Last year, I wrote a letter to my United States Senators (Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey) about the need for the Senate to confirm President Obama’s nominees to the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”) Board of Governors. Senator Warren’s staff didn’t think that my letter warranted a response. One of Senator Markey’s aides called my office to share the senator’s support for this issue. He believed that some of the nominees would be confirmed during the “lame duck” session after the elections.
None of the nominees were confirmed. In fact, no votes were taken on the Senate floor.
The situation has only gotten worse. Due to term expirations, the Board of Governors was no longer going to have enough members to constitute a quorum for votes. Last December, using an astute parliamentary procedure, the Board of Governors created a “Temporary Emergency Committee” of the remaining governors. The committee would have all the powers of the entire Board until enough members were confirmed to reconstitute a regular quorum.
And the Senate continues not to act. The Committee on Homeland Security held hearings and confirmed the nominees in July. But there have been no votes on the Senate floor.
This December, two more governors – Ellen Williams and Louis J. Giuliano – will have to leave the Board. Their terms actually ended last year, and they’re currently in the “holdover year”. That will leave only one appointed governor on the Board. One.
It’s clear my letters didn’t have the impact needed to cause the Senate to confirm the appointees. We need more letters. We can’t rely on union leaders or industry lobbyists to raise this issue. We need to take action as individual voters and constituents.
There are over 500,000 employees of the USPS, and 8 million people who work in the mailing industry. If we each take the time to send a letter to our United States Senators, they will have to respond. If you don’t know how to contact your senator, you can find it on the Senate directory. Of course, if you mail the letter to their local office in your state, it will have even more impact.
Below is a template for the letter. Copy, paste, print and post. Add some personal comments of your own. If you can afford the extra $0.49, send a copy to your local newspaper or television station. Engage the media in our cause.
Together, we can demonstrate the power of mail and the importance of the U.S. Postal Service.