Today, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger announced the initial results of her constituent survey on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and reports of recent slowdowns in service.
Spanberger launched her survey earlier this month in response to an outpouring of concern from Central Virginia residents about the steps U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has taken to weaken the USPS. So far, 837 people have answered the survey to report mail delays and share stories about why the USPS matters to them.
Appointed in May 2020, Postmaster General DeJoy has made major operational changes to the USPS during the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes have contributed to significant mail delivery delays across the country and have undermined confidence in the institution ahead of the November general election.
“No American’s mail should be jeopardized by partisan maneuvering in Washington. The Postmaster General’s attempts to cripple the Postal Service have provoked a strong backlash from Americans on every point of the political spectrum – reading through the hundreds of survey responses we received from Central Virginians, it’s no wonder. Constituents in my district rely on the USPS for everything from paychecks to prescription drugs,” said Spanberger. “I’ve received stories from veterans and seniors who depend on USPS to deliver their medications safely and on-time. I’ve read anxious responses from small business owners who worry about getting customer orders out on time, and families who are facing extra fees because their mortgage payment was late.”
Spanberger continued, “Seven of the ten counties in the district I serve are rural, and rural Americans stand to lose the most if the Postmaster General succeeds in putting the USPS out of business. I received a letter recently from a Central Virginia farmer who, in his own words, gets everything he needs delivered through the Postal Service except for gasoline and diesel fuel. This survey – and the many letters and calls to my office that have accompanied it – clearly illustrates how essential the USPS is to daily life in Virginia. I hope that amplifying these stories will lend weight to my continued work in the U.S. House to hold DeJoy accountable and stop this partisan attack on the constitutionally-mandated USPS.”
The survey is still open for constituent feedback. Click here to complete the survey.
Some of the responses that Central Virginians submitted through the survey include:
Kathy Ellis, Rixeyville
“My husband and I are both on Medicare. We receive our medications via USPS. This is very important to us in a time when we are trying not to go into stores.”
Alicia Vidal, Midlothian
“I’ve been on both sides of the coin – 25 years as a rural carrier and eight years as a manager. During the times on my route, so many of the elderly patrons needed money orders, received their medicines, and when there was no direct deposit, waited for their check at the mailbox. It is still a viable service in which every person, every day, in the whole of our country, receives mail. It should never be disturbed by cronyism or politics. It is the one thing that people can count on each day.”
Linda Sasser, Columbia
“Sometimes a bill arrives with only five days before it is due. Even when I pay promptly, I have been charged late fees. I do not pay bills or bank online, and I will not give private corporations access to my bank so they can debit my account. The post office is essential to my life as a rural senior.”
Carol Thompson-Nelson, Reva
“We are on a rural Culpeper route. For four days in late July, we received no mail at all. This has never occurred for so many days in a row.”
Patricia Keister, Orange
“I live in a rural county — we don’t even have a hospital here. I rely on the USPS for so many things that I just can’t get at a store here. Destroying the post office will have such a negative effect on my life, I can’t even calculate.”
Susan Rowan, Culpeper
“Rural communities with spotty or no internet and cell phone service depend on the mail for communication. Furthermore, these same communities lack access to stores and depend on the USPS for delivering packages. Many packages that originate with private delivery companies are turned over to the Postal Service for final delivery to the customer’s door.”
J. Patrick McCloud, Gordonsville
“Eliminating overtime, removing mailboxes and deactivating high speed sorting machines will hurt all Americans, but particularly rural Americans who count on the USPS for their medications, Social Security checks, etc.”