The US postal service is in trouble. It’s hard to believe, but something that should be as innocuous as postal service has become politicized by an administration that is more and more hostile to public institutions that help and support millions of people in this country.
President Trump has even admitted he is undermining the post office so it is harder for people to vote by mail. There are also reports that some mail sorting machines are being deactivated, and it’s unclear why.
I know I’m not the only one eager to support an institution that is one of the most democratic in the country, and one that (normally) unified more people than it divides.
Here are some ideas to help.
First of all, write your congressperson.
They represent you! I know lots of people think their votes or voices don’t count, but it’s simply not true. Anyone who has worked in politics knows it makes a difference, and they listen. Trust me, even if they are simply tallying the level of interest in a topic, it matters. Politicians want to get re-elected, so let them know you will not support them if they fail you on this issue.
The US Postal Workers union has a good page to help you do just that, which includes details about ways to call or write your representative.
Indivisible also has a useful page with info about calling or emailing.
Or visit usmailnotforsale.org, which is a worker-led campaign sponsored by the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers. They have all the info you need.
Second, buy stamps!
As Rachel Fairbanks, over at Lifehacker explains:
… the USPS has not received taxpayer funds since 1982, with its entire budget coming through the sale of stamps. So if you do want to help, buying stamps — and then waiting to use most or all of them until after the pandemic has passed and mail volume begins to recover — is a good way to support to USPS right now.
BUY LOTS OF STAMPS! Thankfully there are many gorgeous ones to choose from, including the recently released Ruth Asawa stamps, or the ones devoted to the Harlem Renaissance and Hip-Hop (and did you know there are oversized Ellsworth Kelly postcards you can buy, too?).
Third, sign petitions.
You can also sign a petition by texting USPS to 50409. Once you do this, a chat bot will ask for details such as your name and mailing address, then deliver your petition to your local elected officials.
You can also sign this petition to remove the Trump-appointed US Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy. There are also some lingering questions about his investments in post office competitors and why he got appointed in the first place.
Fourth, maybe a Halloween costume?
Ok, this one might be impractical for some people, but I think the more we integrate the post office in our lives, the more value people will see in it. I bet you didn’t know that the post office sells the most adorable postal carrier costumes for kids. After barraging homes asking for candy in these cute costumes, maybe your kids can melt the hearts of the most die-hard post haters. I hope.
Now, let’s work together to save the US Postal Service. If you aren’t going to do it for yourself, then at least think of the mail artists!