A Grand Alliance Keeps up the Fight

September 16, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

The many signatory organizations of A Grand Alliance to Save our Public Postal Service continue organizing and mobilizing in defense of our national treasure. The Postal Service has faced a multi-faceted and escalating series of crises through the course of 2020. At each turn, the Grand Alliance has ramped up its support, bringing postal workers and a diverse array of allies together in the critical struggle to save the public Postal Service.

In the latest evidence of the value of the Grand Alliance, we saw incredible participation from many Alliance partners in the August 25 Save the Post Office Day of Action that brought thousands of supporters to demonstrations at 300 post offices across the country. From the many allies in the labor movement, to the financial reform advocates, the Alliance helped mobilize their members from union halls, in church pews and in the netroots to join the day of action. Together they helped amplify the call for $25 billion in emergency funding for the Postal Service and a reversal of postal management’s mail-delaying policies.

The incredible participation in the August 25 Day of Action was encouraged by yet another organizing leap by the Alliance, together with many other organizations as well. Just a week prior to the Day of Action, nearly 400 people representing more than 100 organizations joined an organizing call led by a Grand Alliance and signatories APWU, Public Citizen, Take on Wall Street and the Democracy Initiative.

The group discussed the threats facing the Postal Service and organized the extraordinary outrage the country’s shown in this moment toward the Day of Action and beyond. Since then groups including People for the American Way, Color of Change, MoveOn and many others have continued the work of coordinating communications strategy, sharing lobbying targets and messaging their members and constituents on what is at stake.

If you have not already, postal workers and APWU locals are encouraged to reach out to local chapters of Alliance signatories and deepen your relationship at the local level. Together, postal workers and the Grand Alliance can continue to mobilize and organize to “protect and enhance vibrant, public postal services now – and for many generations to come.”

Study Reveals Koch-backed origins of attacks on USPS

Since its inception, the Grand Alliance has sought to reveal the corporate-backed attacks on the public Postal Service and the shine a light on those who advocate postal privatization. A recent report, produced by True North Research for Alliance signatory In the Public Interest, traces the decades-long attack on the public post office back to a familiar name: Charles Koch, the billionaire chairman of Koch Industries and the country’s most infamous benefactor of far-right, pro-privatization schemes.

The report, with the straightforward title of The Billionaire Behind Efforts to Kill the U.S. Postal Service traces Koch’s privatization agenda back to the 1970s, when he, along with his brother David, began financing libertarian causes. As early as 1976 the Libertarian Party called for the abolition of the public Postal Service.

True North’s research continues through the modern era, noting the Koch-backed interests which long supported the "King of Privatizers" James Miller III, including his advancement to in the early 2000s as the chair of the Postal Service Board of Governors. The report notes that Koch interests, with Miller’s support, backed the retiree health benefit prefunding mandate which has crippled the Postal Service and starved it of necessary funds.

And critically, the report notes that Koch-backed interests to this day are opposing the urgently needed COVID-19 relief pending in Congress. Americans for Prosperity, the crown jewel in Koch’s political network, is urging vulnerable Republican senators to vote no on the HEROES Act and “expressly opposing any efforts to ‘bailout the Postal Service.’” The full report, exposing the billionaire interests behind the attacks on USPS, can be viewed at inthepublicinterest.org.

A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service is a broad coalition of national, state and local organizations including the NAACP, Vote Vets, Jobs with Justice, National Council of Churches and Rainbow PUSH. These groups have come together to take a stand against the unprecedented assaults on the Postal Service including efforts to dismantle and privatize it. To join A Grand Alliance, visit www.AGrandAlliance.org.

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