion will be heard, at which time, another vote may be taken if any wish to change their vote.
  • Any amendments to the Structure Manual, or any item on the floor, will be passed by a majority vote only. Abstentions will not be counted in the final vote.
  • Questions on procedure will be answered by the OAL. If the OAL does not know the answer, the Structure Committee will advise along with the District Officers.

DISTRICT 38 ELECTION PROCEDURE

There are five (5) elected positions at the District level, elected every two (2) years. (See Section on District Officers) The election is held on even-numbered years, coinciding with the Area 59 Delegate and Officers election.

DCM – Liaison between District/GSR’s and Area/Delegate (5 yrs. sobriety suggested)

ADCM – Backup for DCM & steps up to position if DCM resigns (3 yrs. sobriety suggested)

Secretary – District record keeper (3 yrs. sobriety suggested)

Treasurer – Maintains District’s funds (3 yrs. sobriety suggested)

Officer-At-Large – Fills District Officer position if anyone other than DCM resigns (3 yrs. sobriety suggested)

Grapevine, Answering service, Archives, and Intergroup Liaison are appointed by the DCM

Eligibility

  • Eligibility to Run: Current District Officers, (except outgoing DCM) and all present GSR’s. In the event no GSR’s accept a position, the election chair will open the position to present Alternate GSR’s.
  • Eligibility to Vote: Each group should have one vote – GSR, Alternate GSR, or designated representative, and current District Officers.
  • To be elected, the nominee must be present at the election meeting to be able to accept or decline.

Nominations

  • At the September meeting, as part of “New Business,” (meeting Chairperson) will bring up the topic of elections. A brief explanation will take place, with Q&A to follow.
  • At the October meeting, the (Chairperson) will bring up nominations as part of “Old Business,” and, at this juncture, the Officer-At-Large will turn the meeting over to the past/outgoing DCM to chair the election. The election chair will ask for a roll call before beginning the election process.

Elections – Will be part of the October’s District meeting with time extensions voted as needed.

  • Voting will be Third Legacy Procedure (See page 13 for diagram)
  • Elections will be held after the ‘New Business’ section of the format, so as all business of the District will be completed.
  • Elections will be chaired by an Area Officer (Election Chairperson – ‘EC’). (If no Area

Officer is available, the past/outgoing DCM will chair the election)

  • Elections for each position, starting with the DCM and proceeding to the ADCM, Secretary, Treasurer and the Officer-At-Large.
  • Each eligible District Officer and GSR will accept or decline the nomination.
  • The EC will ask the voting members if they wish written ballots or not (this will hold for all positions), by a simple majority vote by show of hands. The EC will have two (2) nonvoting members available to count hands or ballots.
  • The EC lists the names of each candidate.
  • Votes are cast (written or show of hands – as determined earlier). Votes for each candidate are counted.
  • The first candidate to receive two-thirds (2/3) vote is elected.
  • After the second ballot (assuming no candidate receives the necessary two-thirds on the first ballot), any candidate having less than one-fifth (1/5) of the total vote will be withdrawn automatically, except that the top two (2) candidates must remain. (For ties in second place, the top candidate and tied second place candidates remain)
  • After the third ballot, candidates with less than one-third (1/3) of the total vote will be withdrawn automatically, except that the two top candidates must remain. Same procedure as above for tied second place.
  • After the fourth ballot, if no candidate has two-thirds of the total vote, the EC asks for a motion and second, and a majority of hands on conducting another ballot. If the motion is defeated, balloting is over and we “go to the hat” immediately. Lots are then drawn by the EC, and the first one “out of the hat” becomes the DCM.
  • The ADCM is elected by the same election procedure. Secretary, Treasurer and Officer-At-Large are elected by simple majority vote (one more than half the total votes).

Rotation of Officers

  • New officers will begin in January. New and old officers will be present for December’s meeting to augment a smooth transition.

District Officer Resignation

  • When a District Officer resigns, other than the DCM, within a period of two (2) months there will be a special District election to fill the position that has been vacated. The only positions to be filled by special elections – ADCM, Treasurer, Secretary or Officer At Large.
  • When the DCM voluntarily resigns before term expiration, the ADCM will step up to the position for the remainder of the term (until the next election cycle

DISTRICT RESPONSIBILITIES / ETIQUETTE

  • The District will fund the following activities:
  • Sending the DCM and ADCM to the Annual Area 59 Conference/Assembly (full fee and expenses)
  • Sending the District Secretary, Treasurer and Officer at Larger to the Annual

Area 59 Conference/Assembly (one day registration)

  • Sending DCM and ADCM to Area Meetings, Mini-Assembly and Area Day
  • Sending the DCM to NERAASA (full fee and expenses, when the District has adequate funds in the bank account)
  • Travel expenses for the above events are to be included in the yearly budget.

Other events, not mentioned above, are to be brought to the District Meeting for expense approval.

  • Mileage expenses for ADCM and DCM will follow Area 59’s guidelines.
  • At District meetings, group representatives (GSR’s, Alt. GSR’s, or acting officers) will speak only when recognized by the Chairperson.
  • District Meetings should be set up one-half (1/2) hour before meeting time.
  • District 38 believes in the spirit of rotation and encourages all its’ members to get involved in service and share responsibilities.
  • District 38 believes strongly in the Traditions of AA and endeavors to uphold the Traditions in all its affairs and encourages all its members to gain an understanding of the Traditions.

AMENDING STRUCTURE PROCESS

All the requests for amending the Structure Manual must be presented to the Structure Sub-Committee at the District meeting, or at the Sub-Committee meeting. The requests should be written, but may be verbal if properly recorded.

The Structure Committee will review the request, holding in mind the Traditions, consulting with District Officers, Area Officers and subcommittees, and other members as needed.

At the next District Meeting after the request has been put to the Structure Committee, the committee as part of its committee report, advises the meeting of the request. The committee will continue to include the request in its report as long as the request is under consideration. The committee, upon reaching a consensus of opinion, will advise the District Meeting of their decision.

  • If the opinion of the committee is that no amendment should occur, then a written statement will be presented to the District Meeting with an explanation of why no action was taken. If at the District Meeting there is opposition to the committee’s decision to take no action, the opposition will state their reasons and the committee will again take the action under consideration, continuing to advise the District of the status. If, again, no action is recommended, it will again be brought before the

District. If, again, there is opposition to the committee’s recommendation, the matter will stay active between the committee and the District until a resolution is achieved.

  • If the opinion of the committee is that the structure should be amended, a written statement will be presented at the District Meeting with an explanation. If there is opposition, then the above-described procedure should be followed. If there is no opposition, then the structure manual will be amended and revised.
  • Opposition will be qualified by majority vote.

NOTE:

This Manual is a guide for our trusted servants at the District level. We on the Structure Sub-Committee would like all Groups to keep that in mind, that…

Ultimately each Group is governed by an Informed Group

Conscience.

A Declaration of Unity

This we owe to A.A.’s future;

To place our common welfare first; To keep our fellowship united.

For on A.A. unity depend our lives, And the lives of those to come.

Reprinted with permission from A.A.W.S., Inc.

Preamble

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organizations or institutions; does not wish to engage in controversy; neither endorses or opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

District 38 believes in the 12 traditions and the 12 concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Reprinted with permission of the AA Grapevine, Inc.

In Service,

District 38 Structure Sub-Committee