Wednesday, January 6, 2021, showed Americans a great win for Democrats in the Georgia Senate run-offs, but also how precious and fragile our democratic process is. The day began with a win for Rev. Raphael Warnock, who will serve as the first African American Senator for the state of Georgia. Later in the day, media outlets reported Jon Ossoff defeated Sen. David Perdue, becoming the youngest member of the Senate since 1973. Senators-elect Rev. Warnock and Ossoff both advocated for workers’ rights throughout their candidacy, promoting the right to organize; protecting workers’ health during the COVID-19 pandemic; and, calling to safeguard retirement benefits. The NPMHU looks forward to working with both of these distinguished leaders on postal issues in the 117th Congress.
However, this win for the labor movement was diminished when a riotous mob attacked the U.S. Capitol while members of the House and Senate certified the votes of the electoral college. Provoked by President Trump with baseless claims of rampant fraud and corruption during the 2020 presidential election, hundreds of men and women stormed the Capitol, committing unlawful entry, destruction of property, and brought our country’s democratic system and the city of Washington, DC to a standstill. Make no mistake: these acts were not patriotic. These were acts of violence and terrorism that are strongly condemned by the NPMHU. Members of Congress were finally able to certify the election in the early hours of January 7, and President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office on January 20.
As a nation, we need to move forward from this. As Mail Handlers, we know the value of elections, the right to vote, and democracy. I saw firsthand your dedication to these values as the Postal Service and American voters relied on you all to ensure ballots were delivered on time during an unprecedented election. Through the Union’s continued work, we will continue to push these values, not only among our fellow NPMHU members, but also throughout the country.