Let's Build The Grand Alliance
Field Hearings Demonstrate Broad Public Support
(This article first appeared in the November-December 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
"Save and enhance the U.S. Postal Service” was the overwhelming spirit of the community field hearings held around the country by A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service. A wide range of speakers reaffirmed the need for a public postal system and rejected privatization, while recognizing that changes must be undertaken to bring the USPS fully into the 21st century.
The Future of the U.S. Postal Service, a new report by A Grand Alliance, is a culmination of the community field hearings held around the country in 2016.
“I hope you take the time to read the testimony of postal customers, workers, community and faith lead- ers, academics, and many more who showed up to take a stand for the future of our public Postal Service,” urged APWU President Dimondstein. The report is available at www.agrandalliance.org. (For print copies, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The hearings took place in Baltimore, MD; San Jose, CA; New York City, NY; Cleveland, OH and Greensboro, NC; and many were anchored by APWU locals. Speakers gave testimony at each to a panel of hearing officers.
The importance of the USPS to the public good was a recurring theme. “We have said that there are certain assets that we as a people believe that we should own together, that we are going to invest in these assets because they fuel the greater good,” testified Elly Matsumura of Working Partnerships USA at the San Jose field hearing.
The many threats – including the financial health, cuts in service, and privatization – to our public Postal Service were highlighted. Typically, with privatization, “you get higher costs, worse services, less efficient services, or no services,” argued Professor Mark Cassell at the Cleveland, OH field hearing.
Expansion of service – particularly postal banking – was a popular topic at each hearing. In New York City, Sarah Ludwig of the New Economy Project testified that, “There are seven zip codes… where there is not one bank branch serving the community.”
The report describes some of the ideas offered for innovative expansion. These include licensing, notary, copy and scanning services, internet access, longer hours and additional staffing, and green innovations such as electric car charging stations and solar panels.
Build A Grand Alliance
The field hearings were effective in educating the public and building support for strengthening the USPS. Let’s keep that momentum going by:
- Identifying organizations in your community whose members benefit from a public Postal Service.
- Distributing copies of the field hearing report to potential allied organizations.
- Making a presentation and/or showing the video - see the box below - at organizational and loal union meetings.
- Asking local organizations to join A Grand Alliance.
- Proposing a resolution at labor councils and city and county council meetings.
A Grand Alliance is proud to announce our newest national signatory organization: the NAACP! Chapters of the NAACP in Baltimore, San Jose, greensboro, and Cleveland participated in the field hearings.
A new video, produced by A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service, highlights the community field hearings. The video includes footage of Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9) who testified at the hearings in Greensboro, NC and Cleveland, OH respectively. You can view the video at www.agrandalliance.org. Show the video at local union meetings, as well as at state and regional conferences.