Last week, U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., sent a letter to the United States Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to inquire about the status of the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) operations in USPS District 2 encompassing Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, Pine Island, and Matlacha.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Postmaster General DeJoy:
I write to inquire about the status of the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) operations in USPS District 2. Specifically, this district includes Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, Pine Island, and Matlacha—which are all areas of my congressional district that were severely impacted by Hurricane Ian.
As a collective community, we lived through and experienced the tragic devastation caused by the historic storm. FL-19 was pummeled by the eye of Hurricane Ian, and most of Florida subsequently experienced destructive ripple-effects. While I understand that time and patience are crucial to rebuilding Southwest Florida to a sense of normalcy, it’s been 103 days since the storm made landfall. Bridges in the area have been reconstructed in record-breaking time, and the overall restoration of our community has rapidly progressed. However, there is still much work to be done.
An immediate concern for my office, on behalf of my constituents, is the creation of a more-efficient mail delivery system in the hurricane-affected areas of USPS District 2. The expedited establishment of a USPS pick-up site in close proximity to the impacted areas of USPS District 2 and the quick deployment of multiple postal drop boxes would greatly alleviate my constituents’ ongoing postal hardships.
For background, there was previously a USPS pick-up site at Page Field Airport, but it was moved across Interstate 75 to a new location—thereby causing a significantly longer mail trip for many of my constituents. Currently, residents of FL-19 are experiencing high gas prices and the added economic burden of reinstated tolls, and the inconvenient trip—just to deliver and receive mail—severely alters my constituents’ daily schedules.
Most importantly, on March 7, 2023, the City of Sanibel will hold its municipal elections. USPS has an important role in the overall administration of a secure election—especially given the increased popularity of mail-in ballots. It’s also worth emphasizing that every private delivery company has resumed normal operations in USPS District 2, and I call on the USPS to take immediate action to provide my constituents with an adequate and long-awaited means of receiving their mail.
Therefore, I formally request that the USPS deploy postal drop boxes throughout the impacted areas of USPS District 2 and establish a pick-up site in close proximity to my constituents in need. It’s incumbent on Congress to oversee the postal operations occurring in USPS District 2, and your immediate attention and quick action on this matter is crucial. We need alternative solutions now.
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