Booker: The U.S. postal service needs more money. Our democracy depends on it. | Opinion

Senator Cory Booker | September 6, 2020 | Star-Ledger |

 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Postal Service employees here in New Jersey and across the country have continued their vital work, often at great risk to themselves and their families.

I’ve had the privilege to speak with and hear from New Jersey’s postal workers during this crisis, some of whom have lost their colleagues to COVID-19. It is clear to me that while I, and so many others, see the work of our postal workers, and all of our essential workers, as heroic, they see it as their civic duty, a sacred responsibility for which they are willing to risk their health and safety.

But there’s a parallel crisis happening within the USPS: despite allocating billions of dollars to provide a financial lifeline to big corporations during this crisis, Republicans in Washington have refused to provide adequate resources to support the U.S. Postal Service from the financial losses incurred by COVID-19.

Since July, the Trump Administration and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s actions in the name of cost-cutting have actually made the postal service less efficient– delaying the mail for millions of Americans. They have reduced overtime for postal workers, decommissioned countless sorting machines and made it harder for postal employees to sort mail and forced postal workers to leave unsorted mail behind at distribution centers.

New Jerseyans and Americans across the country aren’t getting their mail on time, and the result isn’t some minor inconvenience: veterans, seniors, people with chronic health conditions and others who rely on the mail to get their prescriptions are being forced to miss doses of medicine because of delays; small businesses aren’t able to get products to their customers on time and for some who requested absentee ballots for elections, the ballots have arrived after the election was already over or not at all.

 

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