Happy New Year!?
It has now been over a year since the COVID 19 pandemic has gripped the nation, and we are still battling. The "old norm" would allow for the making of resolutions for the new year and the planning for fresh starts and new beginnings for the new year. The "new norm" is to continue being safe, making sure you mask up and continued social distancing while being cautiously optimistic that the vaccines will sooner rather than later make a difference in our lives.
For now, the new year is a lot like the old year but with hope on the horizon. After a brutal peak season for the USPS, it is fair to say that we are still standing proud and tall despite all that has been thrown at us. Our members have continued to battle on all fronts; pandemic, peak season, bad management, poor planning, and yet still delivering for the American public, pandemic be damned!
So, with that being said, I write my first column of the year with "thanks" to our members and stewards who have performed valiantly in these less than-ideal work conditions they find themselves in. Finding a way to juggle long hours at work while trying to have a life outside of the post office, yet still standing tall and proud. You truly are an inspiration to the public which relies on your last mile delivery to bind this nation together, now more than ever. There is an old saying "tough times don't last but tough people do," and you can't find a tougher group of people out there then the Union brothers and sisters of the NALC; you make me proud! Keep up the good work!
Elections Have Consequences
Ever hear that before? Of course, you have after elections in the past when things didn't go our way or quite as expected. Someone would remind you (okay, maybe me) that because we didn't go out and vote in the numbers we were supposed to, we were now going to face the consequences of our voter apathy. Well not this time and not from me! In fact, I am happy to report to you that indeed elections have consequences and for the first time in a long time in a favorable way. With the pick up of the two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia coupled with winning the White House and electing worker friendly folks to office, we now have the ability to finally pass meaningful legislation for both working families and the USPS.
But just saying things are going to get better and going away won't get us to the finish line. We must remain engaged in the political process and finish the job. I know that's the last thing you want to hear, especially after just finishing the most contentious elections in the nation's recent memory. However, we must remain focused and push for a worker friendly agenda from the newly elected members of congress and the white house. We must make sure that after delivering for them at the polls that they now deliver for us! We must be prepared to push our agenda and do what needs to be done during this favorable election cycle. If it takes calling and writing our congressional representatives, we must be prepared to do so. If it takes personal lobbying we must be prepared.
After this last election most of us have had our fill of politicians, and who could blame us? However, giving up now is not the right option and would be the wrong thing to do. With us on the verge of legislation that could finally make a difference we can't afford not to keep pressing our new found friends on capitol hill to pass the postal legislation that is heading their way. Don't feel like making calls or writing letters or lobbying your member of congress? Then you are in luck you can make the difference in another one which frankly is much easier then dealing with politics and politicians. The time is now to redouble your efforts through our own political action committee or PAC. Everybody should know by now it's called the Letter Carrier Political Fund or LCPF. The time is now, no more excuses by either political side. We elected the right people to make the changes we need, so now is the time to get it done. That goes for you too brothers and sisters, no more excuses for not getting involved. So, if you can't make calls and write letters to our elected members of congress then the least you can do is sign up for the LCPF! Need help signing up?
Call your steward after working hours and they can help. If they can't help you, call the union office and a Branch officer will help you through the process of contributing to your own job security. The time is now to push through the favorable postal legislation that we need to secure your future and your family's as well. We need to hold our newly elected members of congress to their promises. We have a short window of opportunity to get it done. Worker friendly Democrats now control the White House and Congress and that is what is needed to get the important legislation passed. The White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives are the trifecta of political power. All we need now is a little help from our friends to get it done. Join the fight now, sign up for LCPF and help seal the deal for your future.
As most of you already know by now, back in January I stepped down as Branch President after 15 years of being at the helm of this great Branch. It was not really a secret but after five terms in office I was not planning on running for another term. My decision was made easier knowing that someone with experience and knowledge would be taking over the day to day operations of the Branch until nominations and elections could be scheduled and held. I have the utmost confidence in Walter and know he will do a fine job handling the Branch's affairs until then. I ask you to give Walt the same level of support and encouragement that you gave me all these years.
It has been a privilege and honor to serve as your Branch President, and I would like to thank you again for the confidence you placed in me. I would be remiss if I didn't thank the many officers and
stewards who served with me during this time because as I am sure you know one person can't do it alone. On a more personal note, special thanks go out to my closest friends in the business who have been with me from the start of this great adventure and have served at times as friends, colleagues, mentors, support system, sounding boards, and guidance counselors, who provided their moral support and encouragement when I needed it most.
Joe and Walt have been indispensable with their advice and counsel in helping formulate Branch policy for the benefit of our members, and for that I will always be truly grateful. It has been a wild ride, but I wouldn't have traded it for the world! On one last note, Walter has asked me to stay on as the Branch EVP and I have accepted. I thank Walt for his confidence in me and look forward to serving the Branch in my new capacity as your EVP! Here's to a Happy New Year!
Executive Vice President