Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Promotes Postal Banking at APWU Convention
Addressing the APWU’s 26th Biennial National Convention in August, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) lauded the progress our Campaign for Postal Banking has made in getting the Postal Service to launch a few small test sites where postal clerks can cash payroll and business checks.
While the proof-of-concept test is modest in scope, it could lead to even more progress in achieving our goal of winning postal banking, the congresswoman told the convention. “They said getting any progress at all on postal banking would be impossible, that the influence of big bank lobbyists was just too powerful to overcome,” she said. “Those four pilots are our mustard seeds. They will bloom into a national revival of the national postal banking system in the United States.”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, who herself signed our petition for postal banking, noted the desperate need for expanded financial services. “Nearly 30 percent of Americans do not have access to affordable financial services, and you all will provide it to them.” The very first piece of legislation she introduced after entering Congress was called the Loan Shark Prevention Act. It sought to reign in big banks, protect consumers, and called for postal banking.
Postal Banking Draws Crowds at Convention
Delegates to the APWU National Convention were drawn to an exhibit booth on our campaign. At the booth, delegates got updates on the campaign, shared ideas on how they could take action and learned more at what’s at stake in winning expanded postal financial services. A downloadable campaign flyer is available at https://bit.ly/CPBflyer
Big Bankers Oppose Pilots
In June, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) opened a docket to study whether the controlled test of the paycheck-cashing service happening at four post office locations was in compliance with the law governing the USPS’s products and services. The big banks didn’t miss a chance to show their opposition to expanded postal financial services.
In their filing, the American Bankers Association (ABA) noted their opposition to the program, claiming that it lacks explicit congressional approval and sought to use the PRC to stop the program. They join a barrage of attacks from other big-monied interests and right-wing think.
The very same Wall Street interests who refuse to provide financial services to millions of people feel threatened by this modest first step toward expanding postal financial services. Their opposition is a sign of the vast transformational potential of this initiative.
All supporters of postal banking and expanded postal financial services should remain vigilant as the PRC proceedings continue. There may soon be a moment when a public mobilization will be necessary to move the PRC to do the right thing and ensure postal management is resolved to continue and expand the program.
Check https://apwu.org/postal-banking for more information.