Rallies around Maryland to support Postal Service set for tomorrow

ballot_box.jpgActivists around Maryland are planning events Saturday (Aug. 22) in support of the embattled US Postal Service and its key role in mail-in voting as the pandemic makes in-person voting risky for some. Find where they are here.

Save the Post Office Saturday Aug 22 Day of Action

/PM BlogSpace Report/ Activists around Maryland are planning events tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 22) in support of the embattled US Postal Service and its key role in mail-in voting as the pandemic makes in-person voting risky for some.

The Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO’s newsletter, Union City, Friday morning described plans for public events on Saturday at USPS facilities throughout the DMV:
“Spurred by slowed mail delivery and attacks on the U.S. Postal Service by President Trump, concerned citizens are heading to their local post offices tomorrow (see Calendar) to mobilize in defense of one of the nation's most popular services. They'll call on Congress to safeguard the integrity of the U.S. mail and elections. "The actions will show Americans coming together to stand up for a postal system that connects us, that we rely on for medications, paychecks, and more, and that will literally be counted on to deliver democracy in the elections this fall," said AFL-CIO constituency group Pride At Work, one of the many supporters of the Day of Action.”

As the Sun and weekly Aegis report, such Saturday events are popping up all over Maryland.

“Organized by MoveOn.org, the NAACP and the Working Families Party, according to the website savethepostoffice.net, there were more than 450 rallies planned nationwide as of Thursday afternoon.

“Around the Baltimore area, protests are scheduled to take place at the downtown Baltimore post office on East Fayette Street, as well as the Towson and Lutherville-Timonium post offices in Baltimore County, the Belcamp post office in Harford County, and the Crofton post office in Anne Arundel County,” the Sun reported.

At the virtual Democratic National Convention, a panel of Democratic attorneys general (including Maryland’s AG Brian Frosh) touted their independent action against the Trump administration, including most recently a suit to reverse DeJoy’s recent USPS policy changes, including the end of overtime and decommissioning large, complex mail-sorting machines that are intended to speed processing during high-volume periods such as mail-in elections or the holiday rush.

Also this Friday morning DeJoy was getting flamed by one Democratic senator after another as he testified before a GOP-led US Senate committee.  He defended the removal of sorting machines, denied that he significantly cut overtime, and argued that barring second daily trips by carriers didn’t affect the speed of mail delivery. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs chair, GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, defended DeJoy’s answers. (Maryland has no members on that Senate committee).

As journalist Max Sawicki points out, the roots of USPS’s troubles lie much further back in time. The idea that USPS is supposed to run like a business, not the public service that it has been since Benjamin Franklin, is a modern and quite bipartisan neoliberal delusion. The postal reform act of 2006 burdened USPS with a pension requirement no other federal agency has to deal with. Trump’s attacks on USPS – including his appointment of DeJoy – are just the latest, and largely based on his personal wants such as to charge Amazon’s Jeff Bezos more for last-mile package delivery.

DeJoy faces a House hearing Monday before the Oversight and Reform committee, formerly chaired by the late Elijah Cummings and now by Carolyn Maloney of New York.  This morning (Friday) Md. Rep David Trone called for DeJoy to resign as the Garrett County Republican reported; many other House members including Virginia’s Gerry Connolly, an Oversight and Reform member, have also called for DeJoy’s exit. Maryland is well represented on the committee, including Reps Jamie Raskin and John Sarbanes and Cummings’ successor, Kweisi Mfume.  


Compiled by Woody Woodruff, blog moderator