Guest Columnist

Grassley and Ernst have abandoned the Postal Service, a cherished institution

A homemade sign which says
A homemade sign which says "Save America's Postal Service - Don't Sabotage it." (Andy Hallman/The Union)

It is shameful how Iowa’s U.S. senators have ignored the needs of their constituents. I am tired of being ignored. Iowans should join me in demanding to be heard and for our issues to be addressed in meaningful and direct ways by our senators. We need immediate legislative relief that will assist individuals in this state to cope with the effects of COVID-19.

Iowa now has more than 1,600 COVID deaths. This loss affects more than the individuals in the statistic — their family and friends have forever lost the love, support and guidance of someone dear to them. Many others who have contracted COVID may face lifelong challenges with the effects of the virus that we do not yet fully understand. This did not have to happen. Science has proved that wearing a mask is an effective deterrent to the spread of this virus. Instead of being leaders and advocating a public policy that would curb the spread of the virus, the science was ignored and in many cases actively discredited, causing confusion and resulting in greater loss of life. I want leaders in Washington that will advocate for improved health care facilities and expanded health care coverage for Iowans. Eliminating health care coverage or privatizing health care will not help Iowans.

The U.S. Postal Service continues to struggle financially while providing universal service to everyone in the country. Iowans and residents of many other rural states in this country depend on the Postal Service for vital medical and business delivery. The public has rallied in support of the Postal Service and the employees who have provided delivery service throughout the pandemic.

Devastating changes in policy implemented by the new Postmaster General Lois DeJoy have been postponed as a result of the public’s demand for continued mail service and delivery standards. However, without Congressional action to reverse the legislative mandate to pre-fund retiree health care 75 years into the future, and an infusion of money to offset the financial drain that COVID created for needed safety equipment, these policies are going to re-emerge.

Congressional leaders passed the HEROES Act, which would provide $25 billion to the Postal Service, earlier this summer but the Senate has not taken any action on this issue. Iowans depend on deliver by the Postal Service and yet neither Sen. Joni Ernst nor Sen. Chuck Grassley have taken action to ensure the continued operation of this beloved institution.

Voting in this election is so important! The future of the Postal Service and so many other things Americans rely upon is at stake. Voting is a privilege and responsibility of every adult citizen. It is your way of determining policy, and establishing rules and regulations that reflect your values and needs. Actions have consequences.

You should consider your vote carefully and then take control of your future and cast a ballot.

To Iowa senators, your inaction has consequences. Your decision to ignore Iowans and millions of Americans that rallied to support the Postal Service not only jeopardizes the future of this beloved institution, it puts your continued representation in jeopardy as well.

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I am not alone in being outraged at how we have been ignored. In a crisis we look to leaders for guidance and reassurance, but you have provided neither. I am tired of being ignored and will be voting to be heard. I hope you vote, and cast a ballot to make the necessary changes that will give Iowans back their voice in the Senate. Vote for Theresa Greenfield.

Kimberly Karol of La Porte City works for the U.S. Postal Service.

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