For one week every April, the 93 Area Delegates from across the US & Canada gather for the General Service Conference to make decisions which will affect us all. Delegate John W. will gather input from as many groups as possible. To that end, he will create a questionnaire on several Conference agenda items for groups to review, fill out, and send back to him.
Each group's General Service Representative (GSR) will be responsible to bringing this to their group and to share the outcome with the Delegate. Check with your GSR to find out more. If your group doesn't have an active GSR, then you can bring it up to the group yourself.
The Delegate's Questionnaire is your group's chance to participate in the fellowship-wide decision-making of AA! Ask yourself: do I consider my group important enough to have our voice heard?
Developing Group Conscience
Groups typically review the questionnaire at their next business meeting after the Delegate's Day of Sharing (DDoS). If you don't have a business meeting in between the DDoS and the Pre-Conference Assembly, then try to work with the Group Chair to create some time to meet. It's best if any other business that isn't urgent be postponed to leave as much time as possible for developing a group conscience on the questions.
As the GSR or someone filling in, it's a great idea to email the questionnaire to other group members in advance and have some printed copies available at your meeting place. The GSR might also recommend which questions they feel will be of greatest interest to the group, which the group can consider at the beginning of the business meeting when prioritizing which questions to focus on.
At the business meeting, the GSR typically reads a question and shares some of the highlights of that item's background material, and then each group member can share their perspective. A time limit is recommended. After giving everyone a chance to briefly share once, if there's still time allotted for that question, a discussion can be opened up.
Usually the Secretary or GSR will take notes. The outcome should reflect any consensus reached, and if possible the differing perspectives when consensus was not reached.
In some instances, groups may not be interested in participating. A GSR can point out why it's important, not least of which is because an isolated group is like an isolated drunk. If your group still doesn't want to participate though, do not just submit your own personal take as the group conscience.
The Delegates Questionnaire is now available. Please see the links below for more info in English and Spanish: