A. GROUP CONSCIENCE
This is the vote of the meeting fellowship on matters affecting the group. In ACA all power rests with the members of the Program, not in “trusted servants.” Every member may vote. Any decision reached is to be, as much as possible, a reflection of the will of the group and a reflection of the spirit of our fellowship, not merely a majority vote. For “Substantial Unanimity” to exist, every member needs to be considered and as close as possible to a unanimous vote needs to exist. If there is substantial disagreement on the issue, more information and discussion may be needed before “substantial unanimity” can exist. The issue is then tabled until the next Business meeting and discussed again. If considerable disharmony continues, the issue may be dropped in order to maintain the unity of the meeting (Tradition 1).
B. MINORITY OPINION
Members, who have an opinion on an issue that is in the “minority,” have the right to present their concern at their business meeting.
C. BUSINESS MEETING ISSUES
A Business Meeting, generally held monthly after a regular meeting or as needed, is the format used to determine meeting policy on issues such as:
1. Election of officers
2. Changing time/date/location/focus of a meeting
3. Meeting format
4. Timer/sharing issues
5. Discussing literature/book policies
6. Smoking/non-smoking issues
7. Financial reports
8. Organizing special activities
9. Having the presence of children allowed at a meeting
10. Possible violation of The Traditions by member(s) of a meeting
11. Possible violation of the safety of a meeting
12. Using the 7th Tradition to fund activities
D. ANNOUNCING THE BUSINESS MEETING
During the announcements, a member may request a “Business Meeting” to discuss an issue. The issues to be discussed may be announced briefly with no discussion in the regular meeting. A business meeting is scheduled as soon as possible by the group (after the next meeting or at some later date). All members should have as much advance information and/or lead time necessary to prepare for a business meeting. For elections the business meeting might be announced one to four weeks in advance, for lesser issues, after the next regular meeting may be appropriate.
E. REGULAR ACA MEETINGS ARE FOR RECOVERY
It is not recommended to try to get the group conscience during the “Secretary’s Announcements”. Attempts to do so often result in a rush job and resentment of those who come to share, not to discuss business issues.
F. THE BUSINESS MEETING STRUCTURE
The Secretary chairs the meeting. Each issue to be voted on is announced during the Secretary’s Report of the regular meeting. During the Business Meeting, the issue is discussed, possible solutions are presented, and a vote is taken. A majority of those in attendance sets the meeting policy. If someone complains about insufficient advance notification during the Announcements of a regular meeting, then the group takes a “group conscience”: to determine if sufficient advance notification was given. If most feel they were given sufficient time and data, the Traditions have been served and the policy stands.
G. VOTING ON ANNUAL BUSINESS CONFERENCE (ABC) ISSUES
Each year ACA has an Annual Business Conference (ABC). Each meeting is eligible to send a delegate and one or more alternates. At this meeting the group conscience of those attending will serve to give direction to World Service Organization (WSO) for the following year. The ABC is usually held in April. Meetings which do not send a delegate may still express their concerns in writing. WSO has also in the past submitted to all registered meetings issues of concern for the group conscience of all meetings that wish to participate. This process has been referred to as a “Group Conscience Survey”. WSO also may send “Ballot Items” which, if passed by majority vote of all who participate, will become ACA policy.