The Wilmington News Journal ran an editorial last week backing Delaware Senator Tom Carper’s newly introduced iPOST postal reform bill. The piece served as a reminder to big mailers that constituents back home don’t have a full grasp of the issues at stake with the mails, and it’s the constituents who vote members into Congress.
Not unexpectedly, the paper focused on consumer-facing issues of the Postal Service, lauding the fact that Carper’s legislation would delay the planned closing of postal facilities and post offices. “The pause would hopefully lead to better quality and improved performance standards,” read the editorial.
It further noted the steady decline in First Class Mail and adds that “Realistically, that will not be reversed.” But the editorial fails to recognize that volumes of Standard Mail, the primary channel of direct mail, have held steady over the past year despite a 4.3% surcharge. Nor does it recognize that a good portion of First Class Mail is also sent by businesses.
American Catalog Mailers Association President Hamilton Davis is of the opinion that members of Congress are in need of education on commerce’s role in the mails, as well. His organization has scheduled an October 20 fly-in of to Washington to ask senators and representatives to consider the role direct mailers play in the Postal Service’s recovery.
“We need to go to Washington and help them understand what the issues are,” Davison says. “We need 535 catalogers, one from each Congressional district.”