Denver — Today, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper invited U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster Louis DeJoy to join them on a tour of a USPS facility in Colorado to see firsthand the ongoing service and delivery challenges that Coloradans face.
“Our office has worked closely with the Colorado-Wyoming USPS district office on these issues, and it is clear that the district is strapped for resources and attention from Washington. We’re hopeful Postmaster DeJoy and USPS leadership will come to Colorado to see the challenges their staff and our communities face firsthand,” said Bennet.
In their letter, Bennet and Hickenlooper highlight numerous ongoing issues that local communities and USPS staff identified as obstacles to USPS’ ability to deliver quality mail service in Colorado. The senators urge DeJoy to address USPS staffing shortages by streamlining their hiring process, to partner with communities to identify affordable housing for staff, and to invest in the physical infrastructure of USPS facilities to accommodate greater package volumes. The senators also request that USPS provide regular updates to the Congressional delegation so offices can jointly hear the comprehensive steps USPS leadership are taking to address constituent and community concerns.
“For over two years, our offices have received a sharp rise in complaints from Coloradans about longer delays in mail delivery and gaps in other USPS services,” said the senators in the letter. “These communities report that Post Offices in Colorado have had limited hours; hour-long lines to pick up mail and packages; and poor facility maintenance.”
“Colorado and the country rely on USPS’ universal service mandate to receive essential documents and services,” concluded the senators. “Poor and inconsistent USPS service not only falls short of community expectations; it violates their trust in USPS.”
Bennet and Hickenlooper understand that Coloradans rely on USPS to receive vital benefits and prescriptions, stay connected to family, and cast their ballots, and remain committed to improving the reliability and service of the USPS. Last February, Bennet urged Leader Schumer to bring the bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act to the floor as soon as possible, and after the bill passed the Senate, Bennet applauded its potential to provide USPS with the financial stability to support more reliable delivery and service. In October, Bennet urged USPS officials to seize the opportunity provided by cost savings from the bill to improve on-time deliveries, service, and operations in Colorado. Bennet, Hickenlooper, and their staff have worked consistently with USPS to elevate the unique issues facing each community.
The text of the letter is available HERE and below.
Dear Postmaster General DeJoy and Mr. Colin,
We write to request your urgent attention to the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) ongoing service and delivery issues in Colorado, and we invite you to visit one of our Post Offices to see these challenges firsthand. As you know, Colorado’s mountain and rural communities, as well as those on Front Range, rely on USPS to send and receive election ballots, Social Security checks, passports, prescription medicines, and other essential, time-sensitive mail.
For over two years, our offices have received a sharp rise in complaints from Coloradans about longer delays in mail delivery and gaps in other USPS services. These communities report that Post Offices in Colorado have had limited hours; hour-long lines to pick up mail and packages; and poor facility maintenance. To restore quality service, we strongly encourage you to address the following issues identified by local communities and USPS staff:
Resolve staffing shortages: It is evident that USPS in Colorado struggles to recruit and retain full-time staff, particularly in small mountain towns. The resulting staffing shortages are the primary cause of service and delivery issues. Long delays in the hiring process, often without communication from USPS, have pushed applicants to take other jobs at comparable wages within days, not weeks. We encourage USPS to streamline the hiring process to enable the Colorado-Wyoming district to attract and retain staff.
Partner with towns to identify affordable housing for USPS staff: The Colorado-Wyoming district staff have identified the lack of affordable housing in mountain towns as a significant barrier to staff retention. USPS must develop partnerships within communities to identify affordable housing and ensure that staff qualify for housing requirements.
Revamp physical infrastructure, particularly for packages: Many of the facilities currently in use are too small for effective organization, storage, and distribution of packages and parcels. USPS must invest in facilities to ensure adequate space. This may include replacing existing facilities.
Reinstate regular updates to the Congressional delegation: Last year, Colorado-Wyoming district staff indicated that it would resume quarterly calls with the Congressional delegation. These calls allow congressional offices to raise constituent concerns; they are also an opportunity for USPS to describe efforts to resolve ongoing staffing and delivery issues. We urge you to reinstate these calls immediately.
Colorado and the country rely on USPS’ universal service mandate to receive essential documents and services. Poor and inconsistent USPS service not only falls short of community expectations; it violates their trust in USPS.
Thank you for your attention to this important issue. We look forward to you accepting our invitation to visit a Colorado Post Office this spring as well as your prompt implementation of solutions to ensure that all Coloradans have accessible and timely mail delivery.