The time is now for Congress to act more like the Postal Service. Congress know its low 12% approval rating needs some work and what better place to learn than the Postal Service. It is easily the nations top rated Public Agency with a 83% approval rating for the sixth year in a row.
Lets start with maybe having a Congressional Food Drive. The NALC has the most successful food drive in the country annually. Letter Carriers collected 70 Million pounds of food last year that went directly to the local food banks. Some in Congress would be amazed that this could happen without attaching “earmarks” to the food. Hey Congress sometimes just doing the right thing, without any benefit to you or your party, is the way to go.
Congressman can walk with their local letter carrier as they deliver their mail route. This would be beneficial to a Congressman in a number of ways. It will allow them to actually meet and interact with real people in their district. Actually listening to constituents has to drive up approval ratings. Not just using them as a prop in staged town hall gatherings.
Congress must cringe at how the Postal Service delivers mail to all 151 million address in the country every day. No special favors where some people get mail only once a week or some get it three times a day . I know Congress would feel more comfortable giving their campaign donors mail more frequently while not delivering to their political enemies at all. Fortunately that is not how it works. Maybe taking this Universal Service idea to heart could allow Congressional approval ratings to soar. Imagine treating all your constituents exactly the same? I know most Congressman can not imagine that, but try real hard.
Maybe Congress can do something heroic for their neighbors. Like Paula Johnson a Letter Carrier in Lynchburg VA who saved a 95-year old woman from her burning house. Letter Carriers are watchful of the neighborhoods they deliver too. Maybe Congress can do something heroic and defy Grover Norquist and his absurd no tax pledge.
While Congress is embracing the Paul Ryan/ Mitt Romney budget proposal that eliminates Medicare/ Medicaid and Social Security plus it hurts the elderly on many other levels. Letter Carriers routinely check on the well-being of the elderly on their mail routes. They are often the first to notice something is wrong by seeing or hearing something unusual at the house. Whether its accumulated mail or the crying of dogs or drawn draperies mid day or seeing no tracks in the snow. All those are often signs that a patron is in distress. Many days the Letter Carrier is the only human interaction the elderly have. Actually looking out for the elderly and not lying to them is bound to help Congressional approval ratings
One crucial aspect of the USPS that Congress should copy immediately is once they deliver mail to a mailbox they leave it there. Carriers don’t take mail back to the Post Office and deliver it repeatedly. This Congress has voted 33 times in the last 18 months to repeal the Affordable Care Act. At $2 Million a vote this wasteful type of legislative action is a key reason congress is reviled.
Most importantly The Postal Service is highly efficient at delivering the mail. USPS is ranked number One in overall service out of the 20 wealthiest nations in the world postal service. The Postal Service delivers 40% of the worlds mail without not a penny of taxpayer money. Congress on the other hand has some serious productivity issues. In 1948 Harry Truman famously named the 80th Congress the “Do Nothing Congress“. That Congress passed 908 laws. This 112th edition has passed just 151 laws. While the US Postal Service is the best in the world at what it does. Our current Congress seems to pride itself as being obstructionist. What type of service to the country are they providing?