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. Fill Expiring Board of Governors Seats Immediately with Pro-Post Office Governors.
The Biden administration and the Senate must work to confirm two diverse and forward-looking members to the postal Board of Governors for the expired and expiring seats currently held by Ron Bloom and John Barger, respectively. In December, they must confirm two more governors for the expiring seats held by Lee Moak and William Zollars. 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 governors who are forward-looking and better reflect the postal workforce would create a majority that believes in the post office’s unique and continued relevance in our communities. 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 is the moment to turn post offices into a community hub for services. Let’s bring back postal banking, fishing licenses, access to government benefits like social security, provide senior checks, electric vehicle charging stations where there is demand, and free WiFi in the parking lot for towns that don’t yet have broadband coverage. The postal service is uniquely positioned to do all this. Read more about what the postal service could be in the People’s Postal Agenda. In the meantime,
- Congress must pass The Postal Service Reform Act (H.R. 3076/S.1720) to eliminate the pre-funding mandate, integrate postal retirees into Medicare, and enable USPS to offer non-postal services. We also support The Postal Service Improvement Act, which implements tracking of all mail-in ballots nationwide and updates the FMLA to require paid parental leave for postal service employees.
- 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 yield bank accounts that the Federal Reserve currently offers only to the 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.
- Congress must approve language that directs the postal service to pilot non-bank financial services in 10 locations, half rural and half urban, in The FY22 Financial Services & General Government Appropriations Bill.
3. President Biden to Make a Postal Speech.
President Biden must make a speech laying out a 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 employing Black people and serving as a pathway to the Black middle class. It should include postal banking, but also other expanded services that could generate new revenue while meeting unmet social needs, particularly in BIPOC and rural communities. These could include rural broadband and fishing licenses, checking in on seniors and transmitting information about their welfare to caregivers, voter registration, adding value to bus and subway passes, providing affordable delivery services for local food producers and people who have difficulty getting to grocery stores, census outreach and verification for social security and other benefits.
4. President Biden to Name a Postal Czar.
In President Biden’s future of the post office speech or elsewhere, the President should name a focal point or a “postal czar.” The person nominated to the position would need to expressly support postal banking, have interagency experience, and take an expanded view of the post office’s role in our democracy. The position is necessary to provide interagency leadership capable of leading the executive branch’s vision for the post office of the future.