The United States Postal Service serves every address in the United States. Unlike for-profit mail services (UPS and FedEx) and high speed internet, the Post Office serves everyone for the same price. It’s 55 cents for postage and only 35 cents for postcard stamps. Around 19 million Americans don’t have access to broadband internet and rely on the post office to receive paychecks, pay bills, get their news and of course, to vote.
You’ve probably heard by now, the United States postal service is in financial trouble. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the USPS is in need of financial support.
There is far less mail in circulation while the president is undermining the historical and present importance of the USPS. He has threatened to veto any stimulus package that includes bailout money for our postal system.
Not long ago, the president-appointed postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, announced changes to the USPS leadership that include the resignation or displacement of almost two dozen USPS executives. There are also reports of postal offices deactivating mail sorting machines around the country without any official explanation or reason given.
The Postal Service is a pillar of our democracy and is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Sadly, its survival is under attack. Still, we are not completely powerless. Here’s how we can help:
The USPS receives zero taxpayer funds. Their entire budget comes through the sale of stamps and other mail products and services. Purchase your stamps and hold on to them or mail locally- careful not to run up delivery costs. Visit the USPS online store to see the different stamp designs.
Our officials need to hear from us, rather or not they currently support action to preserve the integrity of our mailing system. The American Postal Workers Union reported that workers and allies made about 30,000 direct calls to Congress. We say, that’s a start. Find your senator’s and your congressperson’s contact information and let them know how you feel.
If you plan on voting by mail, you may vote early. This can help ensure that the USPS is not overwhelmed at the last minute. The fastest way for Kentuckians to get an absentee ballot application is to call the Local Election Office and ask them to send you one. Here is the contact information for your Local Election Official:
Elections Department Manager: Tracy Merriman
p. (859) 255-8683
f. (859) 253-8390
“Our public Postal Service needs all American leaders—Democrats and Republicans alike—to provide urgent and ongoing financial support from the Federal Government during this public health and economic crisis,” wrote U.S. Mail Not for Sale, an advocacy group, in a petition. Signing this demands that Congress provides the postal funding we need in our communities.
Please do. In an effort to support the USPS and aid the new disconnect in our community due to social distancing guidelines, we created the Lexington Postcard Project. Interconnection is everything. Near Things is here to speak with our fellow Kentuckians.
Drop us a line. To get started, request a project package via email, Instagram DMs or below. We will send you a pre-stamped and addressed postcards for you to create your own mail art and send a message- tell us what you’ve been up, how you’ve been feeling, or send a message to your neighbors in the community.
Remember there are many techniques for creating mail art, including collages, printmaking, painting and upcycling. Be creative! Follow us on Instagram and visit our home website to see your work and others!
We look forward to hearing from you.
Supplies are limited. This project is funded completely by Near Things. To help us out, make your own postcard and send it to us.
Just cut a 4×6 card out of cardstock paper. Stamp and line your card and address it to Near Things:
P.O. Box 344
Lexington, Kentucky 40588
We are also accepting supply donation. If you are interested in donating please email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!