Letters to the Editor 9-11-2020

Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth

Dear Editor

We are dismayed that the Aug. 28 Gazette chose to publish the report, “USPS Board of Governors announced bipartisan election mail committee.”  (p. 14) This “staff report” (no byline) reads more like a press release.  The person or people who wrote this didn’t practice due diligence. 

*The writers didn’t provide the source of their information (from USPS website?), as did another staff report about Massachusetts jobs and unemployment on p. 16.

*The piece provided the names of only three people (only Board of Governors members) on the bipartisan election mail committee, not giving total number of Republicans and Democrats.

*The report states that “Postmaster General Luis DeJoy has the full support of the Governors.”  Of course he does.  Of the 9 possible members, 5/6 of USPS Board of Governors are Republican (the sole Democrat is Ron A. Bloom) and all 5 were appointed by Trump with confirmation from Mitch McConnell’s  Senate.   The Board of Governors’ job is to choose the Postmaster General, in this case, recommended by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. 

 In March 2015 Obama nominated 5 men to the Board of Governors, 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans.  As with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, Mitch McConnell decided not to bring these nominations to Senate vote until after the 2016 election, assuming that Trump would win.

* Report didn’t address the fact that August Congressional hearings in both the Senate and the House revealed that Louis DeJoy had conflicts of interest because of his transportation company XPO Logistics had previous relationship with USPS and still does.    And William D. Zollars, CEO of a large global transportation service, was the last Governor appointed on July 18.  He is being investigated by the Dept. of Justice for fraud involving his freight company’s relationship with the Pentagon.

According to the Washington Post and Forbes magazine, Democrats leaders in the House and Senate are on record as saying that they don’t trust what DeJoy and his Board of Director say.

Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.   Truth would have best been served by never publishing this so-called “report.”  in the first place.

Laura Foner ,
Maureen O’Connor,
Fran Perkins

Keep families connected: No Cost Phone Calls in Prisons

Dear Editor:

It is imperative for Massachusetts State legislators to pass No Cost Calls legislation (S2846) this session. This bill removes the cost barrier to phone calls for incarcerated people and their families. This bill is common sense, pro-family legislation that improves material conditions and social-emotional wellness for incarcerated people and their loved ones. This is vital to helping people heal from trauma and keeping our communities safe. Many prison facilities throughout Massachusetts are already planning to roll back or eliminate the free calls provided to prisoners during the pandemic, even while families are still struggling with unemployment and financial insecurity. This is a racial justice issue and an economic justice issue. According to Families for Justice as Healing’s findings from the Listening Tour conducted with 150 women impacted by incarceration in MA, about 25% of families with incarcerated loved ones pay over $100 a month for prison phone calls. This is a tremendous burden considering that almost half of these families are struggling to survive on annual incomes of less than $25,000. 

I hope the State legislators in Boston and across the state pass this legislation. And that their constituents keep their feet to the fire on this important issue. 

Eliza Kaplan

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