Waters continues to press for changes at area post offices

By Emilie St. John

Contributing Writer

COMPTON — U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters and other members of the House of Representatives continue to press President Joe Biden to make two appointments to the Postal Service’s Board of Governors to address issues within post offices across the nation.

It is not uncommon for residents to experience delays in mail delivery and irregular postal office hours due to staffing across the 43rd Congressional District, which Waters represents.

Waters, who represents Compton, Inglewood and portions of South Los Angeles has placed the blame squarely on the shoulders Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

“The current postmaster general (a major Republican donor appointed by President Trump) has been making controversial changes to the operations of the Postal Service, including reducing overtime, dismantling sorting machines, slowing down the transportation of first-class mail while raising postage rates, removing blue mailboxes, cutting post officer hours, etc. to the dismay of rank-and-file postal employees and to the detriment of the citizens of this country and the 43rd Congressional District,” wrote Waters in a letter to a reporter.

“These outrageous changes have caused delays to important mail delivery, sporadic service in some areas, and even lost mail.”

Postal employees in Compton rallied in front of a local post office in late 2023 to bring attention to the dangerous conditions they face while delivering mail.

“I and other members of Congress have been urging President Biden to replace Mr. DeJoy as soon as the president has appointed enough members of the Postal Service’s Board of Governors to do so since they are the only body which has the authority to replace a postmaster general, whose term in the position is not limited.”

President Biden appointed Derek Kan and Daniel Tangherlini to the nine-member Board of Governors in late 2021.  

There are currently two vacancies on the board.

In February, of this year, in a letter, signed by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the committee overseeing the Postal Service, and U.S. Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Rosa DeLauro, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Gerald Connolly and Waters, and more than 80 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives urged Biden to nominate two candidates to open seats on the U.S. Postal Board of Governors, complaining about slow deliveries and increased costs.

“The actions of current postal leadership are deeply concerning,” the letter said. “Rather than exploring new sources of revenue, it has continued price increases to ‘uncomfortable rates’ around the country,” citing earlier comments on price hikes from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

Last November the U.S. Postal Service reported a $6.5 billion net loss for the 12 months ending Sept. 30 and said it will not break even in 2024 as first-class mail fell to the lowest volume since 1968.

All of the aforementioned issues addressed by Waters have significantly contributed to the decline in revenue facing the United States Postal Service.

Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at emiliesaintjohn@gmail.com.