Delays in mail delivery have sparked complaints from residents in the Houston area over the last few weeks — and this week the U.S. Postal Service sent additional workers down to help.
The Postal Service brought in 23 people to help with the backlog in deliveries, in addition to 10 more plant managers.
The post office said in a statement this week that the issues stem in part from changes being implemented at the Missouri City facility as part of the service’s Delivering for America plan, which is trying to modernize the postal system.
U.S. Rep. Al Green, who represents the 9th district of Texas, including parts of Houston, said he supports the postal service but wants better communication about what is going on.
“In Congress, I have voted for tens of billions of dollars for USPS to sustain it. I support the workers there. I believe in this USPS system that we’ve established in our country,” he said. “USPS has, unfortunately, not lived up to the standards that it has set for itself. We have many people who have medicine, people who have other things that are very important to them, that are not getting these things timely and appropriately.”
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Green said his office has been inundated with complaints.
“We are approaching 200 complaints now. We had a Marine, his medicine was delayed, and we went over to the VA to get medicine for him because his medicine could not be found by USPS,” Green said. “It’s unbelievable how this is impacting people. And it’s bigger than just the Houston area, because mail comes in from all around the country – and some from out of the country – to this center to be processed so that they can get to people in the area.”
Green reiterated that the lack of transparency from the postal service is one of his main concerns.
“When it comes to the question of postal delivery, a congressional office should not become the spokesperson for USPS. They have people who are paid good money in their communications department to do this,” he said. “They have become what I believe to be a closed society, where they are of the opinion that they don’t have to have press conferences and explain what’s happening to the public mail that is entrusted to them.”
Green said his next step is to tour the two affected facilities in Houston alongside U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia.
“After we tour the plant, some decisions will be made as to whether or not we believe this is going to be a circumstance that can take care of not only the mail that’s coming in currently, but also the mail that would be coming in for this March election,” he said. “The mail ballots are coming in. We want to make sure that those ballots are handled appropriately, but we’ll make some decisions about it.
“If we conclude or I conclude that they are moving forward satisfactorily, then I suppose we will give them the opportunity to do so. But if not, then we may ask for a congressional hearing.”