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Richmond: Virginia lawmakers push USPS for transparency on mail delivery issues

Rebecca Barnabi
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In the past few months, Virginia lawmakers have received hundreds of reports of mail delivery issues, including late and missing deliveries, sudden stops in service, and mail theft in the Richmond area.

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan, who represents District 4, sent a letter to the Virginia District Manager of the United States Postal Service requesting answers and improved transparency regarding the recent mail delivery issues. The lawmakers urge Virginia District Manager Gerald Roane in their letter to address issues and communicate directly with impacted residents.

“We write to advocate on behalf of our constituents, who have continued to share countless stories of mail delays and mail security concerns throughout Virginia and the Fourth Congressional District. While we appreciate your outreach with our offices, we feel our constituents would greatly benefit from direct communications from you or an appropriate United States Postal Service (USPS) representative,” the lawmakers wrote. “Therefore, we request your office to facilitate a town hall for concerned residents regarding their postal service concerns no later than January 19, 2024.”

In their letter, the lawmakers highlight various cases currently under investigation, including a local small business owner in the Bellevue neighborhood and a constituent in the Fan neighborhood.

“One notable case involves a 38-year resident of the Bellevue neighborhood and small business owner who has been grappling with mail delivery issues for over four months. Weekly missed deliveries since September have resulted in the non-receipt of crucial items such as paychecks, credit card bills and insurance policies. This has, in turn, led to the imposition of late fees and, in some instances, the cancellation of essential services,” the letter continues. “Similarly, a constituent in the Fan neighborhood of Richmond reported a mail hiatus lasting up to eight days. Despite reporting the issue to their local post office, USPS made no efforts to follow up or notify the family about the status of their case. Ultimately, an automated message from the postal service declared the matter resolved without any prior communication.”

The lawmakers will continue to open constituent cases to advocate on their behalf and resolve these issues.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.