Washington, DC – The Affordable Mail Alliance – a growing coalition of non-profits, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, major trade associations, consumer groups, and citizens representing the vast majority of the mail sent in the United States – today announced the addition of its one thousandth member group.
Formed in response to the US Postal Service’s July 6th announcement that it would seek to raise rates far beyond those currently allowed by law, the Affordable Mail Alliance has been steadily picking up new members since its inception. Growing from a handful of organizations, these members range from traditional powerhouses like the American Forest and Paper Association to non-profit organizations like the Disabled American Veterans to small local publications like Oklahoma’s Countywide News.
“We are proud of the alliance we have built-over a thousand groups, large and small, from around the country, who have joined together on this issue,”said Tony Conway, Affordable Mail Alliance Spokesperson and Executive Director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers.
The Alliance gained members following recent Postal Regulatory Commission hearings during which the Post Office admitted that it is not facing an immediate cash crisis, as it had previously claimed. The alleged crisis, which the Post Office said would require a severe price increase at ten times the rate currently permissible by law, was contradicted by their own leadership during the hearings. The Post Office now claims that the rate increase is needed to prevent a longer-term profit slowdown over the next decade.
The coalition comprising the Affordable Mail Alliance has argued that emergency provisions included in the postal laws do not apply to the Post Office’s current situation, and that USPS should seek to take more substantial steps within its own organization before raising prices for the millions of consumers the Alliance represents.
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), a key author of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, agreed that the proposed increase was unwarranted. In her official comments to the Postal Regulatory Commission, Senator Collins said that the law’s ‘extraordinary or exceptional circumstances’ test has not been met by the USPS, “the provision was not intended to be used under the current circumstances,”but rather in cases such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks. The Post Office’s “failure to sufficiently update its business model,”she said, was not sufficient for special consideration.
The one thousand groups that have now signed on to the Affordable Mail Alliance, based in all regions of the country, provide a picture of broad-based discontent with the Post Office’s proposal.
“There is a reason that a thousand non-profits, local newspapers, successful companies and small businesses from across the country have joined the Affordable Mail Alliance to say enough is enough. We’re tired of being asked to foot the bill for the USPS’s failure to control costs,”said Conway. “The Post Office’s proposed rate hike hurts mail customers and it’s just bad business.”