Eighty-two groups call on President Biden to fill Postal Board with nominees to hold DeJoy accountable & expand USPS services

Eighty-two public interest groups led by The Save The Post Office Coalition sent a letter to President Biden calling on his administration to nominate Postal Board of Governors candidates who will hold the current Postmaster General Louis DeJoy accountable for his destructive leadership and advocate strongly for the expansion of USPS services.

As the letter says, the Board as presently constituted has failed to hold Louis DeJoy accountable as he has implemented chaotic delivery directives and advanced his 10-year plan. Adding two new public interest-minded postal board members at this crucial juncture is an essential step to removing DeJoy and defending what has long been the American peoples’ most respected public institution

Compounding the problem, the current board is majority white and nearly entirely male. All of Trump’s postal board appointees were over 60, and the current USPS Board of Governors is an astonishing 91% male (10/11) and 64% white (7/11).

“The president’s nominees should provide a diversity of life experience to more accurately represent both the postal workforce and the nation overall — not just another rich white man like Louis DeJoy,” says Porter McConnell, co-founder of The Save the Post Office Coalition.

We need nominees who will push the USPS to look at its long-term financial health and build a union-built electric postal fleet that will be better for the planet, for mail carriers, and for frontline communities.

The Save the Post Office Coalition came together in the summer of 2020 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.

 

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August 1, 2022

 

President Joseph R. Biden

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

Nearly two years after his appointment by the Postal Board of Governors, the United States Postal Service continues to languish under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s leadership. Despite the passage of the Postal Service Reform Act (PSRA), DeJoy still plans to raise postage prices at “uncomfortable rates” around the country. Additionally, numerous post office locations are set to be shuttered under his 10-year restructuring plan, potentially impacting thousands of employees during a time of economic crisis. After DeJoy’s numerous failings at the helm, it is imperative that we have a strong, full, and reform-oriented Postal Board of Governors in place to hold him accountable to the true mission and public service goals of the USPS.

In your recent comments on the passage of the Postal Service Reform Act, you stated that “the Postal Service is fundamental– to our economy, to our democracy, and to our health, the very sense of who we are as a nation.” Given your stated commitment to defending the Postal Service, we as a coalition are disappointed in your recent selections of corporate executives Derek Kan and Dan Tangherlini to serve on the Board of Governors, as their backgrounds are littered with close ties to the predatory private equity and real estate industries. Furthermore, neither Kan nor Tangherlini have demonstrated a credible commitment to defending USPS or ousting DeJoy.

With two more vacancies slated to open on the Postal Board this coming December, we, the undersigned 82 advocacy organizations spanning 16 states and Washington DC, urge you to nominate Postal Board of Governors candidates who will hold the current Postmaster General Louis DeJoy accountable for his destructive leadership and advocate strongly for the expansion of USPS services. The Board as presently constituted has failed to play its fiduciary role as DeJoy has implemented chaotic delivery directives and advanced his 10-year plan. Adding two new, public interest-minded Board members at this crucial juncture is an essential step to removing DeJoy and defending what has long been the American peoples’ most respected public institution.

This is one of the last opportunities your administration has to appoint governors to the postal board. It is essential to select nominees who are wholly committed to the task of protecting and expanding our Postal Service. Given the current party affiliations of the Postal Board, you are not statutorily prevented from selecting two Democratic nominees to replace Donald Moak and William Zollars. In light of mounting obstructionism from the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee’s Republican membership in refusing to confirm even moderate Democratic nominees to federal posts, and the urgency of saving the Post Office, these nominees are a compelling case for a tie-breaking vote from the Vice President. The rare freedom the law grants you to choose nominees without partisan constraints should not be taken for granted.

Now is not the time for nominees who have their vision focused only on small-scale tweaks to the USPS – now is the time for a Board that will invest in building the Postal Service of the future. Given the current board is nearly entirely male and majority white, nominees should more accurately represent the postal workforce and the nation’s population. We need nominees who understand that the USPS could serve an expanded essential role to Americans across the country by providing affordable financial services to low income communities and families. We need nominees who will push the USPS to look at its long-term financial health and procure a union-built electric postal fleet that will be better for the planet, for mail carriers, and for frontline communities. We also need nominees who have the personal availability and willingness to fully commit to serving the United States Postal Service and the country’s interest in a robust and sustainable USPS. Now is no time for limited attention when the problems facing us are so wide.

Special consideration should also be given to nominees who have a labor union background and/or a demonstrated history of valuing the importance of workers. It is imperative that you nominate potential governors who understand the responsibility they have to ensure that the work conditions at the USPS are equitable and fair. The Postal Board of Governors does not need any more corporate executives or private equity managers: the hundreds of thousands of USPS workers around the country deserve Postal Board of Governors nominees that possess the lived experiences and perspective necessary to better represent the USPS workforce and the nation.

It’s going to take all of us working together to ensure the United States Postal Service of the future is well-positioned to be the innovative institution that the people of our nation deserve. We need nominees who understand that the USPS has always been, and should remain a cherished public service. Ensuring that your next two nominations to the Postal Board of Governors are up to the monumental undertaking is both a necessary and crucial step.

Sincerely,