The following Description of Duties, taken from the NETA Handbook, give information for both the Delegate and the Alternate.
Summary: the Area Delegate service position is a demanding job, not only because of the large amount of time and work involved, but because of the responsibility to serve worldwide AA. As a voting member of the Conference, he/she brings to its deliberations the experience and viewpoints of their area. Yet the Delegate is not a representative of the area in the usual political sense. After hearing all points of view and becoming fully informed during Conference discussions, the Delegate votes in the best interests of AA as a whole.
Qualifications: Some characteristics seem to make for a well-qualified Delegate:
- Several years of active participation in local and area matters, as a GSR and as a district and area committee member.
- Time available for the week-long Conference meeting in April and all the efforts needed before and after the Conference.
- The ability to make and take suggestions (and criticisms too) and experience in chairing meetings.
- Knowledge of AA matters and of where to find the correct information when they do not know the answers.
- Represent the area as an informed, but not instructed, representative to the General Service Conference to help formulate the group conscience of the AA Fellowship as a whole.
- Communicate the actions of the Conference to area committee members and encourage them to pass on this information to groups and to Intergroup/Central offices.
- Invite the AA Speakers, Chairpersons, and Voice of the Convention for the Fall Area Assembly and Convention.
- Attend area, state and Region service meeting and assemblies (i.e. SWRAASA, SWRDA and Forum).
- Help standing committees, district committees and GSRs understand the substance and effect of Conference Advisory Actions. Assist GSRs, DCMs and standing committee Chairs in forwarding requests or suggestions to the General Service Conference. Encourage district and standing committees and groups to discuss General Service Conference final report and respond to advisory actions.
- Provide a leadership role to advance an understanding of the principles of the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of Service and how they apply at groups, districts and the area.
- Remind GSRs to inform groups and individuals about the AA Grapevine and Conference-approved literature.
- Cooperate with GSO in obtaining group, district and area information in time to meet the deadline for each issue of the AA directory and help carry out the triennial membership surveys.
- Visit groups and districts in the area whenever possible and represent the area in Region matters.
- Assume added responsibility if the Area Chairperson and Alternate Chairperson are unable to serve. Or, if an area committee is not functioning effectively, take an active role in remedying the situation.
- Keep the Alternate Delegate fully informed and active, so that the Alternate can replace the Delegate in an emergency.
- Work with the newly elected Delegate to pass along knowledge of Conference proceedings and problems.
- Suggest policy and procedure changes to the area committee and assembly that can make them more effective.
- Assist any district and/or standing committee that is having difficulty to restoring it to good working order. Meet with area standing committees as needed, referring appropriate matters of area concern to the pertinent area standing committee for action and/or recommendations to the area committee and assembly.
- Present the preliminary and final Conference Agenda to the assembly. 16. The Delegate is also a voting member of the Finance Committee and participates in that Committee’s preparation of the Area Budgets and Area Policies regarding financial issues. By Conference advisory actions in 1955 and 1973, the Service Manual (Chapter Five) states that the AA practice of rotation prevents delegates from succeeding themselves and as past delegates they not hold office as GSRs or DCMs.
Area-Specific Duties of the Alternate Delegate:
- Attend the Southwest Region Delegates Assembly (SWRDA).
- Report to the assembly and area committee on the scheduling of AA events and activities in the Area, Region and Fellowship wide. Provide a written report of upcoming events, such as Regional Forums, State Conventions, SWRAASA, and local conventions (provided the event has tables setup for the Service Committees) at assemblies and committee meetings.
- Serve on the SWRAASA Committee and attend SWRAASA Committee meetings (held at the SWAARDA, Regional Forum and/or SWRAASA.
- Stay fully informed with the G.S.C. process during the year, in case the Delegate cannot attend the Conference. Be available for any meetings (telephone or other) with our Regional Trustee when he/she gives updated reports from General Service Board meetings.
- Past Area Delegates are strongly encouraged, and financially supported, to continue actively participating in area affairs. They are called in for consultation or for special assignments, such as chairing area sharing sessions, speaking at special meetings designed to inform members about A.A. worldwide, or conducting workshops or orientation meetings for Groups, Districts and new G.S.R.’s and D.C.M.’s.
- The area assembly has designated past Delegates as non-rotating, non-voting, ex-officio officers of the area committee. Past Delegates are encouraged not to stand for Area Officers or Standing Committee Chairs.
- The immediate past delegate serves as a member of the Texas State Convention committee for two years after rotation and is encouraged to actively participate in that committee’s decisions and deliberations.