When the people gathered for the virtual monthly meeting for Legislative District (LD) 18 a couple of weeks ago, there were calls from our elected representatives (Mitzi Epstein, Jennifer Jermaine, and Sean Bowie) to help people who are waiting for their first unemployment checks and/or have been forced to rely on food banks. There were requests to help the Navajo Community besieged by the Coronavirus. There were appeals to help the Post Office.
I have to admit that the last one floored me.
One would not normally expect a call to help save the Post Office in the same breath that calls for helping hungry children or people besieged by a health pandemic but that is what has happened thanks to the actions of reactionary fringe interests over the last 15 years.
AZ Blue Meanie has written several riveting pieces in April explaining the plight of the Post Office, driven to fund their pensions decades in advance at the hands of reactionary conservative leaders (Mr. Trump and his Trump Zone-Fox Island-Disinfo War Allies) looking to drive the postal service into the hands of eager privatizing hands that could potentially threaten mail-in voting.
In the negotiations for the CARES ACT, the Democrats wanted to give the Post Office money to help it get through the Public Health Emergency but Trumpists told them the 2016 Popular Vote Loser would veto the bill if it was included.
Instead, the Post Office is getting a ten billion dollar loan instead but it is to be administered by Treasury officials who want to steer the institution towards privatization.
This is wrong.
The Post Office has been a public service since before the founding of the Republic and has delivered the mail and packages through the country’s expansion, Civil Wars, World Wars, and economic downtimes. It should not be subjected to such asinine treatment by the fringe right.
Elected officials should not have to spend time at monthly district meetings holding out the virtual tin cup for constituents to buy stamps so the Postal Service can make it until the end of the year.
Arizona Democratic Congressional Candidates in Districts Four, Five, Six, and Eight offered their views on the plight of the Post Office.
Please see below for their comments.
Congressional District Four Democratic Candidate Delina DiSanto
“Our USPS is pertinent for our country, especially in rural areas. Plus Americans love USPS. Conservatives want to privatize it. Trump has vindictive hostility against USPS because he thinks USPS is giving Jeff Bezos sweetheart deals to deliver Amazon products. Republican congress in 2006, passed a bill requiring the agency to set aside around $5.5 billion per year to prepay health care benefits for future retirees. USPS tried to shut down some offices where services have dropped dramatically and cut out Saturday deliveries, but congress blocked that. These financial burdens from congress have made USPS have more debt and liabilities.”
“In an April 9th telebriefing to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, the Postmaster-General, Megan Brennan, warned that without financial assistance the agency could run out of money by the end of September. The postal service does need to restructure their debt obligations, but in the meantime, Postmaster General Megan Brennan asked lawmakers for $89 billion in assistance. This would include $25 billion in grants to cover losses from the pandemic, $25 billion for infrastructure modernization, $14 billion in debt payments related to retirement benefits, and $25 billion in unrestricted borrowing authority. I agree with this request to protect our 600,000 postal service employees and protect our American icon.”
“On another note, we are pushing for mail-in voting and it’s imperative we have a strong USPS. Conservatives are against the expansion of mail-in voting and pushing privatization. This is a dangerous precedence.”
Congressional District Five Candidate Joan Greene
“The Federal government must allocate the financial resources the United States Postal Service (USPS) require so they may continue to provide the much-needed services our Nation relies on.”
“The USPS provides a public service that cannot be duplicated along with knitting the country together.”
“Remote rural areas and indigenous people living in tribal lands rely on the USPS to keep them connected to family and pay their bills. E-commerce business would close without the USPS service. Prescription drugs for the elderly, disabled, those without transportation rely on the USPS. Many people rely on the vote by mail to fulfill their constitutional right.”
“The USPS has been the beacon in the storm. We rely on the 600,000 carriers to deliver rain or shine, during times of war and health crisis to every inch of our great Nation.”
“USPS workers are our family members and our neighbors. They are an integral part of our communities and we must never waver in our support.”
Congressional District Six Candidate Anita Malik
“ We must make the necessary investments to ensure an independent and modern national postal service. Congress needs to offer emergency funding now and then after this, we need to continue to support the USPS with other policy fixes such as repealing its mandate that requires the USPS to prepay health benefits and pensions for future retirees.
We must move to all-mail elections and we need the USPS now more than ever. It is critical to our democracy
Please click on the link here for a virtual town hall Ms.Malik had with Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes on the importance of all mail-in balloting for 2020.
Congressional District Six Candidate Stephanie Rimmer
“The Postal Service is critical to many functions of government and business in the United States. It is imperative that the federal government supports a fully functioning postal service while demanding a profitable business model be required for continued taxpayer support.”
Congressional District Eight Democratic Candidate Michael Muscato
“The United Postal Service is the most approved government entity. Roughly 750,000 jobs of which a vast majority are former military. For seniors and rural areas across the country, the USPS is a lifeline. Millions of people and an overwhelming amount of seniors in this district rely on the USPS for not only their mail but also their medications. In Arizona, like other states, we also rely on the USPS for our ballots come election time. This is more than just a battle over privatizing the postal service. This is a battle to protect our jobs, our rights, and our freedom.”
Congressional District Eight Democratic Candidate Bob Musselwhite
“The Post Office was established through the efforts of one of our founding fathers Benjamin Franklin. The post office is just as essential today as it was in his day. No other institution delivers to every home in the United States every day. It is a people’s institution that promotes democracy and business.”
“It also promotes the airlines and air services, which are critical to a country as large as ours. It does an immense job and would be doing better if the U. S. Government had not turned over the profitable parts of the post office to private profit interests.”
“ Our government has tried to turn the post office into a non-profit business based on user fees. Now that virtually all businesses are in trouble I do not see why the United States Postal Service should be treated as an orphan. We are sending money to businesses to see them survive. That money should include the post office.”
“The survival of the United States Postal Service is critical to business, our nation, and democracy in my opinion.”
The United States Post Office is vital to Democracy and the spread of information and commerce.
It needs to be kept in public hands.
Please go to the postal store by clicking here and buy stamps or collectibles that can be passed down to the next generation.
It is an investment in Democracy worth making.