Save Our Post Offices 2024

Dear ROPnet,

Post offices are a vital part of vibrant rural communities. Unfortunately, a big change is coming to 180 Oregon rural post offices and the USPS doesn’t plan to tell anyone about it. Like we did a decade ago, rural Oregon can have a big impact on post office policy if we make our voices heard! Read the details of the service cuts below and call your congresspeople to tell them what you think of this new plan. Find contact information for Senators and US Representatives here.

Why care about the Post Office? Delays in the mail can have a big impact on everyday Oregonians, especially for rural folks living far from pharmacies, courthouses, or other crucial services. A delay in service of even one day could mean your vote not getting counted, essential medications arriving after you have already run out, late fees on utility bills, or mail-order chicks showing up harmed or worse.

Post Office Service Cut Details

Post offices farthest away from Portland, Eugene, and Medford processing plants (over 50 miles) and with a population of less than 6,000 will only get one mail truck per day in the morning. 

Currently, two trucks come per day, one to deliver the town’s mail in the morning and one in the evening, typically after 5 pm, to pick up outgoing mail. This has meant that if you get your outgoing mail to the post office before 5 pm it would go out with the evening truck.  With this change though, called “Local Transportation Optimization”, any mail dropped off at the local post office after the morning truck, whether by a resident or by a mail carrier, will sit overnight until the next day. In other words, small rural towns will get their mail delayed a day.

This change is happening nationally and as early as this month it will hit some Oregon towns while the rest will feel the impact in the next couple of months. Read the full article about the changes and why we are hearing about them so late in the game here.

Check out this map that Communities and Postal Workers United put together. Blue dots are towns that will definitely be impacted by the cuts.

Take Action

Many of these post offices have faced the threat of closure or service cuts before. From 2011 to 2013, the US Postal Service (USPS) proposed closing thousands of post offices across the country. Dozens of rural communities took action and succeeded in keeping their post offices open! Read the details of that campaign here.

When we take action we can win! So give your US senators a call, write to your US representatives, and let them know how you feel. Here are a few suggested talking points. But most importantly, make your message personal!

Dear Congressperson…,

I am writing to you as a constituent of District _ who is deeply concerned about the US Postal Service “Local Transportation Optimization” Plan… This plan will negatively impact my post office in ____, and put rural communities at an unfair disadvantage to our urban counterparts.

Potential points to include:

  • Post offices are a vital part of vibrant rural communities. 
  • Our community is primarily elderly with an incredible reliance on receiving their prescriptions by mail. Many do not drive. Closing our post office would be detrimental to their health.
  • x% of the community doesn’t have access to internet service. We rely on the mail to communicate, to order and receive goods, and to pay our bills.
  • x% of our community is living under the poverty line. Driving to the nearest post office isn’t feasible, but with this new policy, our mail will be delayed a whole day, when mail time has already been significantly slowed down by consolidation and processing plant closures.
  • x% of businesses in _____ rely on the post office to mail out packages. Many folks own their small business as a secondary source of income and need a reliable and prompt way to send packages and mail.
  • Farmers rely on the post office for mail-order chicks and other essential supplies. Delays will impact the ability of both the chicks and the farmers to survive.

In conclusion, please pressure the USPS to stop implementing the Local Transportation Optimization Plan and prioritize equitable service to all communities.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Your Address (to show them you are in their district)

Senator Merkley

Phone: (503-326-3386)

Emailhttps://www.merkley.senate.gov/connect/contact/ 

Senator Wyden

Phone: 202-224-5244

Emailhttps://www.wyden.senate.gov/services/help-with-a-federal-agency/form/

US Representatives

Find contact information for your US representative here. Type in your address in the top left corner, and then scroll down passed state senator and representative to “Congress District _.” 

Warmly,

Emma and the ROP Team

Special thanks to Communities and Postal Workers United for spreading the word!

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