Commentary: Today, Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02) urged the United States Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster General DeJoy to reverse course on operational changes that have led to reduced services and delays in mail delivery across New Mexico.
In her letter to Postmaster General DeJoy, Torres Small specifically cites concerns about the effect of decreased operations on rural communities’ ability to stay connected, the delivery of life-saving prescriptions, and the ability to serve veterans living in remote communities.
“For rural New Mexicans, the post office is an essential lifeline connecting loved ones and services on a day-to-day basis. Delays in delivery and scaled back operations put our seniors, veterans, families, and small business owners at risk of not receiving medications, bills, or payments in a timely fashion. For the sake of our economy, the hardworking postal workers who risk their health every day, and the millions of Americans who rely on USPS, we must protect our Postal Service,” said Torres Small.
Read the full letter below or by clicking here:
Dear Postmaster General DeJoy:
I write to you with deep concern over recent reports of changes to U.S. Postal Service (USPS) operations and organizational structure that are degrading the Postal Service. These actions have caused unacceptable delays in mail delivery across the country, resulted in undelivered mail, and if completely implemented, would stand to disproportionately hurt rural communities, like those in my district, who rely on the Postal Service for their most basic needs.
I strongly urge you to reconsider the recent changes to Postal Service operations and find bipartisan solutions to existing deficiencies, as these services are the bedrock of communication and delivery of goods across America.
At approximately 10 people per square mile, New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District is among the most rural and sparsely populated districts in the country, and as a result, communities across the district rely more heavily upon the Postal Service for communication and commerce because larger corporate parcel services do not serve them. For these small cities and towns, the Postal Service has been the leading resource for decades, allowing New Mexicans to pay their bills, receive medication, and fill out their Census forms, and will continue to be critical in the years to come to provide these essential services. In fact, in 2019, 1.2 billion prescriptions were delivered through the Postal Service, including about 80 percent of prescriptions from the Department of Veterans Affairs to veterans. The USPS has taken on an even greater role during the coronavirus pandemic, providing an avenue for small businesses to send and receive the goods they need to maintain operations, and delivering Economic Impact Payments to families when direct deposit was not an option for them.
I understand the Postal Service has faced financial difficulty for decades and that the spread of coronavirus has pushed USPS to the brink of insolvency. However, we must recognize that the USPS plays a central role in the identity and the fabric of our communities in New Mexico, and that preserving this service is essential to the continued health and well-being of millions of Americans. For centuries, Americans have relied on the Postal Service and postal workers to keep our communities connected. As a New Mexican, I am acutely aware of the role that a reliable and regular mail delivery service plays in connecting homebound seniors and rural communities to resources. Reliable mail service is particularly vital for people and communities that lack reliable access to broadband or cell phone service, like much of central and southern New Mexico.
For the sake of our economy, the hardworking postal workers risking their health every day, and the millions of Americans who rely on USPS for the delivery of essential goods and services, it is of the utmost importance that the Postal Service does not implement changes which undermine the constitutional duty and mission it has to serve the American people.