DeJoy to the World: The Mail Will Not ComeBreaking News
tags: Postal Service, USPS, Louis DeJoy
Just over 50 years ago, I served my country as an Assistant Postmaster General of the United States. My primary responsibility was to market the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act, a bipartisan effort to take politics out of the Postal Service by removing the Postmaster General from the cabinet and establishing the post office as a semi-independent agency. Big picture, my job was to communicate major post office changes to the public.
My office was located down the street from the White House in the “Old Post Office,” which is now the Trump International Hotel. This building no longer belongs to the people of this country (though I hear we’re owed some back rent). But the United States Postal Service is still ours. And I’m glad I’m not dead yet, because let me tell you after this week, I’d be rolling over in my grave.
Since his appointment by the USPS Board of Governors in May, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy — one of the only postmasters to come to the position from the private sector since 1970— has eliminated overtime pay for delivery workers, inexplicably removed hundreds of high-speed mail-sorting machines from processing facilities, and fired or reassigned experienced postal executives and employees. Just this week, DeJoy suspended — but did not reverse — all these supposedly urgent actions, but the damage has been done. Not a day later, he announced even more sweeping changes that will focus on cost-cutting as opposed to public service. Meanwhile, Trump threatens to deny the postal service funding, and then tweets “Save the Post Office.”
My first thought was, someone is not communicating these changes very effectively. DeJoy’s “reforms” have caused countless negative headlines and made him and the President look inept and indecisive at best. But that hasn’t been the only effect. This has undermined the electorate’s faith in Vote by Mail as a safe alternative to in-person voting this fall. So to everyone who’s looking for a reason not to vote this November, they have another one: “It doesn’t matter. My ballot won’t arrive on time anyway.” This might be devious genius marketing, with the goal to undermine the election.