As President Donald Trump (R) works to sabotage the U.S. Postal Service’s operations out of fear that mail-in voting will cost him reelection in November, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) has emerged as a major defender of this key pillar of American democracy.
Representatives from two major postal workers’ unions joined Maloney at a press conference Saturday morning at the post office’s FDR Station on 3rd Avenue and 54th Street.
“One of the reasons for our urgency here today is the President’s own statements this past Thursday. He stated on national television that he has been opposing $25 billion in critical coronavirus assistance to the Postal Service because he is trying to stop mail-in voting,” said Maloney. “This money was supposed to help the Postal Service, just like the federal funding that was made available to businesses, and other entities that are suffering as a result of this crisis.”
She continued, citing a memo from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that called for dramatic changes to the USPS’ workings.
“[The changes] won’t just disenfranchise voters,” she said. “They will delay critical mail delivery to veterans, seniors who need medications, to small businesses, and to Americans across the country who are already hurting so much from the pandemic. And these delays are already happening.”
Yvette Johnson, Vice President of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local 300 then took the stage, expressed the importance of the postal service and the hard work of its employees.
“We are an essential service, we provide an essential service to our public, and we are essential during the pandemic, and we remain essential today. We will not allow Trump and our Postmaster General to stop what we are doing,” said Johnson.
“The National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 300 represents over 5,100 essential mail handlers in the New York City Metro Area, who perform a constitutionally mandated service to every American household and business in this great country by getting the mail out. NPMHU Local 300 is grateful for Chairwoman Maloney’s leadership during this unprecedented time in postal history. Currently the USPS is experiencing a loss of revenue while seeing an increase in expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency funding is needed to provide the safety of our members and to ensure the USPS is fully operations not only to meet the demands of nation-wide mail-in voting, but also the service Americans expect on a daily basis.”
Carmen Flores, a District Liaison with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 36, expressed similar gratitude.
“Thank you to Rep. Maloney for providing ongoing, strong support to the National Association of Letter Carriers and the U.S. Postal Service to make sure we maintain this vital service to the American people with universal delivery, 6 days a week,” said Flores. “We are here to stay and to deliver the mail to the American people. We are essential workers, and we are not going anywhere.”
When NYCP asked Maloney how she plans to hold Trump and DeJoy accountable if they succeed in undermining the USPS’ work, she listed several examples of her efforts to do so.
“We are taking this to the American people to fight back. We have a letter with 174 members sign onto it, I have legislation to repeal any of these actions that are slowing down the mail until after the pandemic and after this important election, and we are working very hard to get the money appropriated that the board of governors requested,” said Maloney. “That’s why we’re here today, that’s why we wrote this letter, and that’s why we’re having a hearing on September 17. We are pleading with the President to be like every other president in history and support the delivery of the mail.”