Recently, the federal government has moved forward in its efforts to dramatically change the United States Postal Service (USPS), including cutting overtime and limiting hours. There has also been controversy surrounding the removal of mailboxes, whether or not it is related to the changes the federal government is making. The We ‘Ced youth reporter cohort weighed in on the importance of the USPS, especially in a rural community like Merced, and what members of the community can do to raise awareness and be an advocate for the USPS’ essential service.
Ever since I was little, I’ve been encouraged to create pen pals with my cousins and friends who lived in different cities or states. As I’ve grown older, I’ve always seen an importance in writing letters, and most recently have been able to be a pen pal to one of my closest friends while he is in boot camp for the Marines. Receiving a letter from him brings a smile to my face and I know it does for those who receive notes from me. This year, I was able to send out announcement cards to my family members and people that have made a major impact on my life for my high school graduation. Many of them reached out to me with their heartfelt words of appreciation due to my acknowledgement of them afterwards. To me, the postal service allows people to feel recognized in a way nothing involving technology can.
I think encouraging people to stay knowledgeable and challenge conversations are ways that awareness can be raised. I’ve always felt a calm discussion about a topic you and another person disagree on can lead to a compromise, and oftentimes newfound knowledge on differing opinions. I think the only way awareness can truly be spread is through word of mouth, and the use of social media is a fast and easy way to use this tool.
Merced can take action by spreading voting information and providing a helping hand to those in need. I think that we need to keep people updated on the circumstances in which they are able to vote, and to help those who may not have direct access to registration. People at-risk, such as the elderly who may not know how to register using technology, should receive help from their tech-savvy relatives or friends. Other oppressed and disenchanted groups should receive help from people who have the privilege of registering. The only way we can let everyone’s voices be heard is by giving them a ballot, and showing them how to use it.
Rachel Livinal, 18
I have used the Postal Service on multiple occasions, and I find them vital to our society no matter the advancement of today’s society in regards to technological advancements. I feel that the Postal Service will remain essential whether you are sending a letter to your penpal, sending documents, packages etc. The Postal Service is vital in transporting everyday items but the depth behind each letter, package, and document has more meaning, for you know that an individual took time to send your letter to the destination and another person who received the letter from their postal service sent it to their house, and there is so much more meaning when it comes to meaningful items for you never know how many people were behind getting the tiny letter to your penpal. Through today we can send a text, email, or even call I think meaningful items like letters, and gifts have a lot of meaning because it is handwritten and came from across the world, street, or corner through the Postal Service. With events such as the November 2020 Election coming around the corner the Postal Service is EXTREMELY essential during THIS TIME because VOTES have the power to change the state of the economy, future, and the very health of this NATION!
Social Media is one outlet that I feel can spread information very fast just like the Postal Service, platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok even, have some sort of impact on a person even if they just see the video/article for a millisecond, it without a doubt leaves an impact. Though social media can be oftentimes toxic and force oneself to compare so much so it often leads to deleting all forms of media, I think if used the right way, this being, bringing the information that has been left in the dark and shining a very bright light on it for the eyes of people who of which also HAVE POWER it can change the course of this November Election.
In addition to this, I think asking the men and women representing our congressional districts to address the concerns of the people and ensuring that these issues will not affect the voting ballots obtained for their state, and have these congressmen and women give updated information on the status of both the ballots, and the state of Postal Services within their state. In regards to the action that could be taken in Merced, I feel that we can begin to talk to our representative Jim Costa and ask questions in regards to the state Postal Services and what precautions are to be taken if people cannot mail-in their votes. Also, the people of Merced can begin to cooperate with the Merced Sun Star and make articles addressing both the concern and the solution to the situation while also creating flyers, around town, attending city hall meetings and addressing the concern about the situation etc.
USPS is a very essential tool to Americans. Using the USPS could help you in many ways, for me I recently moved out of my mother’s house and needed to get a State ID card. This required me to need a legal change in address so I decided to go to the post office in order to get that by filling out their change in address form. USPS literally helps with general adulthood essentials so the fact that it is jeopardy is alarming to say the least. In order to raise awareness we have to talk about it, tell your loved ones about it, word of mouth is one of the most popular forms of political socialization. We can also take action by using our voices, we can write our mayors and representatives asking them to stand with our postal system.
Stephanie Gurtel, 18