Author Archives: Miami APWU

Florida Alliance for Retired Americans Monday Alert – January 4th

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People 65 And Older Express Frustration, And Excitement, As They Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19 in Broward County

COVID-19 vaccinations started in Broward County this past weekend, for people who are 65 and older, while healthcare workers and people in long-term care facilities have been getting the vaccine since December.

Noreen Stephens and her husband, Larry, drove to Davie’s Vista View Park from Hollywood on Jan. 3, and arrived at about 6 a.m. Stephens sat in the passenger seat of their vehicle and said through the window that they couldn’t be happier to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I am so grateful that the county did this for seniors,” Stephens said. “We’ve been so scared for so many months, stuck in the house, so, thank goodness.”

They said they got an appointment online, and then it took a while to confirm by phone.

“You can’t give up, you have to keep trying and trying,” she added. “It was a two-hour process to get the appointment.”

The couple left a few hours after they got there. COVID-19 vaccinations started on Jan. 3 in Broward County for people who are 65 and older, while healthcare workers and people in long-term care facilities have been getting the vaccine since December.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended vaccinating frontline essential workers after healthcare workers but Gov. Ron DeSantis chose to include seniors next instead. Read More

Face Mask

FLARA needs your support! Your generosity is what allows FLARA to continue offering quality events and political engagement. All donations of $30 or more will receive a FLARA face mask!!! (while supplies last)




Florida Agriculture Commissioner recommends DeSantis mobilize National Guard

“We are the first in the nation to begin offering vaccine to staff and residents of long term care facilities,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

DeSantis touted that Florida is the first to mobilize county health departments and county emergency managers to actively vaccinate seniors 65 and older, however he also adds supply is limited.

“We don’t’ have enough vaccine currently on hand for all four million plus senior citizens in the state of Florida. Now we will get there but it’s not going to happen overnight, so please be patient,” DeSantis said.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says even with our supply: “While Florida has received over 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, only 146,160 vaccine doses have been administered.”

Fried sent a letter to the governor Wednesday strongly recommending him to mobilize the National Guard to fix the COVID-19 vaccine distribution which she says, according to reports, is very chaotic and lacks of clear strategy to vaccinate the public. She also said “health care professionals have lacked clear direction from the state”

When asked about more call centers or more help the governor says: “If the hospitals need some support, we will be willing to provide that. We had some discussions with some of the big systems about maybe they could use some more nurses.”

As far as long lines, DeSantis said it’s important for hospitals to communicate with people. Read More

U.S. Supreme Court Set To Hear Florida-Georgia Water Battle

After years of battling between Florida and Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court next month will again take up a dispute about water in a river system that links the two states.

The Supreme Court last week scheduled oral arguments Feb. 22 in the case about divvying up water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system, which stretches from northern Georgia to Apalachicola Bay in Franklin County.

Florida filed the lawsuit in 2013, though the two states have fought for decades about water in the river system. Florida contends that Georgia is using too much water from the system, damaging the Apalachicola River and the long-iconic oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay.

Federal appellate Judge Paul Kelly, a special master appointed by the Supreme Court, dealt a blow to Florida in December 2019 when he said Florida had not adequately shown that Georgia’s water use caused problems in the Apalachicola River and Apalachicola Bay.

Kelly’s recommendation went to the Supreme Court, where Florida and Georgia in 2020 filed briefs that gave vastly different descriptions of the issues.

In one brief, Florida’s attorneys attacked Kelly’s findings and argued that “Georgia’s insatiable upstream consumption (of water) has decimated Apalachicola’s oyster fisheries.”

“The harm to the Bay’s oyster fisheries is undeniable. Apalachicola is renowned across America for its oysters, which account for 90% of Florida’s oyster harvest and 10% of the nation’s,” the brief said. “What’s more, oysters — and oystering — have created a distinct way of life in Apalachicola passed down from generation-to-generation; whole communities depend on the fisheries for their economic livelihood. The oyster is to Apalachicola what the lobster is to many New England towns.” Read More

The Alliance wishes all of our members a healthy, safe and happy 2021!

Those Over Age 75, Essential Frontline Workers Should Be Next in Line for Covid Vaccine

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a federal panel advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has approved recommendations that people over the age of 75 and essential frontline workers be next in line for the Covid-19 vaccines. They would follow the health care workers, nursing home residents and staff vaccinated during the initial phase of the inoculations.

The panel’s recommendations are non-binding and state officials will make the final decisions on the order of vaccinations; however, many states are looking to ACIP to help them settle challenging ethical questions over the distribution of the scarce supply of doses.

About 20 million people are 75 or older and there are about 30 million front-line workers, including police, firefighters, teachers and grocery workers. Seniors between the ages of 65-74, other essential workers and people between the ages of 16-64 with high-risk conditions would be inoculated after those groups.

“The recommendations reflect the fact that seniors are the most likely to face serious illness or death from the virus,” said Alliance Executive Director Richard Fiesta. “Unfortunately it will take months to complete the process. We must continue to wear our masks and social distance as much as possible in the meantime. Please follow the CDC guidelines.”

Nursing Home Occupancy is Down Sharply Across the Nation

The pandemic is changing the way Americans care for seniors, with a growing number of families opting for in-home care over nursing homes. Nursing home use has been decreasing gradually for years, with occupancy in 2019 at 80%, down from 84% a decade earlier. The pandemic has accelerated the trend due to deaths, fear of infection and family members’ concerns over restricted visitation at the facilities.

This year alone occupancy in nursing homes is down 15%, or more than 195,000 residents. More than 115,000 deaths caused by Covid-19 have been linked to long-term care facilities.

Nursing-home operators say that rising numbers of baby boomers with a need for institutional care will drive occupancy rates back up.

Surveys have long shown many seniors prefer aging at home, and the pandemic has made nursing homes even less popular, according to a September survey of adults 40 and older by AARP. Just 7% said they would prefer a nursing home for family members needing long-term care, and 6% said they would choose one for themselves. Nearly three in 10 respondents said the pandemic had made them less likely to choose institutional care.

“Once the pandemic is over, long term care trends are unlikely to return quickly to the way they were,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “We are going to see the after-effects from the pandemic for a long time, with more seniors aging in place, before demographic changes bring the number of nursing home residents back up.”

Scam Alert: Seniors Being Targeted With Promise of Early Access to Covid Vaccine

Public health officials are warning the public of scammers who promise early access to the vaccine in exchange for sensitive personal information.

Beware of any call from someone asking for your Social Security number or credit card information in conjunction with the vaccine. No legitimate doctor’s office, pharmacy or insurance company would call asking for this information.

vaccine bottle“Be on the lookout for those contacting you via phone, text and email,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “If what they are offering seems too good to be true, it probably is. Access to the vaccine is strictly controlled, so do not believe strangers saying they have early access.”

If you receive one of these solicitations, experts say the best thing to do is hang up immediately. Do not open or respond to any messages or click on any links or email attachments from unknown sources. If you are unsure about a message, check with your healthcare provider, as they will be able to pass on the most accurate information about the vaccine.

Georgia Senate Runoffs are Only Five Days Away

Retiree-led phone banks will continue this week as the important Georgia Senate runoff elections approach. With only a few days left until Election Day on January 5th, Alliance members from all states are invited to call Georgia voters in support of Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. The next shift will take place on January 2nd, 2021 at 2:00pm Eastern Time. Click here to sign up.

Georgia votersThe early voting period is well underway, and the number of voters turning out for the election is breaking records. According to an NBC News data analysis, almost 70,000 voters have registered in the state since the general election in November.

“Given how close the races were during the general election, any slight shifts in voter turnout can determine the winners,” said President Roach. “A phone call really could make a big difference.”

Message from Nancy Olumekor, APWU Retiree National Director

Thank You for Your Service

Nancy OlumekorThank you to my sister and brother postal workers for showing up and moving the mail in service to America. Thank you to all of the veterans and all the active military personnel for your service; thank you to all the essential workers who are our families, our friends, our neighbors for your continued service.

As I reflect on 2020 it is clear to me that I must never miss an opportunity to say “Thank You.” I am mindful of the friends, families and loved one that APWU members and retirees have lost this year, including our first Retirees Director John R “JR” Smith, as well as the other great unionists who helped build APWU. Without their service and committment we would not be here.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Good Health and Happiness in the New Year to all.

Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

– Nancy Olumekor, Director

Season’s Greeting from the U. S. Office of Personnel Management

As we welcome in 2021, the following announcements are provided:

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and eligible Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) retirees and survivors will be receiving a COLA effective December 1, 2020. The increase will be reflected in your January 2, 2021 payment. CSRS and FERS recipients will receive a 1.3% COLA.

Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)

Calling all Federal retirees! Are you looking for a way to make an impact in the community – or even around the world? The CFC allows you to continue your service and support the causes you care about. Transition your CFC pledge to your annuity during this year’s campaign, September 21, 2020 – January 15, 2021 at

Electronic Annual Notice and 1099R

Why not start 2021 by receiving your annual mailer and 1099R electronically using your Services Online account. Simply log into and enter your claim number, password and update your communication preferences in your Profile. If you have forgotten your password, it’s easy to request another one, just follow the on-screen directions. If you have an email address associated with your account, a password will be sent to you or contact to have a password sent to you.

Your annual mailer will be available for viewing in mid-December and your 1099R in mid to late January. You will receive a separate email from OPM informing you of when they are both available to view.

Have a safe and Happy New Year.


Florida Alliance for Retired Americans Monday Alert – 12/14/20

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News 4 Jax: Mask mandate gaining bipartisan support in Florida

Over the past week, Florida has added more than 65,000 new cases, averaging nearly 9,300 new positive tests for COVID-19 a day.

The newest wave of infections is reigniting calls for a statewide mask mandate in Florida and the idea is now garnering bipartisan support.

State Rep. Mike Caruso, R-Delray Beach, has joined with Democrats who have been calling for a mandate since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The masks should have never been a political divider for our state and for our country,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said.

Fried, the top elected state Democrat, began pushing Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a statewide mask mandate back in June.

“Leadership has got to start at the top,” Fried said. “So hopefully Representative Caruso’s courage to come together and to really make this a nonpartisan issue is the first step to making those changes.”

In recent days, local governments have launched new efforts to encourage mask wearing among residents. Tampa’s “Choose Your Mask” campaign is pushing a flier that implies the choice between wearing a face mask or ventilator.

But the local campaigns are only symbolic in nature. The governor’s latest pandemic executive order bars local governments from actually enforcing mask mandates.

Dr. Ron Saff, who serves on the board of the Florida Physicians for Social Responsibility, said any movement towards mask enforcement is a step in the right direction.

“And our political leaders in the House, in the Senate, they should have stepped up a long time ago to put the reins on Governor DeSantis,” Dr. Saff said.

Rep. Caruso has said he intends to push his fellow Republicans to enact a statewide mask mandate in the 2021 session, but a legislative mask mandate would have to survive the governor’s veto pen.

Attempts to reach Caruso for comment on this story were unsuccessful. The governor’s office said it has not yet been contacted by the state representative.

Face MaskFLARA needs your support! Your generosity is what allows FLARA to continue offering quality events and political engagement. All donations of $30 or more will receive a FLARA face mask!!! (while supplies last).




WLRN: White House Report Recommends Florida Limit Indoor Dining, Bar Capacity And Step Up Mask Wearing

A White House Coronavirus Task Force report about the state of the pandemic in Florida made public Saturday urges state leaders to take immediate action to slow the virus’ spread. Officials should close or severely limit indoor dining, limit capacity at bars and issue stronger policies around mask wearing, the report states.

Those are the same public health measures that Gov. Ron DeSantis has publicly assailed for months as ineffective. While he was making the case for no new business restrictions, DeSantis’ office refused to publicize reports from the task force which recommended a more robust public response.

The Dec. 6 report, which was obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, is one in a series of weekly reports which the governor’s office has refused to regularly provide news organizations. The Miami Herald has not received any of these reports from the governor’s office.

AlterNet: Florida newspapers sue DeSantis administration for lack of transparency on COVID-19 pandemic

Although some Republican governors have aggressively promoted social distancing measures and coronavirus restrictions in their states — including Maryland’s Larry Hogan, Massachusetts’ Charlie Baker and Ohio’s Mike DeWine — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has drawn a great deal of criticism from Democrats for not taking the COVID-19 pandemic as seriously as he should. And Florida newspapers have been critical of DeSantis for not being more up-front about the pandemic’s impact on the Sunshine State, including some newspapers that have taken aggressive legal action.

The Associated Press reports that two Florida newspapers, the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Orlando Sun Sentinel, are suing the DeSantis’ administration for failing to publicly release reports about pandemic conditions in the state. Julie Anderson, who serves as editor-in-chief of both publications, is quoted as saying, “The state has given us no explanation as to why this crucial health information should be withheld. We had no choice but to ask a court to intervene to uphold the public records law.”

The White House coronavirus task force, according to AP, believes that Florida needs to do a lot more to discourage the spread of COVID-19. The Center for Public Integrity, AP notes, has obtained a copy of a report the task force issued on December 6 — and the report’s recommendations for Florida include more social distancing and discouraging indoor gatherings in bars and restaurants.

According to the report, “Florida has seen stability in new cases, an increase in test positivity and increasing hospitalizations and deaths, indicating unrelenting community spread and inadequate mitigation.”

DeSantis, however, has been resisting a mask mandate and tougher coronavirus restrictions for businesses. The far-right Florida governor recently said, “No one’s losing their job because of a government dictate. Nobody’s losing their livelihood or their business.”

The White House’s coronavirus task force is headed by outgoing Vice President Mike Pence, and Dr. Deborah Birx is its response coordinator. Expert immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci is also part of the task force, and President-elect Joe Biden has asked Fauci to be a chief medical adviser for his coronavirus response team in 2021.

Last week, the United States suffered some of its deadliest days yet during the coronavirus pandemic — including more than 3300 deaths on Thursday, December 10. According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the pandemic has killed more than 1.6 million people worldwide and over 299,000 people in the U.S.

WPTV5: Unemployed Florida workers fearful CARES Act programs will expire at year’s end

Nearly 500,000 Florida residents could lose their unemployment benefits by the end of the month, according to a recent report by the Century Foundation.

A Boca Raton resident named Stephanie, who did not wish to provide her last name, said she wouldn’t have any income next year without any new federal support.

She has been living off unemployment since May.

Her job with the cruise lines is currently on hold, and she’s terrified her source of income will stop on Dec. 26.

“Who is going to hire me at any job? My job is gone,” Stephanie said.

The Century Foundation reports up to 12 million workers rely on unemployment programs, including nearly 500,000 in Florida. These workers could lose their benefits when two main CARES Act programs expire.

“This is like Santa Claus quit and is nowhere to be found,” Stephanie said.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment programs have helped millions of people since March.

Without a new CARES Act from Congress, those programs will expire and leave people like Stephanie with no income.

“What are we going to do with thousands of people getting no income?” Stephanie asked.

State Rep. Emily Slosberg said despite Florida’s lowering unemployment rate, there are still 659,000 unemployed workers.

“I get a lot of desperate emails and calls from constituents that are very worried come the end of December,” Slosberg said. “There is a lot of pressure on Congress to act.”

She said Florida’s Lost Wages Assistance program also expires at the end of the month.

Slosberg said unless Congress passes a new CARES Act, there would not be any additional unemployment funding.

“It really would take a special session,” Slosberg said.

Trump Administration Spending its Last Weeks in Office on Social Security Cuts

This week the Social Security Administration (SSA) sent the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a proposal that, if implemented, could prevent nearly half a million Americans from receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. As of now, SSA is required to consider age, education and work experience when determining whether a person meets the statutory definition of disability. Social Security experts say the proposal is likely to change the formula and eliminate one’s age from the equation. This change would make it harder for seniors to qualify, and could push thousands into poverty.

“This is outrageous. The Trump Administration could pull the rug out from millions of Americans, especially older Americans, in the waning days of its Administration,” said Alliance Executive Director Richard Fiesta. “Since the day he took office, President Trump has claimed he would protect Social Security. He is showing his true colors again.”

“We are in a pandemic that is hitting older Americans the hardest. Our government should be helping Americans who can no longer work due to a disability, not scheming to deny them the benefits they have earned over a lifetime of hard work,” Fiesta added.

Biden Taps Retiree Hero Xavier Becerra for Key Position

Xavier BecerraOn Monday, President-Elect Joe Biden announced that he selected Xavier Becerra, a former congressman who earned a 99% lifetime pro-retiree record in the Alliance’s annual Congressional Voting Record, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Becerra, a strong ally of retirees, was the Ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security from 2011–2017. If confirmed, he will run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), set rules governing nursing homes, and implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Becerra is a long-time proponent of the ACA and will lead the Biden Administration’s effort to protect and strengthen the program that provides health insurance for millions of Americans.

“The ACA has been life-changing and now through this pandemic, we can all see the value in having greater access to quality health care at affordable prices,” said Becerra. “Now is not the time to rip away our best tool to address very real and very deadly health disparities in our communities.”

President-elect Biden also nominated Dr. Rochelle Walensky as the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Walensky is currently the chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Harvard Medical School professor.

“We are confident that this is the team who will not only defeat the pandemic but work to improve and protect Medicare and Medicaid,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “After years of assault on the retirement health benefits we have earned, this change could not be more welcome.”

Covid-19 Vaccines are on the Way. Here’s what Seniors Can Expect.

vaccinationThe Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory panel evaluated Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday and voted 17 to 4, with one member abstaining, in favor of its emergency authorization for people 16 and older. With rare exceptions, the FDA follows the advice of its advisory panels.

Moderna’s vaccine is expected to go before the panel on December 17th. Both vaccines have been highly effective in preventing the spread of the virus in adults aged 65 and older tested so far, but some questions regarding how the vaccines will specifically affect seniors remain unanswered.

Federal officials have said that side effects would be closely monitored during the upcoming trials.

Seniors in nursing homes and assisted living centers will be among the first Americans vaccinated, following recommendations last week by a federal advisory panel. Older adults living at home will have to wait a while longer.

Among the issues that remain are concerns about side effects and whether the vaccines offer meaningful protection to seniors who are frail or have multiple chronic illnesses.

“Effective vaccines are critical to ending this pandemic in the United States, but they are only one part of the solution,” said President Roach. “We must stay vigilant, remain physically distant as much as possible, and always wear masks when we are near others.”

Early Voting for the Georgia Senate Runoffs Begins Monday

Alliance members and retirees from participating unions continue to take part in a series of phone banks to help Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock win their respective Senate races in Georgia. If you live in Georgia you can confirm your polling location at

The next phone bank shift will be on Tuesday, December 15th at 2:00 Eastern Time, and you do not need to live in Georgia to participate and call Alliance members in the state. Click here to sign up.

The Alliance has also prepared comparisons on where the candidates stand on issues important to retirees: the Raphael Warnock-Kelly Loeffler comparison is here and the Jon Ossoff-David Perdue comparison is here.

Early voting begins on December 14 and Election Day is January 5, 2021.

“If Jon Ossoff and Reverend Warnock win, we can stop current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue from trying to cut our hard earned Social Security benefits,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “With a Democratic Senate, expanding Social Security and strengthening retirement security is possible. The stakes could not be higher.”

APWU Day of Action – Nov. 17, 2020

U.S. Mail not for salePostal workers have stood up for the democratic rights of millions of people. More than 65 million Americans cast their votes safely by mail. Now it is time to continue the fight to save our public Post Office.

On November 17th, we will gather at Post Offices and in virtual events across the country to celebrate workers and demand proper funding. We are counting on you to be a part of the day of action.

Check the map to find the event closest to you!

If there’s not one in your community, our team is here to support you as you create one yourself.

The demands are clear – Congress must provide at least $25 billion in COVID funding for the USPS. We need to see an end to DeJoy’s slowdown policies. We want an expanded role for the Postal Service to provide more of the services our community needs.

Everyone should see the public’s appreciation for Postal workers who have delivered for our democracy during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that our message reaches elected officials.

This is a crucial moment for us all to harness the power we hold and push for change.

We are counting on you to sign up and take action. Find out more.

US Mail Not For Sale
1300 L Street
Washington, DC 20005

Federal Benefits Open Season Information

A New Day for the Civil Service

Federal Benefits Open Season

(Federal Employees Health Benefits and Federal Employees Dental & Vision Insurance Programs)
November 9, 2020 through December 14, 2020

This is the only notification you will receive regarding Open Season

If you are satisfied with your current health plan, you do not need to do anything

It’s quick and easy to request health benefit changes and plan information.

  • Go to Open Season Online at
  • Call Open Season Express at 1-800-332-9798
  • Write to us at:
    FEHB Open Season Processing Center
    P.O. Box 5000
    Lawrence, KS 66046-0500

For General Open Season information, click the above link to use Live Help or send a secure webmail message.

For information on comparing health plans visit

For more information regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s requirement visit

For information on the Federal Employees Dental & Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) visit the secure enrollment website or call 1-877-888-3337, TTY 1-877-889-5680.

For more information on Open Season or health care reform legislation, visit

For information on Medicare, visit

If you are having trouble reading this email you may copy and paste the following link into a web browser’s address bar:

Please do not reply to this email. The Office of Personnel Management will not respond as it is not a monitored mailbox.

United States Office of Personnel Management


Alliance for Retired Americans Newsletter – 10/16/20

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Social Security Administration Announces Meager 1.3% COLA Increase for 2021

The Social Security Administration announced on Tuesday that its annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be 1.3 percent in 2021, which means an average $20 boost in retirement benefits per month. This year’s COLA is the smallest since 2017 and slightly under the 1.4% average over the past decade.

“The members of the Alliance are disappointed and angry that Social Security beneficiaries will receive a paltry 1.3% benefit increase,” said Richard Fiesta,Executive Director of the Alliance in a statement. “While any COLA is better than nothing, 1.3% is not nearly enough to keep up with the escalating cost of prescription drugs and other expenses seniors have to spend their money on.”

He noted that at least 16% of seniors who work have lost their job due to the coronavirus pandemic, making Social Security a larger portion of their income.

[ CLICK HERE to Read More ]


Status of the Campaign to Cave the Public Postal Service

As we are heading into the vitally important presidential election, we encourage all of you to vote in defense of your jobs, families and union.

We want to take a moment to bring you up-to-date on the status of the campaign to save the public postal service, defeat plans for postal privatization and build a better future for postal workers.

We have been inspired this past year by your dedication and activism and the outpouring of public support for their Postal Service and for postal workers. As we’ve commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Great Postal Strike, the power of our collective efforts remains clear today – from the streets, to the workplace and the ballot box.

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on the lives and health of postal workers. It has also had a deep economic impact, causing projected losses of $50 billion in postal revenue in the coming years. Since tax dollars do not normally fund the Postal Service, a large drop in revenue will likely cause the USPS to run out of money early next year.

Since March, postal workers, our allies and members of the community have been fighting for Congress to pass vital COVID-related emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service to sustain our jobs and its mission as a public service.

Two million signatures to “Save the Post Office” were presented to Congress. 60,000 phone calls were made to members of Congress through our legislative hotline. We have been at the forefront of organizing thousands of in-person events in every state and territory. We have held car-caravans, educated our neighbors, built support in the workplace and taken the fight to the media.

A bipartisan coalition now stands firmly behind our public Postal Service.

You can be proud of what we have done together. PMG Louis DeJoy has been forced, at least temporarily, to halt policies that have led to severe mail delays. We have defended the integrity of vote-by-mail and of the proud postal workers who move election mail. After months of pressure, the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, which contained $25 billion in Coronavirus-related relief for USPS, as well as hazard pay for front-line workers, including postal workers.

The Senate leadership has refused to take up the HEROES Act and address financial support for the Postal Service, thus any new stimulus package appears unlikely prior to the presidential election.

But we are not discouraged. This fight is far from over. We can and must continue until we secure and expand the role of the Postal Service as a source of good union jobs and universal postal services.

So, we encourage you to do three things to win this fight.

1. Vote to Defend Your Jobs and the Postal Service

After months of delays for financial support for the USPS, it’s clear that we need to elect leaders who listen to our voices and support our needs. Participate! Click here to find out how you can get involved in APWU’s Labor 2020 election campaign.

2. Promote the Integrity of Vote-by-Mail

It’s safe, secure, virtually free of fraud. It is part of how we proudly serve the people of this country. It is the only way that tens of millions of voters will have safe access to the ballot box. Remind your community that postal workers can be trusted to get the job done!

3. The Struggle Continues – November 17 – Save the Date for National Mobilization

In November, we must mobilize again. The PMG has said that he will reinstate his regressive policies after the election. The USPS will be even closer to the COVID-related financial crisis. We’re preparing to mobilize on November 17 to fight off service cuts and call for a renewed commitment to the prompt and robust postal services the public deserves!

Stay tuned and stay strong! Together, we will win!

In union solidarity,

Mark Dimondstein
President, APWU

Miami-Dade County Early Voting Schedule & Drop Box Locations


[ CLICK HERE to view or print the schedule ]

Voted vote-by-mail ballots are accepted at Early Voting sites and may be dropped off in a secure Ballot Drop Box.

Voters can also drop off their vote-by-mail ballot at the following locations from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Monday 11/2/2020 and Election Day 11/3/2020:

  • Elections Department (Main Office) – 2700 NW 87th Avenue, Miami, FL 33172
  • Stephen P. Clark Center – 111 NW 1st Street, Lobby Miami, FL 33128
  • North Dade Regional Library – 2455 NW 183rd Street, Miami Gardens, FL 33056
  • South Dade Regional Library – 10750 SW 211th Street, Cutler Bay, FL 33189

Alliance for Retired Americans Newsletter – 10/2/20

Florida Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert banner

The Alliance wishes President Trump and Melania Trump a speedy recovery from the coronavirus. No one should have to suffer from this horrible disease. Please take precautions,wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Voting Rights Opponents Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Alliance’s recent voting rights victory is being ​appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court​ by Pennsylvania Republican state legislative leaders and the Republican National Committee. The Supreme Court has not yet said whether it would accept the case.

court house“Voting rights opponents are not giving up on their efforts to make it harder to vote in this election,” said ​Richard Fiesta​, Executive Director of the Alliance. “We committed to this fight. All seniors should be able to cast a ballot that will actually be counted without putting their health at risk.”

The Republicans are objecting to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that it is legal to both use drop boxes for ballot returns in Pennsylvania and require ballots that are postmarked by Election Day but arrive up to 3 days after the election to be counted.

A record number of citizens have already requested absentee ballots, significantly increasing the workloads of county election board staff members, who are currently under stay-at-home orders.Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service, which will be relied on to deliver more than a million anticipated ballots, is under severe financial and operational pressure, and may be unable to deliver all voters’ ballots in a timely manner.

Biden Releases Plan to Improve Nursing Home Care

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign on Thursday ​unveiled a plan​ to increase safety, oversight, and transparency in nursing homes and other long term care facilities.

The plan proposes that infectious disease specialists be at every location; increases pay and benefits for nursing home workers; and requires more communication between operators and residents, particularly during a crisis like the coronavirus crisis.

“The Covid-19 crisis has brought problems in nursing homes to the public’s attention and made improvements an immediate necessity,” said ​Robert Roach, Jr​., President of the Alliance. “We applaud the Biden campaign for taking steps to address these issues quickly in a ​Biden-Harris administration in a few months.”

Postal Employees Fight Measures to Slow the Mail

The ​​Washington Post ​reported this week that many U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employees are quietly pushing back on so-called cost cutting measures implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy​ that are causing significant mail delivery delays.

postal workers organizing
Logun Buckley, organizer for the Iowa Alliance, speaks at a rally against changes, including removal of a sorting machine, at the Post Office in Waterloo, Iowa, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020.
(photo credit: Brandon Pollock, ​The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier​)

The workers view DeJoy’s actions as violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the law​ and have taken steps to make sure that mail continues to move efficiently. For example mechanics in New York drew out the dismantling and removal of mail-sorting machines for so long that their supervisor gave up on the order. In Ohio, postal clerks culled prescriptions and benefit checks from bins of stalled mail to make sure they did not remain undelivered.

Postmaster General ​Louis Dejoy ​is fighting a court order to halt his actions, telling a judge that reinstating overtime to ensure timely delivery of mail-in ballots for the November 3rd election could be abused by workers.“

Dejoy’s claim is ridiculous, since employees must have overtime approved by a supervisor,” said Joseph Peters, Jr.​, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “It is baseless and it is offensive to the hard working postal employees.”

Additionally, DeJoy failed to ensure that at least 1.8 million addresses in its database were updated, a routine action the Postal Service takes several times a year. ​TIME​ described the lapse as ​“highly unusual​.” An election official in one of the affected states said that the outage resulted in a roughly 10-day delay in processing its mail ballot distribution.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is Latest Threat to the Affordable Care Act

protest sign
Iowa Alliance members joined Progress Iowa and other allies to fight for the ACA in Cedar Rapids this week.

The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has ​come into serious question with President ​Trump​’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett ​for Supreme Court Justice to succeed ​Ruth Bader Ginsburg​.

On November 10th, the Supreme Court will hear the case ​Texas v. United States​ concerning the ACA. The lawsuit, originally brought by Republican attorneys general in2018, argues that the ACA is unconstitutional, and many legal analysts think Barrett is likely to strike it down if her nomination is confirmed.

“In case anyone needed one more reminder of what is at stake in the upcoming elections, the future of the ACA and coverage for 20 million people is at risk,” said Executive Director Fiesta. “If the ACA is struck down, we will lose our coverage for preexisting conditions, forfeit free preventive care and re-open the doughnut hole prescription drug coverage gap.”

Vote Early – and Beware “Naked Ballots”

In addition to the ruling in the Pennsylvania Alliance’s case, the state Supreme Court in Pennsylvania ruled in mid-September that “​naked ballots​,” mail ballots arriving without inner secrecy envelopes, must be thrown out. That is because Pennsylvania uses a two-envelope mail ballot system: a completed ballot goes into a “secrecy envelope” that has no identifying information before going into a larger mailing envelope that the voter signs.

“This is another reason to double check the rules in your state and formulate a plan in advance for how you will vote,” said​ President Roach​. “Go to ​​ to familiarize yourself with the process and minimize the chances that your ballot will be questioned or thrown out on a technicality.”

The next states to kick off early voting in-person are the following:

  • Oct. 2 – Montana
  • Oct. 5 – California, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska
  • Oct. 6 – Indiana, New Mexico, Ohio
  • Oct. 7 – Arizona

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