Shut Down DC activists staged an early morning “wake-up call” outside the home of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
WASHINGTON – A group of protesters staged a ‘loud protest’ on Saturday morning outside the home of United States Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in northwest DC amid allegations of limiting postal voting before the 2020 presidential election.
The protest was organized by the direct action group Shut Down DC They gathered in Kalorama Park in Adams Morgan on the corner of Kalorama Road and 19th Street and marched towards DeJoy’s house.
“We are in the midst of a historic pandemic and up to 40% of Americans plan to vote by mail. If we can’t rely on these ballots to get where they need to go, we have a serious problem with democracy, ”said Patrick Young, an organizer for Shut Down DC.
Members of the group gathered to protest DeJoy’s leadership ahead of the postal vote for the 2020 presidential election.
RELATED: Trump Ally Donor Louis DeJoy to Head U.S. Postal Service
The organization believes DeJoy is “dismantling” the US Postal Service in favor of President Donald Trump’s re-election. They said his actions are helping to suppress voters.
“DeJoy laid off or reassigned much of the current USPS leadership and ordered the removal of the mail sorting machines that are fundamental to the operation of the Postal Service. Meanwhile, mail delivery is slowing down due to ‘other decisions made by DeJoy, such as eliminating postal overtime, “the group said in a statement.
“I think they are totally trying to sabotage the election. I mean in so many words Trump said it, “Saturday morning protester Medea Benjamin said.” We have to wake up the American people, no matter who you want in the White House.
Protesters chanted, sang and banged on pots and pans outside the DeJoy District resident for about an hour on Saturday morning. Some neighbors, who seemed confused at first, joined in the protest that closed part of Connecticut Avenue to traffic.
Some protesters stuffed fake postal ballots and letters into the lobby door of the Postmaster’s apartment.
“I am very worried about the next election,” Benjamin said. “I feel like the Postmaster General is part of a bigger plan that will not count votes, this will steal this election, I am so worried about the future of our democracy that I thought that ‘it was important to get up early this morning and make some noise. “
The USPS recently sent warning letters to 46 states, including Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, saying it could not guarantee that all mail-in ballots cast for the November election would arrive in time to be counted. DC and six other states were told that only a select group of voters could be affected, but Virginia and Maryland and 38 other states received a “heightened warning” that the USPS could not meet the deadlines prescribed by the state.
RELATED: USPS Warns 46 States It Cannot Guarantee Delayed Mail-In Ballots Will Be Counted
USPS officials “have warned they will be cash-strapped by the end of September without help from Congress,” the Associated Press reports. The organization reported a loss of $ 4.5 billion in the first quarter, before the pandemic fully took hold in the United States
In an interview with Fox Business Network, President Trump was candid about his intentions to block Democrats’ USPS funding proposals.
“If we don’t do a deal, it means they won’t get the money,” Trump said. “It means they can’t have a universal postal vote; they just can’t have it.
The president then indicated on Friday that he would back a financial bailout of the Postal Service in exchange for Republican priorities that include lower payroll taxes and more loans for small businesses.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who donated to Trump and other Republicans, said the agency is in a financially untenable position, but maintains it can handle this year’s election mail. The cost-cutting measures taken by the USPS have resulted in mail delays across the country.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, calls for DeJoy’s resignation.
“The brief tenure of Postmaster General DeJoy has already turned into one of the darkest in USPS history,” Connolly said in a statement. “On the eve of a presidential election, in the midst of the worst public health pandemic in 100 years, Mr. DeJoy pledged his allegiance to President Trump’s political expediency at the expense of protecting our democracy and the access to the ballot. He deliberately adopted policies aimed at sabotaging the postal service to serve only one person, President Trump. He betrayed the American people. Mr. DeJoy must resign.
Maryland Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) were two of more than two dozen senators who sent a letter to DeJoy urging USPS to correct the delays.
“Since you took on the role of Postmaster General, there have been disturbing reports of changes to the USPS causing significant delays in mail delivery,” said the letter. “Under normal circumstances, delayed mail is a major problem – during a pandemic in the middle of a presidential election, it’s catastrophic.”
RELATED: Southeast DC Residents Go Weeks Without Mail Delivered
In a recent incident, residents of southeastern DC claimed they did not receive their mail within two weeks. A resident told WUSA9 that the community contacted USPS, but nothing was done.
In a USPS statement Thursday, he said they were reviewing staffing and schedules.
“Rest assured, we take customer concerns seriously and remain fully committed to delivering mail in a timely and consistent manner,” a USPS statement said. “We continue to review our staffing and schedules and make the necessary adjustments to improve our services. “
With some mail being delayed during a pandemic and ahead of a major election, protesters said on Saturday morning there was a serious problem with democracy.
“We are in the midst of a historic pandemic, and up to 40% of Americans plan to vote by mail. If we can’t rely on these ballots to get where they need to go, we have a serious problem with democracy, ”Young said.
DeJoy, nor any resident, was seen leaving the front of the building on Saturday morning.
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