U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, postal workers union president talk importance of USPS during upcoming elections

Rep. Sharice Davids addressed concerns about whether USPS can handle the volume of electoral ballots during a virtual meeting with Michelle Fitzpatrick, Local #238 Postal Workers Union president representing Johnson and Wyandotte Counties. File photo. 

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids Thursday afternoon continued her discussion on the importance of the United States Postal Service. Earlier this week, Davids called for the the removal of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who she said has implemented policies predicted to delay USPS operations during the upcoming general election.

Davids joined Michelle Fitzpatrick, president of Kaw Valley Area Local #238 Postal Workers Union, to address concerns about whether USPS can handle the volume of electoral ballots. Fitzpatrick said that barring unforeseen accidents such as incorrect zip codes or addresses, USPS could deliver 48 million ballots in one work day.

“If every postal worker [nationwide] is working like they do, diligently, for just one eight-hour day, we can move that mail,” Fitzpatrick said. “Yes they can. They have the machinery and the personnel with which to do it.” 

Davids said the constitutionally mandated postal service serves the nation not only during elections, but for those who need prescriptions mailed or small businesses relying on shipping. File photo.

Davids said USPS is vital not only when it comes to elections, but for those who receive medications via mail or small businesses that depend on shipping and receiving “all the things that keep our economy running.” Davids asked Fitzpatrick what USPS has been like amid COVID-19, and the potential impact of additional funding.

Fitzpatrick said COVID-19 is similar to any other business, except USPS employees are essential workers. This has caused USPS to restaff and implement safety measures such as plexiglass at work stations, additional cleaning at branches and plants, and social distancing. 

Fitzgerald said even during a global pandemic, USPS won’t stop delivering mail. 

“We have to deliver the mail,” Fitzpatrick said. “If these other companies that process the parcels or whatever don’t come through, we still have to come through. We don’t have the choice to say this is the mail we want to deliver or don’t, our job is a service to the American public.” 

As the House of Representatives was called back into session, Davids said she is heading to Washington, D.C., on Saturday “to vote on a bill that would restore postal service to levels that it was at at the beginning of the year.”

Davids encouraged the public to reach out to her office if they notice postal service operational changes, and to to encourage their senators to pass a House bill, Davids said would restore postal service levels. 

“We have to make sure the postal service is here to stay,” Davids said. “It’s constitutionally mandated, we’ve got folks who have been working their entire careers as public servants helping this country. We have to make sure that we have their back.”

Below is a video of the conversation recorded by Davids, and following the video is a time code of the discussion. 

Join us for a live conversation with Michelle Fitzpatrick, President of the Kaw Valley Area Local #238 Postal Workers Union, as we discuss the importance of protecting the United States Postal Service.

Posted by Representative Sharice Davids on Thursday, August 20, 2020

  • At 0:55, Davids discusses House bill
  • At 1:47, Fitzpatrick discusses USPS volume capabilities
  • At 3:07, Davids discusses non-election related USPS necessities
  • At 5:10, Fitzpatrick discusses USPS during COVID-19
  • At 8:35, Davids discusses policy stance and encourages public to call senators