The U.S. Postal Service is older than the United States itself: Benjamin Franklin appointed the first postmaster general in 1775, a year before the Revolution against Great Britain erupted. Ever since, the Postal Service has been woven into the very fabric of our democracy, ensuring that vital, and not so vital, information is conveyed from Point A to Point B, seemingly effortlessly.
The work of the USPS is anything but effortless, though. It is a massive undertaking, requiring, as of 2019, more than 633,000 employees to move the mountains of mail that are sent daily across the country and around the world. Where, as a nation, would we be without the Postal Service?
Being paper-based, the agency might seem anachronistic in an age of increasingly digital communication, and it has seen a steadily diminishing volume of mail over the years with the growing popularity of email. But millions of Americans, many without broadband connectivity, still depend on “snail mail” as their primary source of communication with others. At the same time, vital goods, including medications, are sent by mail. Your Herald newspaper is mailed to you.
We are thus dismayed to see the Postal Service, such a basic and integral part of the nation, become politicized in the months leading to the presidential election. It is increasingly apparent that President Trump is seeking to slow the service’s operations in order to disrupt mail-in balloting, a shameful tactic given the importance of mail to so many Americans.
Congress must act immediately to provide adequate funding so the USPS can carry out its solemn duty through the election, when mail-in balloting is expected to spike as the coronavirus pandemic drags on. Many Americans in regions across the country are concerned about voting in person, and rightly so.
Tell your congressional representative to support the Postal Service with a funding bill separate from any Covid-19 relief package — which, by the way, was still a no-go as of press time on Monday.
Where to write
You can find information on how to reach your congressional representative at the following websites:
U.S. Rep. Peter King, 2nd District: https://peteking.house.gov
U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, 3rd District: https://suozzi.house.gov
U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice, 4th District: www.kathleenrice.house.gov