October 8, 2021
Today seventy-seven public interest groups sent a letter to President Biden calling on his administration not to reappoint Ron Bloom. Mr. Bloom’s tenure as governor and now Chair of the USPS Board of Governors has been marked with controversy, poor performance, and conflict of interest revelations.
“In this moment, the postal board’s most important task is to restore the public’s trust in the postal service. That means charting a new course, under new leadership committed to fast, affordable, and public mail delivery,” says Porter McConnell, co-founder of The Save the Post Office Coalition.
As the letter says, “The Biden Administration should not reward this failed leadership with a new term. Instead, please take this opportunity to correct the course of the Postal Service’s future by moving expeditiously to nominate a replacement for Mr. Bloom who will be forward-looking and more representative of the postal workforce, and will not rubber-stamp the disastrous policies of Mr. DeJoy. We cannot afford USPS leadership that does not appreciate the importance of prompt, reliable, and affordable postal service for the American people.”
The Save the Post Office Coalition came together last summer after Postmaster Louis DeJoy was appointed and began cutting service and slowing down the mail. The coalition’s membership includes over 300 organizations that range from national groups like Public Citizen, ACLU, NAACP, LCCHR, Indivisible, MoveOn, Color of Change, National Farmers Union, VoteVets, and RuralOrganizing.org, to state groups like Mainers for Accountable Leadership, Alaska PIRG, and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Our asks of Congress and the Biden administration are here.
October 8, 2021
President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Dear Mr. President:
We write to express our disappointment with the current direction of the United States Postal Service under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the Chair of the Board of Governors, Ron Bloom, in particular. With Mr. Bloom’s holdover term expiring in December, we implore you to chart a new direction for the Board rather than allowing continuation of the failed leadership of the current Chair.
Mr. Bloom has repeatedly supported plans for the Postal Service that erode the service standards expected by the American people. We therefore ask you to take action to ensure that the Board is led by a new appointee who will advance the interests of the American people with regard to leadership of the Board.
Since he became Chair earlier this year, Mr. Bloom has used his leadership position to back Mr. DeJoy in proposals to charge more for mail, while at the same time slowing mail delivery, and other policies counter to the best interests of American consumers. Mr. Bloom has continued to stand by Mr. DeJoy despite failures in Mr. DeJoy’s leadership and widespread concerns among the public and Congress. Notably, even before he was chair, Mr. Bloom was a member of the Board of Governors that failed to ensure that Mr. DeJoy was properly vetted to be hired for the post in the first place.
The many failures of Mr. DeJoy’s leadership are well documented: He made abrupt service changes in the middle of the pandemic that forced postal trucks to leave processing plants empty. The changes directed by Mr. DeJoy delayed the delivery of people’s important mail, including checks, medicines, and even ballots. And DeJoy’s harmful changes came at a time when a disproportionate number of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color were already facing numerous difficulties utilizing the USPS. His actions required judicial intervention to attempt to restore adequate service. Later, an independent analysis by the Postal Service Inspector General faulted Postmaster General DeJoy for adopting the changes without first undertaking any studies of the potential impact on the American people. There is no evidence that Mr. Bloom or the other Board Members appointed by Trump intervened in that crisis.
Under Mr. DeJoy’s leadership, performance problems during the peak holiday season led to packages piling up in facilities across the country in ways that had not happened under the prior Postmasters General. He failed to staff up sufficiently for the anticipated record holiday season, as the competing private carriers had done. When Mr. DeJoy appeared before Congress to be held accountable for his actions, he was combative about the impact of these changes on Americans during the pandemic and at the height of a closely contested election.
Earlier this year, the Postmaster General stood next to Chairman Bloom to unveil a “10-year plan” to make significant changes to postal operations. However, instead of taking this opportunity to expand the services and reach of the USPS to create new revenues and public services in order to stabilize USPS for the future, Mr. DeJoy’s plan would detract from its functioning, in particular, by slowing delivery and increasing costs to consumers. Experts have noted, and recent history has demonstrated, that reduction in service and price increases lead to lower volume and increasing irrelevance, rather than cost savings. While the plan met with widespread concern from the Postal Regulatory Commission, in Congress and in the general public, Mr. DeJoy and Mr. Bloom have continued to advance the plan.
It is worth noting that as you nominated new Governors to fill the Board, Chairman Bloom worked to speed up the service changes. The Board adopted the plan before the new nominees could vote or offer input on elements of the plan.
Aside from Mr. DeJoy’s plans to make the Postal Service less responsive to consumers’ needs and expectations for speedy and reliable mail, ethical questions about Mr. DeJoy’s conduct continue to mount. The FBI is investigating allegations of illegal political fundraising by Mr. DeJoy while at his former logistics business. In addition, the Washington Post reported that a company formerly run by Mr. DeJoy and with which he maintains financial ties recently received a staggering $120 million contract from the USPS— raising additional ethical concerns.
In addition, a recent Washington Post investigation reported that Mr. DeJoy has invested more than $300,000 in Brookfield Asset Management, where Chairman Bloom is a partner. Mr. Bloom has stated that he does not benefit financially from the transaction. But because private equity funds are opaque by design, the public has no way of verifying how Chairman Bloom is compensated by Brookfield.
Despite overwhelming evidence that mail service has declined during DeJoy’s tenure, Mr. Bloom has enthusiastically defended DeJoy’s leadership and management of the USPS. In an interview, Mr. Bloom said: “[DeJoy] is the proper man for the job. He will have my support until he doesn’t. And I have no particular reason to believe that he will lose it.”
Rather than pushing back against disastrous policy proposals and ethical lapses, Mr. Bloom has used his position as Chairman to empower and enable Mr. DeJoy. His tenure as Board chair has been marked by one of the most controversial periods in the history of the Postal Service, during which countless Americans have experienced inadequate service and the reputation of the Postal Service has declined in the eyes of many.
The Biden Administration should not reward this failed leadership with a new term. Instead, please take this opportunity to correct the course of the Postal Service’s future by moving expeditiously to nominate a replacement for Mr. Bloom who will be forward-looking and more representative of the postal workforce, and will not rubber-stamp the disastrous policies of Mr. DeJoy.
We cannot afford USPS leadership that does not appreciate the importance of prompt, reliable, and affordable postal service for the American people.
- American Association of People with Disabilities
- Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
- Americans for Financial Reform
- Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
- Autistic Self Advocacy Network
- Black Women’s Roundtable
- BOLD ReThink
- Center for Popular Democracy
- Center for Responsible Lending
- Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
- Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
- Coalition on Human Needs
- Communities and Postal Workers United
- Community Change Action
- Daily Kos
- Democracy Initiative
- Empower Clean
- Equal Justice Society
- Feminist Majority Foundation
- Friends of the Earth
- Greenpeace USA
- Jobs with Justice
- Matthew Shepard Foundation
- National Action Network (NAN)
- National Association of Human Rights Workers
- National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
- National Community Reinvestment Coalition
- National Council on Independent Living
- National Council of Negro Women
- National Fair Housing Alliance
- National Urban League
- NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
- People For the American Way
- PFLAG National
- Prison Policy Initiative
- Revolving Door Project
- The Save the Post Office Coalition
- Save Us Now Inc.
- Social Security Works
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Strong Economy for All Coalition
- Take on Wall Street
- The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
- True North Research
- Voices for Progress
- Working Families Party
- Alaska PIRG
- Clean Elections Texas
- Cleveland Jobs with Justice
- Detroit Branch, NAACP
- Fayetteville Police Accountability Community Taskforce
- Feminists in Action Los Angeles
- Indivisible South Peninsula
- Indivisible California Green Team
- Indivisible CA-33
- Indivisible California Green Team
- Indivisible East Bay
- Indivisible Eastside (WA)
- Indivisible Madison WI
- Indivisible Media City Burbank
- Indivisible San Francisco
- Indivisible San Jose
- Indivisible Sonoma County
- Indivisible South Bay LA
- Indivisible Ventura
- Mainers for Accountable Leadership
- Missouri Action Alliance
- Oakland Retiree Chapter APWU
- Save the Berkeley Post Office Committee
- Stand Strong LA Indivisible
- Venice Resistance
cc: Senator Gary Peters, Chair, Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee
Representative Carolyn Maloney, Chair, Oversight and Reform Committee