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National Grange Testifies Against Reduced Mail Delivery

By Nicole Palya Wood, National Grange Legislative Director (9/16/10)

  SEPTEMBER 20, 2010 --

Edward Luttrell, president of the National Grange, the nation’s oldest agricultural and rural community organization, testified September 15th before the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission expressing opposition to reduced scheduled mail delivery.

Luttrell told the Commission a major digital divide still exists for many rural communities that do not have access to reliable cost-effective high-speed Internet or PDA services. Rural small businesses disproportionately rely on affordable and consistent six-day postal services as part of their business plans. Additionally, rural consumers rely on the Postal Service for delivery of discretionary, as well as critical-need, products in a timely manner that only six-day service can provide. Also, reducing mail delivery service from six days to five will have a negative impact on the national trend to encourage and require greater mail voting and participation in elections and referendums.

“Today, even in an age of emerging and rapidly evolving electronic communications technologies, the efficient and reliable functioning of the mail delivery provided by the United States Postal Service is a bulwark of personal communication, commerce and participatory democracy in tens of thousands of farming, tribal and rural communities across the nation,” Luttrell stated. “Reducing Postal Service delivery is the wrong way to address pressing financial issues facing the post office and will create a disproportionate hardship on rural communities across the nation,” Luttrell concluded.

In addition, President Luttrell was joined by Senator Murkowski of Alaska, who made an appearance before the commission to explain the adverse effects a reduction in mail delivery would have on the citizens of the Last Frontier State.

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