People in Manistee Rally to Support US Postal Service

Members of the House of Representatives voted Saturday to pass a bill to allocate $25 billion to the US Postal Service and ban operational changes that would delay mail service.

The bill was introduced by the House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney after policy changes were made by the White House.

Those changes include removing high-volume sorting machines, cutting overtime hours for employees and limiting post office hours.

The issue has sparked interest around the country and even here in northern Michigan.

Saturday, people in Manistee rallied in support of the US Postal Service.

Jeanne Butterfield organized the rally that took place in front of the Manistee Post Office.

She says, “I think we just need to keep shouting and shouting and shouting until we get their attention.”

Butterfield also says she’s concerned about the changes she’s seeing to the post office here in Manistee and around the country.

“The dismantling that’s been happening, sorting machines taking out of service, post office boxes being removed from city streets in some parts of the country, prohibitions on overtime on postal workers, everything’s slowing down the mail.”

Al Frye from Manistee was also at the rally on Saturday.

He says the post office is an essential service especially for rural communities in Northern Michigan.

 “We’re here today to show that when people raise their voices it’s something sometimes the government does hear,” says Frye.

He says for many the postal service is a lifeline delivering social security checks and medicine to seniors and veterans.

“This is not a political issue, it’s not about Republicans or Democrats. It’s about people and the service.”

Butterfield says she’s concerned about the changes especially as we near Election Day:

“It’s not only important for that means today, but looking ahead of it, it’s so important during a COVID pandemic, we need the mail service to deliver our ballots, to deliver our votes.”

For now, she’ll stand here with her fellow community members, making her voice be heard.

“Hopefully our voices and those around the country will help to make a difference,” says Butterfield.