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Forum, Aug. 15: The U.S. Postal Service is an essential service for citizens

Published: 8/14/2020 10:00:24 PM
Modified: 8/14/2020 10:00:12 PM
The U.S. Postal Service is an essential need for citizens

In virtually every small town in the United States, there is a post office. Rural delivery brings medicine, Social Security checks and other necessities to the remotest inhabitants in our country. People may not have internet access, but they have a post office. They may not have cellphone service, but they have a post office. For some citizens, the letter carrier may be the only person they see from one week to the next.

And for generations, post office jobs have also been the first step on the road to the American Dream. Disabled veterans, single mothers, and people hit hard by recession, racial inequity and discrimination could earn a living wage with good benefits, and innumerable families have joined the middle class as a result.

And because we all could count on the timely delivery of the mail, we could start small businesses, keep in contact with loved ones, make sure our bills were paid on time, and yes, even vote.

In short, the United States Postal Service is an essential service, and the authors of the Constitution recognized that fact in Article 1, Section 8, which gives Congress the power to establish it. In that same section, the Constitution also establishes the Army and Navy, and both the Postal Service and the military are equally necessary for the continuing security, prosperity and well-being of the American people.

So when did we fall into the trap of talking about the post office “losing money,” as if it were like any other competitive commercial enterprise? It would never occur to us to complain that the military was “losing money.”

Congress designates funding for the Postal Service in the annual budget, and every citizen benefits. I wouldn’t like to be so cynical as to suggest that we began to worry about the bottom line of the post office when our public officials began to be lobbied by FedEx, UPS and DHL.

But the next time you hear political hand-wringing over the need for “cost-saving measures” at the post office, you might ask yourself what is actually going on.



Andru Volinsky is strongest candidate on the climate

America and New Hampshire are facing four crises: COVID-19, the global climate emergency, implicit and explicit racism and violence against Black and brown Americans, and our endangered democracy.

This decade is the most important in human history. It will shape the future of life on Earth. We have to focus on climate and racial and economic equity.

New Hampshire voters have a collective sense of urgency, which demands smart, bold policies and clear-headed actions for our state. I am working to elect Andru Volinsky as our next governor because he is smart, bold, clear-headed and not beholden to special interests.

Volinsky is a progressive, systematic thinker who works to conserve our natural resources and ensure that the ecosystems we need are healthy and safe — clean water and air; abundant, healthy food; and clean energy to heat and power our buildings and move people and goods without fossil fuels. He champions the residential and commercial benefits of energy efficiency, solar power and battery storage, and heat pumps and offshore wind in the longer term.

These technologies will minimize climate disasters and create vast opportunities for a diverse and growing workforce in multiple fields.

Volinsky will propose — not veto — clean energy legislation that will move New Hampshire into the 21st century. He is the only candidate who fought Northern Pass and Liberty Utilities’ fracked gas pipeline project, Granite Bridge. He supports a regional Green New Deal and understands that to reduce our collective and individual carbon footprints, the expansion of so-called “natural” gas infrastructure is a threat to our health and economy.

Just as we fought successfully against Liberty Utilities’ Lebanon pipeline and the Granite Bridge pipeline, we will work just as hard to get our climate champion elected. Volinsky will advocate relentlessly for clean energy and climate measures, just as he has championed equity across school systems for decades.

Andru Volinsky is the candidate who embodies the clearest contrast to current governor. No one is more prepared to lead us through these times. He will work to grow New Hampshire so we can all thrive together. Please join me.



The writer is chair of the Sierra Club Upper Valley Group.

Dan Feltes fights for families, workers and the neglected

I would like to share with you why I am voting for Dan Feltes for New Hampshire governor. I’ve known him for a long time, before politics, before his current seat. He’s a good family friend, and I’d like to tell you about what I know of his core values.

Throughout his tenure in the Legislature, he sponsored countless progressive bills to expand access to health care, prioritize clean energy and carbon emission reduction, and make New Hampshire more accessible for the individual worker.

His father worked in the same furniture factory for more than 40 years and his mother worked part-time while raising four kids. After graduating from law school, he turned down corporate law firms to work as an attorney at New Hampshire Legal Aid Assistance, where he represented low-income families and individuals that our system has ignored and neglected.

I was volunteering there and saw firsthand the incredibly powerful ways in which he would fight for families. He shares his father’s and mother’s hard-work mentality and has demonstrated that he has the best interests of Granite Staters in mind.

When leadership in New Hampshire was missing and delayed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he led the way and introduced the Worker’s Bill of Rights to address the disparities and hardships that arose in the wake of COVID-19.

His leadership will pave the way for Granite Staters to pursue life, liberty and happiness for years to come.

We need Dan Feltes in the corner office.


Bradford, N.H.

The writer is a candidate for New Hampshire Senate from District 8.

Sue Prentiss is a tireless advocate for the people

I have known Sue Prentiss for more than 25 years, as a friend, a mother, an EMT instructor and leader. When I look back on her record of public service in New Hampshire, it strikes me that she gets work done. That is what matters.

These are uncertain times, and electing a state senator who has worked at both the state and local levels is a winning combination for how our communities are represented.

When working as New Hampshire’s chief of EMS, Prentiss led a diverse coalition in the overhaul of the patient care protocol system. This means that field treatments for the sick and injured who I took care of when I was an EMT became equal throughout the state. Other states now look to New Hampshire as a leader in this area.

At the local level, I have watched Prentiss work with state leaders and legislators to fight for funding to be included in the state budget to help West Lebanon through cleaning up the Westboro Rail Yard.

I want to recognize the fact that in all of her work, Sue Prentiss is present, making herself available to anyone and everyone who needs an ear has been her priority. At the same time, I have known her to tirelessly advocate for what is important to the people she serves, again being present, solving problems and getting the ear of others to advance the cause she is fighting for.

As a woman, I am proud of her work as the first female chief of EMS at New Hampshire’s Fire Academy. She has opened a door for young women throughout the state, young women who have big dreams, just like she had when she got started.

On Sept. 8, please join me in voting for Sue Prentiss for state Senate from District 5.



Beatriz Pastor has honesty, integrity and commitment

We wholeheartedly support and endorse Beatriz Pastor for the New Hampshire Senate. As her colleagues of more than 20 years, we have witnessed her unwavering integrity, honesty, unbounded energy and commitment to others. And we have admired her open-mindedness, her vision and her incredible ability to get things done.

Pastor is a recipient of Dartmouth College’s Best Teacher Award, and that well-deserved distinction speaks to her high standards as a teacher and also to her dedication and her generosity with students and colleagues alike. They are the same personal qualities that led her to run for the New Hampshire House and serve there for three terms, establishing her reputation as an exceptional legislator.

That legislative experience, together with her personal qualities and passionate, lifelong commitment to progressive Democratic core values, makes her the best candidate to represent all of us in District 5 in the New Hampshire Senate. She has our enthusiastic vote and we ask you to support her in the September primary and in the November election.




West Lebanon

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