Lobbyists get a bad rap.
Next week, my brother and I will join a ragtag group of newspaper owners from small communities around the country in our nation’s capital. We will do our best to ensure the doors of the U.S. Postal Service stay open. Every grandma, small business owner, kid writing to Santa, and anyone who has ever read Emily Post’s guide to etiquette depends on their services.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
These words are chiseled over the entrance to the New York City post office. We believe that motto.
We consider it our duty to make sure that the service that binds Americans together — rich and poor, young and old — remains solvent and vibrant in our community.
That is the benefit of having a social democracy for basic services rather than having a profit motive for every service in our country. We understand some things are more important than the bottom line.
We understand that the 20 percent of Americans who reside in the 90 percent of the geographic U.S. still matter. Jefferson County has a voice that matters. Our voice is our character. Having locally owned businesses gives us personality. When people from population centers come to Jefferson County by the ferry-load, they seek a piece of that character. And that’s a good thing.
When multinational newspapers, restaurants, TV stations, or the biggest online retailer in the country hire lobbyists, they do it for the shareholder. Not for you or me. We lobby for our main street and our citizens.
The future of Port Townsend and Jefferson County isn’t going to be big boxes and golden arches; it will be as bright and varied as the businesses and the people that live here.
We fight to keep rural post offices open. We fight to keep our postal rates down.
Lobbying can work. We help to keep the USPS open, while the current administration threatens to sell it to the highest bidder who will immediately cut its loss leaders, i.e., the little guys.
The post office is main street.
We are main street.
- Lloyd Mullen