At our national convention in August 2022, Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence reflected on her time in the House of Representatives as a postal champion and how her long career in various roles at the USPS laid the foundation for a life of public service. With her recent retirement from Congress, Representative Lawrence wants to utilize her passion for strengthening the public Post Office by seeking a position on the Postal Board of Governors.
The APWU has been a strong advocate for the nomination of Congresswoman Lawrence to the Postal Board of Governors and in October 2022, President Dimondstein sent a letter to President Biden urging him to nominate former Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence to serve on the Postal Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service.
The Postal Board of Governors is comprised of nine governors, along with the postmaster and deputy postmaster general. These governors serve seven-year terms and select the postmaster general. Governors also set postal policy, control expenditures, and review postal practices. The Board deals with service standards as well, which is an issue of critical importance to all APWU members. In order to fill vacancies, the president of the United States sends a nomination to the Senate, where a candidate’s confirmation is then put to a vote.
Two of the current nine governors’ terms have now expired. They remain in position until another governor is appointed or for a period of one year, whichever comes first. Governors can serve a maximum of two terms.
It is critical that President Biden nominates someone who has extensive knowledge of both postal operations and the workforce. Congresswoman Lawrence understands the Post Office in a way only few can due to her unique experience at the Postal Service. Before joining Congress, she served as a postal employee for over 30 years, including time as a clerk. After leaving the Postal Service, she was elected mayor of Southfield, Michigan, where she worked with the community to bolster the quality of the mail service. Prior to her retirement from Congress, she served on committees with jurisdiction over the USPS, where she skillfully defended the public Postal Service from privatization.
Congresswoman Lawrence was the only member of Congress to have been a member of the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers. She understands the commitment and dedication each postal worker provides to the nation.
By nominating Congresswoman Lawrence, the Biden Administration has a historic opportunity to provide more equitable representation for the USPS’ workforce and the country at-large. Despite African Americans making up nearly a quarter of the USPS workforce, the USPS Board of Governors currently has one African American man. It also has only one woman among the nine appointees.
As the USPS implements a massive network reorganization, nominating Congresswoman Lawrence will help ensure the makeup of the USPS’ Board includes diverse voices who better represent USPS’ workforce and customer base. Nominating Congresswoman Lawrence would also guarantee that any reforms from the postmaster would be vetted by an independent voice and critically reviewed to ensure that any proposals would not adversely affect the people from all walks of life who rely and trust the public Postal Service.
Never before has a candidate for the Board possessed such a deep understanding of the workers as well as the unique operational challenges that face the Postal Service. The APWU is pleased to endorse Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence and wish to see her nomination and confirmation to the Postal Board of Governors.