Norton Thanks Postal Service for Timely Response to Letter Regarding Ward 8 Mail Delivery

May 11, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today thanked the United States Postal Service (USPS) for its timely response to her May 1, 2020, letter regarding mail delivery in Ward 8, which she sent after being notified by constituents of late mail deliveries.

USPS noted the urgency of Norton’s request for an investigation due to the public’s increased reliance on mail delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staffing shortages, coupled with a slower hiring and onboarding process due to social distancing protocols, were identified as the causes of delayed deliveries.

In her letter, Norton had underscored that postal workers are declared essential frontline workers and recognized their service, but said that because D.C. residents are social distancing, it is imperative that mail deliveries are consistent.

Norton’s letter to USPS can be found here.

The USPS response, received today, follows:

 

Dear Congresswoman Norton:

 

This responds to your May 1 letter to Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan regarding mail delivery service in Congress Heights.

We understand your concerns about the timely delivery of mail and parcels during the COVID-19 pandemic. The vital services we provide to the American people are only possible due to the collective and individual efforts of the dedicated public servants who work for the U.S. Postal Service. We appreciate your support and the opportunity to provide information on how the Postal Service will continue its essential function in providing prompt delivery of mail and packages.

The Postal Service is working diligently to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the safety and well-being of our employees and customers is our highest priority.

We have established a dedicated COVID-19 Command Response leadership team to direct employee, operational, business, and customer continuity efforts during this time of national emergency. We are following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health authorities and adapting our processes as necessary to ensure the safe and efficient delivery of mail.

In regard to your specific question about the Congress Heights Station, that facility is experiencing a personnel shortage coupled with an increase in parcel volume. In response, the workload is being redistributed daily among the available carriers, and even managers and supervisors are being utilized as carriers and retail clerks until staffing levels improve. We are working to hire additional carriers but this process is complicated by the need to follow social distancing protocols, in accordance with CDC guidance, when administering training and new employee orientations. Please know that we working to manage this complex problem in a way that provides the best possible service while protecting our employees, our customers, and the community as a whole.

In addition, we regret that your constituents have been unable to speak by phone with Congress Heights Station staff. Management will ensure that all customer inquiries and phone calls are responded to in a timely manner. They can be reached at (202) 523-2122. Should your constituents believe that their concerns are not being sufficiently addressed locally, they may contact the Capital District Consumer and Industry Contact office at (202) 636-1200. District officials have administrative responsibility over postal operations in the area and ensure that local Post Offices are meeting national standards.

We regret any inconvenience or frustration your constituents may be experiencing during this time, and we appreciate their patience as we work to restore consistent service. Moreover, we understand the extent to which the American public depends upon us for high-quality, reliable service.

Thank you for writing. If I can be of assistance in other postal matters, please let me know.

 

Sincerely,

 

James Cari

Government Relations Representative

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