by Kathleen C.

Short Form: 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.

No members are “second class.”

I was surprised to discover that Concept IV is about equality, humility and inclusion: 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.

 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. 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.”

Photos from Unsplash

All of us desire to belong

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. 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.

reprinted with permission AAWS

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