#1367 The Post Office and the Census, Unmaking the American Institutions That Most Bind Us Together

Air Date: 9–15-2020

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Today we take a look at two of America's oldest institutions which are both under attack, the US Post Office and the Census. The clear through-line of the attacks on both is a classic struggle over power.

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Ch. 1: The Long, Slow Chipping Away of the USPS - On the Media - Air Date 8-21-20

According to New Republic staff writer Alex Shephard, when journalists start talking about public sector programs like the postal service, they tend to be sucked into a partisan, ideological narrative.

Ch. 2: A wildcat strike in 1970 solved the last crisis at USPS - The Real News - Air Date 8-24-20

Labor activist Paul Prescod gives context to the fight over the future of the post office.

Ch. 3: "The Damage Has Been Done" Historian Says Trump's Postmaster Has Undermined Faith in 2020 Election - Democracy Now! - Air Date 8-24-20

Historian Philip Rubio, who teaches at North Carolina A&T State University and worked as a mail carrier for two decades, says decades of political interference have caused a "manufactured crisis" at the U.S. Postal Service. "The damage has been done,"

Ch. 4: Crisis At The Post Office - Planet Money - Air Date 8-21-20

The fight over the US Postal Service is a lot bigger and goes back a lot further than the appointment of Louis DeJoy. It's a fifty-year-old battle between public service and private enterprise.

Ch. 5: Voting Is Not Enough: Know Your State’s 2020 Voting Rules & Voting Best Practices & Help Others - Best of the Left

Take action! Click the title and/or scroll down for quick links and resources from this segment. For more, visit Bestoftheleft.com/2020Action.

Ch. 6: Liz OuYang on Census Sabotage - CounterSpin - Air Date 8-14-20

We’ll talk about the White House’s transparent campaign to sabotage the census with civil rights attorney Liz OuYang.

Ch. 7: Census Suppression & Why It Matters - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah - Air Date 7-15-20

Dulcé Sloan meets voter suppression’s nasty cousin, census suppression, and talks to Dr. Jeanine Abrams McLean, Stacey Abrams’s sister, about the 2020 census and the fight to get Black folks accurately represented via the Fair Count organization.

Ch. 8: Why The Census Matters - Another Way, by Lawrence Lessig - Air Date 1-30-20

Adam Eichen is joined by Beth Huang, executive director of Massachusetts Voter Table. The two discuss how the decennial census works, why it is so important, the difficulties involved in enumeration, and what groups are doing to ensure an accurate count.


Ch. 9: White people are tired of living up to the myth - Scott from Arizona

Ch. 10: Voicemail Description – Person from City, State


Ch. 11: Final comments on the importance of a racial understanding of economic policy and contrasting two foundational myth


Explore and share the "How to Vote in the 2020 Election" Project (FiveThirtyEight)

Remember & Share These Voting Best Practices: 

1. Request your absentee ballot ASAP! RIGHT NOW! 

2. When you have your ballot, vote ASAP but follow ballot rules to the letter to avoid rejection!

3. If you don't want to mail your ballot, find local ballot drop boxes through your state's Secretary of State website or by calling your local election office. Find my state or local election office

4. Track your ballot online to ensure it was received and accepted! To find the tracker, first find your state or local election office

Voting in person is still an option, but be prepared for people to disobey health rules, and for long lines and reduced polling places. Find your polling place


Voter Registration Deadlines (Vote.org)

Voting by mail in a pandemic: A state-by-state scorecard (Brookings)

How to Vote by Mail in All 50 States (Vice)

The Most Important Mail You'll Ever Send: A Ballot (NPR)

In battlegrounds, absentee ballot rejections could triple (AP)

A white person and a Black person vote by mail in the same state. Whose ballot is more likely to be rejected? (NBC News)

If You Can Grocery Shop in Person, You Can Vote in Person (The Atlantic)

Written by BOTL Communications Director Amanda Hoffman 

MUSIC (Blue Dot Sessions):

  • Opening Theme: Loving Acoustic Instrumental by John Douglas Orr 
  • Voicemail Music: Low Key Lost Feeling Electro by Alex Stinnent
  • Closing Music: Upbeat Laid Back Indie Rock by Alex Stinnent


Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

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