Special Edition: Post Office
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Trump would like nothing better than to limit voting in November, and he has appointed the perfect postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, a major donor, to effectuate his plan of voter suppression. One city in Michigan revealed that 165 ballots arrived late and were not able to be opened or counted in the election earlier this month, despite the fact that the ballots had been postmarked by the required deadline. https://www.crainsdetroit.com/government/sterling-heights-clerk-receives-dozens-late-absentee-ballots-mail DeJoy has eliminated employee overtime, removed mail-sorting machines from postal facilities around the country, and reorganized or eliminated Postal Service leadership—leaving not only mail-in voting in doubt but disrupting the delivery of essential medicine, veteran and Social Security checks, packages, and so on. While DeJoy has walked back some of his plan, there is no mention of returning the sorting machines, mailboxes, and trucks to bring us back to the same level of service we had before. https://www.apnews.com/26926bf85cae5175fbd920efb534ef84 As has already been evidenced, the USPS upheaval will affect the 2020 election.
WE MUST HELP SAVE THE POST OFFICE!
KEEP THE PRESSURE ON DEJOY TO REVERSE POST OFFICE DAMAGE AND MORE: Caving to pressure from lawmakers, attorneys general, and the public, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced that he is “suspending” some policies he instituted that are causing mail delays, https://www.npr.org/2020/08/18/903477948/postmaster-general-will-testify-at-senate-hearing-friday. While this is progress, it is not enough. DeJoy has not said he will undo the damage already done, nor do we know if he will keep his word, especially when the election draws nearer. He also has not addressed his serious conflicts of interests, including involvements with other mail services and suspicious purchases of Amazon stock. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/amid-political-controversy-postmaster-generals-stock-holdings-renewed/story He is untrustworthy, the wrong person for the job and should resign. The House is not cancelling his hearing, the now-21 states suing him are not backing down: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/at-least-20-states-plan-to-sue-the-us-postal-service-over-service-delays-threat-to-election/2020/08/18/c6ca2dc6-e166-11ea-b69b-64f7b0477ed4_story.html and neither should we. Let’s tell our MoCs that we expect:
- All election mail to be treated as first-class mail, delivered on time, and given the highest priority
- Reinstatement of overtime hours and extra delivery trips so that all ballots will be picked up and postmarked on the day they are dropped
- Emergency legislation to fully fund the USPS
- An immediate end to all mail backlogs and delays; restoration of slashed hours
- Replacement of all public mailboxes that have been removed since DeJoy’s tenure began and the unlocking of all mailboxes that had been locked
- Replacements for all mail-sorting machines removed since DeJoy’s tenure began
- Reinstatement of the 33 USPS experienced executives in their former positions
- DeJoy’s immediate resignation from his job as Postmaster General for his colossal mishandling of the USPS and injury to the public
- Reversal of the new rule that forbids USPS employees from signing absentee ballots as witnesses. https://www.adn.com/politics/2020/08/18/in-rule-change-postal-service-forbids-employees-from-signing-absentee-ballots-as-witnesses/
FRIDAY: DEJOY APPEARS BEFORE SENATE COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS: “The hearing, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. ET [Friday, August 21] before the Republican-led panel, will mark DeJoy’s first time directly answering questions from Congress about the post office, which has come under intense scrutiny in the runup to the 2020 presidential election.” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/18/usps-chief-louis-dejoy-to-face-more-scrutiny-in-senate-testimony-friday.html Trump is not happy with the timing: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2020/08/19/trump-knocks-mcconnell-for-usps-hearing-ahead-rnc-convention/5605708002/Using the bullet points above, let’s contact members of this committee with our concerns before Friday’s hearing: https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/about In addition, if we have experienced delayed mail, prescriptions or benefit checks not arriving in time, mailboxes removed, or other postal problems, we can use this page to let Ranking Member Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) know: https://www.peters.senate.gov/postalor call the Committee: (202) 224-4751, then share this call for stories with our friends on social media.
MONDAY: DEJOY APPEARS BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND REFORM: “The new postmaster general has agreed to testify before the Democratic-led House Oversight and Reform Committee next week amid growing pressure from lawmakers to reverse a series of changes that have led to mail delivery delays, adding to concerns about whether Americans voting by mail could be disenfranchised.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/postmaster-general-louis-dejoy-testify-congress-mail-delays/Using the bullet points above, let’s contact members of this committee with our concerns before Friday’s hearing: https://oversight.house.gov/members In addition, if we have experienced delayed mail, prescriptions or benefit checks not arriving in time, mailboxes removed, or other postal problems, we can tweet to @OversightDems, post on Vice-Chair Rep. Gomez’s (D-CA) FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/154054825137425/posts/778661916010043/or call the Oversight Committee: (202) 225-5051, then share this call for stories with our friends on social media.
TELL OUR REPS: PASS HR 8015TO RESTORE AND SAVE POSTAL SERVICES: After speaking with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has confirmed that he will NOT undo any of the damage he has already inflicted on the USPS, refusing to replace machines dismantled or removed or to ensure adequate overtime to make sure all ballots are postmarked the day they are mailed. https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/81920 and https://thehill.com/homenews/house/512764-pelosi-says-postmaster-general-doesnt-plan-to-replace-mail-machines-boxes Now it is even more vital, given DeJoy’s refusal to undo his sabotage, that we urge our Representatives to pass the Delivering for America Act (H.R. 8015), which would reverse changes that obstruct mail delivery and prohibit future ones during the coronavirus crisis or through January 2021. It includes $25 billion requested by the Postal Service and supported unanimously and on a bipartisan basis by the Postal Board of Governors. https://www.speaker.gov/sites/speaker.house.gov/files/FactSheet_HR8015_DeliveringForAmericaAct.pdf We can read more hereabout H.R. 8015, the “Delivering for America” act, then call our Representatives and tell them to vote yes in time for this Saturday’s vote. We can then share this with our friends on social media to help get our Post Office back on track.
CONTACT THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE INSPECTOR GENERAL: “The internal watchdog for the U.S. Postal Service has launched an investigation into recent changes made at post offices across the country by the new postmaster general, who is a Trump appointee, CBS News has confirmed.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-postal-service-inspector-general-investigating-changes-post-offices/Let’s contact the UPSP Inspector General and encourage this investigation and share some of our concerns: https://www.uspsoig.gov/form/file-online-complaint or USPS OIG, 1735 North Lynn Street, Arlington, VA 22209-2020.
PUT PRESSURE ON THE USPS BOARD OF GOVERNORS: According to this, “The [USPS] Board directs the exercise of the powers of the Postal Service, directs and controls its expenditures, reviews its practices, conducts long-range planning, approves officer compensation and sets policies on all postal matters. The Board takes up matters such as service standards and capital investments.” “Most members of the U.S. Postal Service’s board of governors, who were responsible for selecting Louis DeJoy as postmaster general, have numerous ties to the Republican Party as well as to President Donald Trump’s associates and administration.” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/18/gop-and-trump-ties-run-deep-on-the-us-postal-services-board-of-governors.html These members, who are appointed by the president and at whose pleasure the Postmaster General serves, need to hear us and our concerns. Let’s tell them: https://about.usps.com/who/leadership/board-governors/
- Board of Governors, United States Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20260; 800-275-8777
- Robert M. Duncan, Chair. CEO Inez Deposit Bank, 41 W. Main St, Inez, KY 41224; 606-298-3511; firstname.lastname@example.org;
- John M. Barger, Managing Director, NorthernCross Partners, LLC; 515 S. Figueroa St, 16th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071, 213-629-8356; info@NorthernCrossPartners.com; (Unverified: email@example.com)
- Ron Bloom, Managing Partner, Brookfield Asset Management, Brookfield Place, 250 Vesey Street, 15th Fl., New York, NY 10281-1023, (Unverified: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Roman Martinez IV, Private Investor, Board of Directors, Cigna Corporate Headquarters, 900 Cottage Grove Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002; 860-226-6000; (Unverified: email@example.com)
- Donald L. Moak, Founder & CEO, The Moak Group, 401 9th St NW Suite 740, Washington, DC 20004, 202-838-3800; (Unverified: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- William D. Zollars, Private Investor, Board of Directors, Cerner Corporation, 2800 Rock Creek Pkwy, Kansas City, MO 64117, 816-221-1024
(In contacting any or all of these people, it is worth our understanding the history of the “crisis” it is claimed now afflicts the postal service: https://ips-dc.org/how-congress-manufactured-a-postal-crisis-and-how-to-fix-it/ See also very important information from postal workers themselves: https://www.apwu.org/savepostoffice and https://www.nalc.org/)
VOTE BY MAIL: All states will mail an absentee ballot to, at least, certain voters who request one. Since voting is a state process, we need to learn what our state can and cannot do. Let’s use this state-by-state guide from Postcards for Americato find out and get prepared for the November election: https://www.postcardsforamerica.com/vote-by-mail.html If we request an absentee ballot, let’s be smart about returning it in a timely fashion so that our vote counts.
CIRCUMVENT THE POST OFFICE BY DROPPING OFF MAIL-IN BALLOTS IN PERSON: For those of us who feel unsafe about voting in person but worried that USPS will not deliver our mail-in ballot in time, let’s Google our supervisor of elections (in smaller towns, this might be the Town Clerk) to find out where we can drop off ballots in person. (Note: This is usually not the polling place). All states allow this option and some states have tracking systems to make sure it is verified–another thing to ask our Supervisor of Elections about. Contact our state legislators and ask them to institute a tracking system, if our state doesn’t have one.
ASK YOUR STATE TO PUT UP BALLOT DROP-OFF BOXES: Connecticut is the latest state to put up ballot drop-off boxes in public locations across the state. Some states have been doing this for years and the process has been non-controversial–up to now. Republicans are once again spreading misinformation about how the process can lead to voter fraud. https://www.nbc12.com/2020/08/12/ballot-drop-boxes-are-next-legal-fight-voting/. If our state doesn’t have ballot drop-off boxes, let’s ask our State Election Office to put them up in order to make voting more accessible to people worried about COVID and the unreliability of the USPS.
CONSIDER VOTING EARLY: 41 states have early voting options, which allows voters to cast their ballot with less risk of long-lines and extensive exposure to other people. Let’s check out this listand find out if we can vote early in our state in order to avoid the recent uncertainty around USPS.
DEMAND RESIGNATION OF POSTMASTER GENERAL LOUIS DEJOY. The current Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, is a Republican megadonor, with no post office experience. His actions have already resulted in slowing mail delivery; he has removed mailboxes and sorting machines and refused to pay overtime, threatening timely mail delivery. He must not be allowed to stay in this position. Let’s sign this petition from MoveOn, that asks the Postal Board of Governors to remove him from this post. Let’s also ask our MoCs to pass legislation that depoliticizes and fully funds the Post Office immediately.
ATTEND “SAVE THE POST OFFICE SATURDAY” RALLY: “On Saturday, August 22, at 11 a.m. (local time), we will show up at local post offices across the country for “Save the Post Office Saturday” to save the post office from Trump and declare that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy must resign.” We can sign up here for more information or to organize an event: https://act.moveon.org/survey/save-the-post-office-from-trump
RESISTBOT: From one of our own: Text USPS to 50409. Resistbot will sign and send a letter on your behalf directly to your specific representatives telling them that you are in support of saving the postal service.
We can stay up to date on Congress by checking out their schedules. a) The House publishes a weekly schedule at The Weekly Leader (published and dated Friday) as well as daily schedules at The Daily Leader. b) The Senate updates their schedule daily at the Senate Floor Schedule
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