The Save The Post Office Coalition: What we’re calling for
The Save the Post Office Coalition came together in summer 2020, soon after Postmaster Louis DeJoy began sabotaging the post office with service cuts and mail slowdowns. The coalition’s membership includes over 300 organizations that range from national groups like Public Citizen, ACLU, NAACP, Indivisible, MoveOn, Color of Change, the American Postal Workers Union, National Farmers Union, VoteVets, and RuralOrganizing.org, to state groups like Mainers for Accountable Leadership, Alaska PIRG, and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.
1. President Biden to Fill Last Two Postal Board Seats with Governors Who Will Protect & Expand USPS.
Two USPS Board of Governors seats currently held by Lee Moak and William Zollars expire in December. The Biden administration and the Senate must work to confirm two new governors who view USPS as a service, and who are representative of the postal workforce and the nation. Louis DeJoy is actively doing damage to the Post Office that may be irreversible, and the current board has not held him accountable. The addition of two governors who will fulfill their oversight role would deliver a majority on the board working to expand, not shrink, USPS, and build the USPS of the future. The Senate must prioritize these nominations, with or without Republican support.
2. Congress to Enable Postal Leadership to Build the USPS of the Future.
Congress must act to remove artificial barriers to USPS’s success, and actively enable the postal service to bring in new revenue streams. Now that The Postal Service Reform Act’s passage has addressed longstanding but artificial budget shortfalls, Congress must free USPS to proactively bring in new revenue from services like postal banking.
- The Banking for All Act: One in four American households is unbanked or underbanked, including half of all Black households. This leads to costly alternatives that function as a lifetime tax on accessing your own money. Congress must pass legislation to permit USPS to bring back postal banking through The Banking for All Act (The Access to No-Fee Accounts Act in the House), which would grant regular people access to the no-fee high interest bank accounts that the Federal Reserve offers to commercial banks, and establish a branch network of post offices, community banks, and credit unions to be reimbursed for expenses associated with offering these accounts.
- The FY23 Financial Services & General Government Appropriations Bill: Congress must approve report language that directs the postal service to pilot affordable non-bank financial services in 10 locations, half rural and half urban.
3. USPS to Replace Aging Fleet with Union-built Emission Free Vehicles.
Louis DeJoy must reverse course on USPS’s contract with Oshkosh Defense for non-union built, combustion engine vehicles that are only .4 miles per gallon more efficient than the current thirty year old fleet, and built by a non-union workforce. Frontline Black and Brown communities are being poisoned by trucks with combustion engines, and mail carriers who drive postal trucks are particularly affected from vehicle idling which releases high levels of localized air pollution. Experts also agree that electric vehicles will save USPS money over combustible engines in the long-term, due to high gas prices and electric vehicles’ significantly lower maintenance costs. The nation can’t afford for the largest federal fleet to sign up for another 20-30 years of toxic air. USPS must put letter carriers in union-made electric vehicles that are good for the planet and their bottom line.
4. President Biden to Make a Postal Speech.
Louis DeJoy’s ten year plan for USPS is slower mail, higher prices, and fewer hours at rural post offices. President Biden must make a speech laying out a more expansive vision for the future of the post office as a community hub for services. This vision should build on the postal service’s history of serving every community, no matter how remote, and its long history of serving as a pathway to the Black middle class. Rooted in the success of USPS packing and delivering rapid COVID tests, the President can deliver a vision of USPS expanding services to generate new revenue while meeting unmet social needs, particularly in BIPOC and rural communities. Services could include postal banking, rural broadband, fishing and hunting licenses, checking on seniors, voter registration, adding value to bus and subway passes, Census outreach and verification for Social Security and other benefits.
5. President Biden to Name a Postal Czar.
The President should name a focal point or a “postal czar.” The person in this position would need to have senior interagency experience and take an expansive view of the post office as a public service vital to our democracy. The position is necessary to provide the high-level leadership that can forge constructive interagency partnerships to deliver non-postal services as part of the executive branch’s vision for the post office of the future.