By Wendy Goldsmith and Dylan Penner
These are the driving forces behind Londoners for Door to Door and its recent resurgence to address yet another broken Liberal promise in the making.
A decision is expected this Spring on whether the Liberal government will keep its promise to restore door-to-door mail delivery to thousands of Canadians. Like other Liberal promises from the 2015 election, there’s no guarantee this will happen.
This is a crucial moment and a huge opportunity to win a post office for the 99%, which can also create the conditions to win even more in the future.
Going door-to-door to save door-to-door
To ensure home mail delivery gets restored, and that a public postal bank gets created, local community organizing is essential. That means getting together, handing out leaflets and doing petition drives. It means knocking on doors in our neighbourhoods. It means knocking on the doors of our MPs. It means talking with our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbours and getting them involved as well.
Londoners for Door to Door, a dedicated and diverse group of residents and postal workers that has been going door-to-door, first to stop the conversion to so-called “community mailboxes” and now to restore door-to-door mail delivery to all of its residents, is active again.
Many groups like Londoners for Door to Door engaged in extensive community organizing in 2016, when the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) were on the verge of being locked out, and in response to the Liberals’ continued refusal to reverse the Harper government’s postal service cuts.
People came together to organize in defence of our public post office and in solidarity with CUPW, with the support of pan-Canadian coordination and resources from People4Posties, Friends of Public Services, and CUPW itself.
There is a pressing need for reviving this kind of organizing to defend and expand our postal service. In 2016 we collectively organized to engage thousands of people in communities from coast to coast to coast to ensure the Liberal government not only keeps its promise to restore cut postal services, but adopts also creative new ideas like those proposed by the Delivering Community Power campaign.
We need to do so again.
This isn’t just about our postal service
The bigger picture is important here. This is not just about getting a bill in the mail. We are up against some serious political forces.
This is about a profound opportunity to show leadership in the greening of our economy, to utilize the incredible physical and human resources that constitute our postal service.
Our communities need hubs. We’ve seen this again and again as we analyze our public and social services. We need gathering places, one-stop-shopping for community resources, and safe space for free speech. Transforming our public post office is an opportunity to do all of this.
We need postal banking because it’s time to keep our hard earned money in our pockets. Corporate banks are no less evil than the predatory payday lenders. A thief is a thief.
This is not happening in isolation. It goes hand in hand with neoliberal policies of austerity cuts to public services, deregulation, free trade, privatization, the criminalization of poverty and protest, and the militarization of policing. In short, capitalism has our public services in its crosshairs.
These are all interconnected parts of a global effort by and for the 1% to implement these policies. The result has been a dramatic increase in inequality around the world.
By fighting to defend and expand our public postal service we are part of the global movement to resist neoliberalism, make meaningful human connections, and build the better world we know is necessary.
Wendy Goldsmith is a community organizer with Londoners for Door to Door.