Letter to Postmaster General
Dear Postmaster General Louis DeJoy,
I strongly oppose your recent actions that will have the effect of dismantling the U.S. Postal Service. Your decrees to eliminate all overtime and to eliminate mail sorting machines, your declaration that “if we cannot deliver all the mail due to call offs or shortage of people...the mail will not go out,” and your reassignments and displacements of twenty-three highly ranked Postal Service officials indicate your alarming willingness to destroy one of our nation’s most important public institutions. You have obliterated decades of institutional knowledge as part of your blatant attempt to sabotage mail delivery.
If carried out, you will further undermine already struggling rural communities and put American’s lives, especially senior citizens, at risk.
In my rural state of Vermont, the local post office is often the heart of our smaller communities. Post offices connect us to family and friends, which is critically important during the unprecedented times of this health pandemic. Beyond that, many of our elderly rely on the postal service for delivery of life-saving medications. With more and more online purchasing, mail delivery is increasingly important, not just for customers but for the many small businesses that need to ship products.
I would propose, like Bernie Sanders has long advocated, that basic banking services should be offered at post offices, something that’s routine in most of the world. This would create a better option than the long distances that some working people need to travel to access banking services. For those without a bank account or relationship, there are few options for cashing a check. In 1910, President William H. Taft inaugurated a postal savings system for immigrants and poor Americans that lasted until 1967. This should be re-established. There is a fork in the road. One direction will lead to the eventual destruction of the postal system. The other can help rebuild our communities and connections.
It is particularly distressing that you are making these drastic changes to the postal service at a time when millions of Americans and nearly all Vermonters will be voting by mail in this critical election. Our Democracy and social institutions are key to the strength of the economy and our communities. I strongly urge you to cease these destructive actions. I also strongly support a freeze on any further actions that will negatively impact the postal system in the midst of this pandemic. The health of our citizens and their ability to safely participate in voting and the future of our democracy is at stake.
I’m adding my support to the hundreds of leaders who oppose any efforts to dismantle the USPS. I am also sharing this letter with our federal delegation as well as Senate President Mitch McConnell and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Lt. Governor David Zuckerman
Cc: Senator Patrick Leahy
Senator Bernie Sanders
Rep. Peter Welch
Senator Mitch McConnell
Rep. Nancy Pelosi