Sign the ACLU petition – to get banking through the United States Postal Service (USPS)

The racial wealth gap in America has plagued this country for centuries – built upon, widened, and perpetuated because of institutionalized racism. Closing this gap is a critical priority in the ACLU's Systemic Equality racial justice agenda, which is why we want to break down our latest campaign – banking through the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Yes, the Post Office. It can play a key role in closing the racial wealth gap in our country simply by strengthening its accessible, financial services. President Biden and the Senate can help by appointing new members to the Postal Board of Governors who are on record for their commitment to expanding the USPS's ability to provide banking services.

This is what the ACLU is pushing for right now, and we'll need the energy and dedication of activists like you as we do. But first, we want you to be informed – here's what to know:

In both low- and high-income majority-Black communities, banks are closing up shop and creating "banking deserts" – places where banks are non-existent or disappearing at twice the rate of banks in white communities.

As a result, nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked and many pay nearly $3,000 in fees to payday lenders, check cashers, and other subprime lenders – over a year, that's 10 percent of a family's income; over a lifetime, it can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

This kind of subprime lending has been referred to as "Jim Crow credit." Many activists have been fighting for these communities and against the banks for decades, including right before this persistent discrimination caused the 2008 financial crisis.

Here's where the USPS comes in: Currently, 59 percent of ZIP codes have one or no bank branches – but there's a brick-and-mortar post office in every ZIP code nationwide.

As banks have largely abandoned Black, minority, rural, and low to moderate income neighborhoods, the Post Office has already proven vital as the largest provider of paper money orders in America.

By expanding its low-cost services even more – to things like check cashing, money transfers, and bill pay – the USPS could save all un- and under-banked Americans nearly $3,000 a year and the median Black family over $86,000 in their lifetime.

Friend Of ACLU, this is a tangible solution to addressing the racial wealth gap that has harmed Black communities for centuries. And it's achievable: President Biden has already nominated three appointees for the Postal Board of Governors who can support expanding USPS's services in this way.

That’s why we’re calling on President Biden and the Senate to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors who can hold Postmaster General DeJoy accountable for his failed leadership and ensure USPS can provide essential services to every person in America.

Currently, the Postal Board of Governors is led by a majority of Trump-appointed members. But President Biden can nominate governors to fill the vacancies on the board pending Senate confirmation. It’s imperative that these nominees are dedicated to restoring and expanding USPS’s capabilities for all our communities – including affordable financial services.

Click here for the petition.

Sent to WNPJ by ACLU - aclu@aclu.org