Nearly two years after his appointment, the United States Postal Service continues to languish under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s failing leadership.
Despite the passage of the Postal Service Reform Act (PSRA) which brought an infusion of cash, 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, impacting thousands of employees and degrading service to Black, Brown and Indigenous communities.
The US Postal Service, which began hiring Black workers shortly after the Civil War, has long been a pathway to the middle-class for Black Americans. Black workers makeup nearly a quarter of the Postal Service workforce and earn the highest annual wage and highest hourly wage, compared to the top 10 occupations with the heaviest representation of Black workers nationwide.
With two more vacancies slated to open on the Postal Board this coming December, President Joe Biden must appoint Governors who will stand up to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’sdestructive leadership and advocate strongly for the expansion of USPS services.
Only the USPS Board of Governors can fire Louis DeJoy, and that’s exactly what they should do after DeJoy’s numerous failings, conflicts of interest and destructive leadership. At the very least, it’s imperative we have a strong, diverse, and reform-oriented Board of Governors in place to hold the Postmaster General accountable to the true mission and public service goals of the USPS.
Now is not the time for more corporate nominees who are focused only on small-scale tweaks, service cuts or price hikes — now is the time for a visionary Board that will invest in building the Postal Service of the future. America needs nominees who understand that the USPS could serve an expanded essential role nationwide by providing affordable financial services to low income communities and families as well as other products and services authorized by Congress in the PSRA.
We need nominees who will actively 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. Now is no time for a passive board when the problems facing us are so wide.
The current board is also majority white and nearly entirely male. The president’s nominees should provide a diversity of life experience to more accurately represent both the postal workforce and the nation overall — and not just another rich white man like Louis DeJoy.
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 community hub that the people of our nation deserve.
President Biden must make sure the next two nominations to the Postal Board of Governors are up to the task of holding the Postmaster General accountable to the American people and understand that the USPS has always been, and should remain, a cherished public service.