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The timely delivery of our magazine is in jeopardy due to drastic, partisan-motivated cutbacks underway at the U.S. Postal Service.

This month the Jewish News reached a digital milestone, as the publication passed one million pageviews in a single calendar year for the first time (with four months to go). This is a great accomplishment for our team, as it signals we have found a tremendous local and worldwide audience for our Metro Detroit Jewish community.

But the heart and soul of our work as a community publication remains, as it has for the last 78 years, in our weekly print magazine. And now the timely delivery of that magazine is in jeopardy.

Andrew Lapin
Andrew Lapin

You may have heard by now about drastic cutbacks underway at the U.S. Postal Service. Under a new Postmaster General, the USPS has recently begun heavy restructuring and consolidation, cutting back or ending many of its practices that had previously ensured on-time deliveries and efficient mail sorting. On Aug. 12, President Trump confirmed in a TV interview that he was deliberately seeking to underfund the agency in order to sabotage mail-in voting this November, although he later walked back that position. (This week, House Democrats are trying to craft a bill intended to protect the USPS, and Michigan is one of more than a dozen states weighing a potential lawsuit against the administration over the cuts.)

One side effect of this attack on the USPS is that every other kind of mail is impacted, too. This has already led to severe mail delays in some parts of the country. Left unchecked, it will find its way to our neck of the woods.

To some degree, it already has. After decades of your JN delivery arriving, (mostly) like clockwork, in your mailboxes every Thursday or Friday, COVID-19-related cutbacks and service interruptions at Detroit-area postal hubs have resulted in many delivery delays to our loyal readers over the last few months. Many of you, especially those in the Oak Park region, have already been feeling these effects.

Readers often assume these delays are solely the fault of the JN; they are not. While we have had occasional problems with our printers or computer glitches over the years, we always send our magazines to the mail stream at the same time every week. Then, our fate is solely in the Post Office’s hands. A poorly funded and ill-prepared mail system will not be able to ensure prompt delivery of our print product.

In order to safeguard the JN’s identity as a print publication, we need a well-funded and properly functioning Post Office. It is essential to our mission. The USPS is currently being attacked for partisan reasons, and that, in turn, jeopardizes our democratic process. Its misfortune is ours, too — and that of the many other businesses, large and small, which rely on prompt, timely mail delivery to reach their customer base.

No matter your politics, if you wish to continue receiving the JN in your mailbox every week without having to pay an exorbitant delivery fee, you should demand the survival of the USPS, too. It is a key link in our production and distribution system that helps assure the JN’s print subscribers will continue to receive us for many years to come.

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