The season of the “big boom” is upon us. Already the smell of burnt paper wrappers and smoke is wafting through my neighborhood, along with the sound of M80s that folks seem to be so crazy about. Of course I’ll join the San Francisco masses, wending my way carefully along the Embarcadero in order to find a choice spot for fireworks viewing on the fourth of July.
I’m assuming most of you know that Benjamin Franklin was our first postmaster, way back when. Via the National Postal Museum‘s website, I also learned that Ben got axed from the job in 1774 for “pernicious activity” relating to the affair of the Hutchinson Letters as well as his extended absences from the colonies for diplomatic work in London. The fact that our first postmaster was an active political agitator rings true today, when mail artists and correspondents are rallying together to support the USPS and save individual post offices in any way they can.
Many readers of the RLD blog are likely familiar with Jane Davies’ story from last year (she rallied to save her small size post office and won!) Mail artist (and amazing printmaker Art Like Art has also wrapped up the successful “Save the USPS” mail art project. Everywhere, artists and fans of the post office are raising a hue and cry.
How can YOU get involved? It’s easier than you think. All you have to do is write a letter to your postmaster or the president, letting them know you are concerned about the current legislation around America’s postal system. Delivering for America and Save the Post Office are both great resources for keeping currently on the ever-shifting sand that the PO finds themselves sitting on. Once you’re ready to get your hands inky, you can design your own cards to mail out or download the adorable postcards from Afternoon Pity Party. Another option? Sending out these amazingly fabulous “tiny post office” cards from Power and Light Press.
But there’s more! Letterpress mavens Thomas Printers in Carlisle, PA. have issued a call-to-arms via this year’s HOW Design Conference. Four times a year, for one full year, they will graciously send you a set of pre-stamped, letterpress printed cards! “Helping us save the US Postal Service will also help save the little part of us that loves paper, print, and postage,” they eloquently state on their blog, and I couldn’t agree more.
Artistamp maker and mail artist extraordinaire Cascadia Artpost has just clued me in on his latest mail art CFE, centered around the theme “Keep the Post Office Public”. Motivated by the “current attempts in the US to downsize the postal workforce, discontinue Saturday service, close POs, et. al.”, Cascadia is encouraging all types of mail art relating to this idea; the time is write — ahem — right!
Deadline is September 30th, 2013 and artwork can be sent to: POSTAL CALL/Cascadia Artpost, 4609 Briggs Drive SE, #304, Olympia, WA. 98501.5515. Knowing Cascadia, I’m already excited about this project and looking forward to getting something in the mail ASAP!
Taking the time to address and send a single postcard is no time at all, when you think about it. When the message is already composed for you (Afternoon Pity Party), and the postage is already affixed (Thomas Printers) there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be sending something to someone, somewhere. Every day, individuals use the PO; every day they take a variety of PO offerings for granted: the ability to quickly and easily send a postcard or package, the convenience of over-the-counter postage or the option of purchasing a money order. The USPS provides Americans with such a wide variety of services and options, so I feel it is time to give something back.
With sparkler in hand and a red ink pen at the ready, I’d love to hear more about the ways in which you support the PO on a daily basis!