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Help Save the US Postal Service

by Folabi Olagbaju

May 20, 2020

Trump wants to destroy the USPS at a time when it is called upon to save our democracy with an expanded vote-by-mail in the upcoming election.

A sign outside a post office in Fairfax, Virginia. US Postal Service (USPS) workers have been declared essential employees to keep mail and packages moving during the coronavirus. The USPS is a source of liberation for the most marginalized, providing medications for neighbors, family and friends, as well as actively supporting mailing in tribal and rural communities.

© Tim Aubry / Greenpeace

Trump has consistently attacked the US Postal Service, suggesting as far back as 2018 that it be replaced with a privatized system that could hike up prices, leave over half a million people jobless, and worsen our chances of having a more secure, just, and equitable democracy.1 Your relentless action has been a key driver of the bold legislation we have a chance to pass in the coming weeks, but as always, there’s pushback from Trump and his administration cronies.

Days ago, the House passed a monumental act for human rights, financial security, and well-earned relief during these trying times. The HEROES Act is a legislative work that could improve working conditions for Essential Worker with personal protection equipment and paid sick leave; provide needed economic relief for families; and safeguard our right to a more healthy and functioning democracy by explicitly providing funding to save the USPS—ultimately paving the way for infrastructure like national vote-by-mail.

The HEROES Act provides the necessary funding to keep the USPS afloat during this crisis, providing a defense from Trump’s heartless agenda.

Trump is using the pandemic as an opportunity to destroy a vital American institution for his own selfish interests, fueled by deep-seated greed for monopolization and the hope of a disengaged public too tired to utilize our right to dissent. For months now, Trump has openly expressed his disapproval of vote-by-mail expansion—knowing that more people will engage in electoral politics—and he has openly mentioned that we need to get rid of the US Postal Service, acting in favor of less accessible and more expensive corporate mailing systems.2

It is not a coincidence that Trump wants to destroy the USPS at a time when it is called upon to save our democracy with an expanded vote-by-mail in the upcoming election.

Dismantling this nationally respected and historic institution would put more than half a million people at risk of losing their jobs during a time when job uncertainty is worse than the Great Depression. Tell the Senate we need a full-fledged HEROES Act, with the proposed funding for the US Postal Service.

sign now

The USPS is a vital and indispensable source of social connection for the most marginalized, providing medications for neighbors, family and friends, as well as actively supporting mailing in Black, Brown, tribal and rural communities. Folks in isolated communities like the deep mountains of Colorado and Wyoming will suffer greatly if the USPS goes away. What’s scary here is this: for-profit delivery corporations have no incentive to add those communities to their routes if mail is privatized, because sparsely populated rural routes are not profitable to them.

Trump and his henchmen didn’t hesitate to ignore the swath of public support for the ReWIND Act, and he continues to provide sweetheart loans to the largest polluting industries across the globe. Not to mention, since he entered office, he has openly spoken out against unions—and the USPS is one of the nation’s largest unionized employers.3 It comes down to asking ourselves a crucial question from our own movement’s perspective: Which side of history do you want to be on?

The need for a strong postal service is directly tied to our ability to vote in a more fair election for the planet and the people.

We have a strong chance at saving one of America’s most beloved institutions. Some of you might ask why this is important to Greenpeace, and our response is that we are building solidarity across movements. This global pandemic has proven that what we need is togetherness, not siloed asks for action.

They want to divide us. Pollution, exclusion, and job insecurity are factions of current systemic powers aiming to exploit this pandemic crisis and dismantle essential public services, among other things. There is no question that we are living in a real-time “shock doctrine”.

Despite the uncertainty and fatigue, you’ve tweeted, called, signed petitions, written letters, and maybe you’ve even joined in a socially distanced protest. Because of your activism, they heard you and made this crucial piece of legislation a large step in our movement’s momentum.

Keep the momentum. Push the needle. Demand the necessary funding to save the USPS.

sign now

While it’s very clear that we still have a long way to go in fighting the corporate and political leaders who play a role in fueling these unjust and unsustainable systems that plague the people and planet, this is the time to focus and get the HEROES Act across the finish line.

Together, we will create a more just and peaceful future for generations to come.

 

[1] https://thehill.com/homenews/house/494571-pelosi-really-dangerous-to-privatize-the-post-office

[2] https://www.businessinsider.com/postal-service-funding-crisis-could-harm-voting-by-mail-coronavirus-2020-4

[3] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-administration-tells-agencies-to-restrict-unions-in-the-workplace/2019/10/07/39a0b3e8-e928-11e9-85c0-85a098e47b37_story.html

Folabi Olagbaju

By Folabi Olagbaju

Folabi Olagbaju joined the Greenpeace USA team at the beginning of 2020 Democracy Campaign Director. Folabi brings a wealth of experience as a human rights advocate and recognized leader in the global social justice movement.

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