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When it comes to online activism, more and more influencers have begun to use their voice to speak their mind and spread awareness. With what some are calling a “war” on the United States Postal Service (USPS) by the Trump administration, influencers across the internet have found it hard to hold their tongue. Using their platform, digital creators from all platforms and niches have stepped up in defense of USPS to encourage their followers to stay vigilant and show their support.
What’s Going on with USPS?
Back in mid-August, President Donald Trump admitted that he was intentionally blocking federal funding to the USPS to discourage the use of mail-in ballots for the election in November. Additionally, the president claimed that stimulus funding was held up due to Democrats’ desire to continue funding the USPS. As of now, the USPS continues to lose money at an alarming rate and mail delivery is slowing, all while elections are approaching and there still seems to be no surefire solution.
Using Their Platform: Influencers Speak Out for USPS
After changes and attacks by the Trump administration, hundreds of protests across the country were quickly organized online in defense of USPS. With Business Insider pointing out that the USPS hasn’t received mass media attention like this since the 1990s, creators and activists alike speaking out on social media became a big deal. While some activists headed online to organize in-person protests and spread awareness of the national day of action, digital creators decided to spread the word the best way they knew how – using their voice on social media.
With follower counts in the thousands to the millions, influencers began posting on their chosen social platforms to highlight the crisis facing the USPS and mobilize their followers into taking real action. Young activist David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, was one of the first to Tweet in support of USPS.
In a viral tweet, Hogg urged his followers to help save the USPS from being defunded and show their support by buying merch from the USPS store and share the link with the hashtag #DontDefundUSPS. Hogg, who currently boasts 1M followers on his Twitter account, is known for his work as a March 4 Our Lives Co-founder and Board Member. From his work in activism, Hogg has also written a book with his sister, Lauren, and regularly sets out in various communities to encourage young people to register to vote.
Ok y’all I’m going to ask everyone that sees this to do me a favor and help us save USPS from being defunded.
Please consider doing one or more of the following:
1. Buying some merch from their store / stamps today. (Link below)
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) July 31, 2020
While activists of course took action, the support didn’t stop there. Writers like popular Twitter user Sophia Benoit also took to social media to voice their support for USPS and encourage people to buy merch from the official store. Benoit, who is a screenwriter and columnist at GQ Magazine, goes by the username “1followernodad” and currently has 108.5K followers on her Twitter page. In a Tweet that brought in 2.2K Retweets and 8.8K Likes, Benoit posted an image of a USPS crop top from their store to share how much she wanted it. As one of the first to draw attention to USPS merch, Benoit, a verified user on Twitter, inspired thousands of other users to check out the store and purchase their own keepsakes. Some users even took to her replies to share their stories about how or why the USPS is important to them.
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— Sophia Benoit (@1followernodad) July 30, 2020
Going even further, concerned citizens that aren’t affiliated with the USPS created Instagram and Twitter accounts specifically tailored to the crisis in order to spread helpful information. To support these pages, the ones who run them gather USPS-related art to share across their Instagram feeds. Specifically, digital artists like Peggy Dean, or The Pigeon Letters, created incredible art in support of the USPS to be posted on postal service-related pages. Some artists created pieces for the organization Rock the Vote, while others decided to create illustrations in order to draw attention back to small businesses and their reliance on USPS to ship out prints and online orders. With their creations, these artists reminded their followers of the most important reasons to continue standing in solidarity with this national mail service. Those reasons included:
- Uses Zero Tax Dollars to Fund Its Operations
- Affordability for All
- Catering to Those in Rural Areas
- Ideal for Small Businesses
- Receiving Important Medication by Mail
- Paying Bills or Making Do Without Internet
- Delivery to Military Bases
- Employing Veterans
View this post on Instagram
Facts: 💌 ZERO TAX DOLLARS USED: The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. 💌 AFFORDABILITY: For only 55 cents, anyone, regardless of their location, can send a letter to anywhere is the United States. 💌 RURAL AREAS: The USPS is the only mail option for over 70 million Americans. Privatizing the USPS would require many people to travel long distances to receive daily mail and vital packages like medication. 💌 SMALL BIZ: Small businesses can’t afford to ship packages at 20x higher postal rates, which would hit hard and put many makers out of business. 💌 MEDICATION: Half of Americans, yes HALF, get medications by mail. 💌 LACK OF RESOURCES Nearly 15 million people don’t have access to broadband internet (to pay bills, etc.) 💌 MILITARY: The USPS is the only delivery service that delivers to military bases. 💌 VETERANS: The USPS employees close to 100,000 veterans. 💌 YOUR VOTE COUNTS: The USPS guarantees delivery of absentee ballots and makes sure that every vote is counted, regardless of proper postage (but please make sure your signature matches your registration!!! 😬). 👇 TAKE ACTION 👇 📩 BUY STAMPS: If only half of adult Americans buy a book of stamps, the USPS would raise $1.5 billion. 📩 TEXT USPS TO 50409: to contact your reps and senators. 📩 SIGN PETITION: Google “save the USPS petition” 📩 SOCIAL MEDIA: Use social media to share the importance to #savetheusps – Share this post! 📩 Make sure to request your absentee ballot as well!!! #uspsnotforsale #restoretheusps #usps #irelyontheusps #smallbusiness #smallbizowner #entrepreneurship #smallbusinesssupport #supporttheusps #supportusps #saveusps #saveusps2020 #vote2020
Check out other artists who support the USPS:
How You Can Show Support
Knowing the importance of this service, it’s crucial for us all to do our part and act. Eager to know how you can show your support? It’s simple:
- Buy Stamps: If only half of adult Americans buy a book of stamps, the USPS would raise $1.5 billion in funding. That’s major. Get creative and send a relative or a friend a sweet handwritten note and buy up some cute stamps to financially support USPS. Stamps can come in almost every design and color imaginable so you can add your own personal flair to your mail.
- Text USPS to 50409: By doing so, you can directly contact your state Representatives and Senators in order to encourage them to support USPS on your behalf. Remember, our politicians should cater to their constituents! As an alternative, you can also reach politicians through phone or email, or write an email to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
- Sign Petitions: With a quick Google search, you can find official “Save the USPS” Petitions that you can sign and make sure your voice is heard for postal workers that need your support.
- Utilize Social Media: As we all know, social media is a powerful tool – especially when it comes to spreading important information to wide audiences. Take notes from your favorite creators and use your social media platforms to share educational information about the defunding of the USPS and encourage your followers to take a stand. Using the hashtag #SaveTheUSPS is helpful, too.
- Support Small Businesses: Purchase some items you like from small businesses and choose the USPS shipping options at checkout. If you can’t find a store that catches your eye just yet, check out the USPS merch store!
- Request Your Absentee Ballot: Support the USPS in the face of those who want to defund it by requesting a mail-in ballot if you’re of age to vote.