New Watchdog Analysis Shows Administration’s USPS “Sabotage” Would Disproportionately Harm Black and Latinx Americans, Indigenous Communities, and Veterans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Trump administration’s recent attempt to defund the USPS would have devastating consequences for Americans across the nation — with communities of color facing particularly devastating impacts. This comes as no surprise given the administration’s track record during the COVID-19 crisis: cutting unemployment benefits that largely benefit Black communities, leaving Black women out of crucial pandemic relief aid, failing to adequately test minority communities, and time-after-time scapegoating the marginalized and vulnerable for the federal government’s failed leadership.
“The Trump administration’s politicization of an essential public service would only further harm the communities already disproportionately impacted by this virus — from the Black employees relying on the USPS for gainful employment to the rural Indigenous and Latinx communities who rely on the USPS for accessible and affordable mailing,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Congress must take swift action to defend the USPS and all those it serves.”
HERE ARE THE FACTS:
For Months, Reports Have Suggested That President Trump And His Administration Have Been Working To Damage The US Postal Service In Order To “Sabotage” The Election…
“Unable to postpone the election he seems poised to lose, Donald Trump has been working to derail the mail-in voting many Americans will rely on to safely cast ballots this fall in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.” [Vanity Fair, 08/13/20]
…Including By Cutting Staff Hours And Decommissioning Hundreds Of High-Volume Mail Processing Machines From Facilities Across The Country…
“The US Postal Service plans to remove hundreds of high-volume mail-processing machines from facilities across the country, leading some postal workers to fear they may have less capacity to process mail during election season.” [CNN, 08/13/20]
“While the reductions come amid decreased mail volume this year and are described by some postal officials as making the service more cost-effective, the effort overlaps with other actions implemented by the Postal Service that workers have blamed for delivery delays. The new procedures were described in a July memo and include staff hours being cut.” [CNN, 08/13/20]
…But After Lawmakers Threatened To Subpoena Postmaster General DeJoy To Force Him To Testify On His Role In Subverting The Agency, He Now Is Claiming USPS Changes Will Be Postponed Until After The Election.
“House Democrats on Sunday called on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Postal Service board of governors Chairman Robert M. Duncan to testify at the upcoming hearing. Several House Democrats previously called for the subpoena of DeJoy, an ally of President Trump who they allege is purposely creating problems with the Postal Service to undermine the election.” [CNBC, 08/16/20]
The USPS Is The Second-Largest Employer In The United States And One Of The Largest Employers Of Black People And People Of Color…
“The United States Postal Service is one of the largest employers of people of color and women in the U.S. Out of a workforce of over 7.3 million USPS workers, 40 percent of USPS employees are people of color with Black people making up over 20 percent of their non-white employees.” [Colorlines, 05/11/20]
Black And Latina/o Americans Rely On The USPS For Essential Supplies Such As Face Masks And Medications…
“Many people of color, especially Black and Latinx folks who live in poor, rural communities, use USPS’ last-mile deliveries to get crucial materials such as face masks.” [Colorlines, 05/11/20]
…Unbanked Americans, Who Are Disproportionately Black And Latina/o, Use The USPS To Send And Receive Vital And Affordable Money Orders.
“For those who don’t have bank accounts or want a secure transfer and/or payment of funds, USPS has often been the cheap and reliable way to send widely-accepted, affordable money orders that never expire.” [Colorlines, 05/11/20]
For Some Native American Communities, The U.S. Post Office Is “One Of The Few Links To The Outside World”…
“On the vast, open prairie of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the U.S. Post Office is one of the few links to the outside world for the elderly and poor. In country plagued by random acts of vandalism, roadside mail boxes are scarce and only located along well-traveled major highways. Reservation residents depend upon their local post offices to keep their mailed medicines and Social Security, veterans’ benefit and other checks safe. They do their business at the post office, buying money orders to pay their monthly expenses.” [Rapid City Journal, 12/21/11]
…The USPS, Which Delivered 1.2 Billion Prescriptions Last Year And Nearly 100 Percent Of The VA’s Prescriptions, Is An Essential Medical Delivery Service For Elderly Folks And American Veterans.
“The Postal Service delivered 1.2 billion prescriptions in 2019, including close to 100% of the prescriptions from the VA, according to the American Postal Workers Union.” [McClatchy, 04/23/20]
“In fact, 18 percent of Americans still pay their bills by mail, according to an ACI Worldwide report; meanwhile, 20 percent of adults over 40 who take medication for a chronic condition get those pills by mail order, according to a survey by the National Community Pharmacists Association.” [Vox, 04/16/20]
…And Because FedEx, UPS And Amazon Will Not Deliver To Everywhere, Rural Americans Count On The USPS To Carry Packages For “The Last Mile.”
“Rural carriers also shoulder deliveries for USPS competitors such as FedEx, UPS and Amazon. Every morning at the post office, Miller sorts through the five pallets Amazon delivers from Kentucky. A few more pallets will show up from FedEx and UPS throughout the week. Because most major delivery companies won’t deliver to rural areas, postal workers carry their packages for what they call “the last mile.” [Columbus Dispatch, 08/17/20]