Reversing Trump Administration Efforts to Disrupt and Delay Mail Service

August 21, 2020
Enewsletters

Dear Friend,  

I will return to Washington this week to vote on Saturday for the Delivering for America Act. This bill restores the United States Postal Service’s capabilities and services that the Trump Administration has dismantled in an apparent effort to disenfranchise people who plan to vote by mail in the Presidential election. I also held a press conference on Tuesday with postal workers outside Memphis’ main U.S. Post Office to express my concern about the removal of sorting machines and the resulting mail delivery delays about which my offices are receiving a steady stream of phone calls and messages. Additionally, I held a press conference on Monday with Mayors Lee Harris and Jim Strickland to draw attention to the shortened deadline for filling out the 2020 decennial U.S. Census; wrote to Mayor Strickland to tell him of my planned legislative remedy to adjust an outdated funding formula to send more Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program resources to Memphis; commemorated the 100th anniversary of Tennessee’s historic General Assembly vote ratifying the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote; and offered a pandemic-related health tip. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens. 

Reversing Trump Administration Efforts to Disrupt and Delay Mail Service 
Calling Attention to Approaching 2020 U.S. Census Deadline 
Proposing a Fairer Formula for Memphis Housing Community Development Block Grants 
Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote 
Weekly Health Tip 
Quote of the Week 


Reversing Trump Administration Efforts to Disrupt and Delay Mail Service 

Speaker Pelosi has called the House of Representatives back to Washington to address the Trump Administration’s effort to dismantle the U.S. Postal Service in a transparent attempt to disenfranchise voters using mail-in ballots later this year. I plan to vote for the Delivering for America Act on Saturday. The bill prohibits the Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or levels of service it had in place on January 1, 2020; reverses USPS policies that hinder mail delivery; and provides the USPS with emergency funding. In Memphis, I hosted a press event with postal workers on Tuesday outside the Kenneth T. Whalum Sr. Post Office on B.B. King Boulevard to call attention to the removal of sorting machines and the changes to mail service that are delaying delivery of prescription drugs, WIC benefits, groceries, and much more. I expressed my firm conviction that this deliberate deconstruction of the postal infrastructure is designed to hamper mail-in voting later this year. On Wednesday, I wrote to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and told him to restore machinery, such as sorters, already removed from Memphis postal processing plants. See the letter here. The postal service is in our U.S. Constitution for a reason: it is designed to bring the country together. Efforts to harm its efficient functioning are undemocratic and un-American. 

Calling Attention to Approaching 2020 U.S. Census Deadline 

On Monday, I asked Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland to join me for a press conference at the Memphis City Hall to call attention to the need for our constituents to fill out the 2020 U.S. Census. The Trump Administration abruptly shortened the deadline for participating by a month, so forms must now be filled out by September 30. Memphis has historically been undercounted and subsequently underfunded. An accurate Census count is needed to ensure that our community receives the federal resources it needs and deserves. If you haven’t already, please consider filling out the form today.

Proposing a Fairer Formula for Memphis Housing Community Development Block Grants 

Federal grants from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program are a vital resource for our community, but the program uses an outdated formula from 1977 to appropriate its resources. This leaves Memphis shortchanged when compared to similar-sized cities like Detroit and Baltimore. On Wednesday, I wrote to Mayor Strickland informing him that, with his input, I am preparing a legislative remedy to assure Memphis receives the CDBG funding it deserves. See that letter here

Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote 

On Tuesday, I commemorated the 100th anniversary of Tennessee’s ratification of the 19th Amendment heralding women’s right to vote. Twenty-five years ago, as a State Senator, I introduced legislation to create the Tennessee Women’s Suffrage Commission and worked to see Tennessee’s role as the 36th – and deciding – state in making the aspirations of generations of women a reality. See my release and statement here. On Wednesday, August 26, we will mark Women’s Equality Day, the 100th anniversary of the certification of ratification by the U.S. Secretary of State, when the 19th Amendment formally became a part of the U.S. Constitution.

Weekly Health Tip 

Again this week, I want to call attention to the high number of coronavirus cases, in Tennessee and across the country, that are likely a result of reopening prematurely and often without implementing basic precautionary measures such as wearing masks and adhering to social distancing guidelines. Please follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols and those adopted by Memphis and Shelby County for staying safe in this ongoing pandemic: Wash your hands frequently for at least 25 seconds; keep a minimum social distance of six feet from others; wear a face mask when out in public; and avoid being in crowds of more than 10. When you’re indoors, six feet might not be far enough, according to recent studies; 14 feet might be better. It is best to wear a mask, particularly when indoors in close quarters. We must work together to get through this.   

Quote of the Week  

"We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

As always, I remain.
Most sincerely,

Steve Cohen
Member of Congress