Dana Balter Speaks at Rally to Protect the United States Postal Service

Balter Calls out Congressman Katko for Refusing to Defend Democracy

Syracuse, NY – Saturday, Dana Balter, Democratic candidate for Congress in NY-24, joined over 100 central and western New Yorkers at a rally to defend the United States Postal Service. Balter spoke about the importance of the USPS and called out Congressman John Katko for refusing to defend our democracy against President Trump’s attacks.

Excerpt from Dana Balter’s remarks:

“We need the post office to be fully funded. And there is a vote in the House today to fund the Postal Service. It’s going to pass because the Democrats are going to pass it. And we need to keep raising our voices and demanding that the Senate take up this bill. We need to let Mitch McConnell and his team know that if they don’t take up this bill and pass it, they will be voted out of office.

But I want to say that funding the Postal Service is not enough. It is very important; we’ve got to do it and I believe the Democrats are going to get it done. But at this moment in time, we are watching Donald Trump attack the US Postal Service in an effort to rig November’s election. And that is not okay. That is anti-democratic. That is what dictators do. That is how we take our country down the road to fascism, and I, for one, will not stand for it.

And I believe that any elected official who is unwilling to call that behavior out for what it is, who is unwilling to say that that is anti-democratic, that that is the behavior of a dictator — if you do not have the political courage to stand up and say that, to fight to protect our democracy, then you do not belong in office.

And in case anyone misses my meaning, let me be clear, that is a message for Congressman John Katko.”

Watch Balter’s Speech

Read Dana Balter’s full remarks here:

Dana Balter at Clinton Square Protest, to defend the Postal Service

I’m really glad to see so many people out here today. I felt that I needed to come out and join you because we’re talking about some really serious issues and some really serious threats to our community and our country. And it’s important that we take the opportunity to stand up and fight back. It’s important that we take the opportunity to stand up and demand from our elected representatives, good representation.

Today, we’re talking about the post office. I never imagined that in this country, we would have to come together to defend the Postal Service. But here we are. And let’s talk about why it’s so important. We are in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic, millions and millions of people out of work. And that means that millions and millions of people are depending on unemployment support. Guess how they get their unemployment? In the mail.

We have people who are senior citizens and people with disabilities all across central and western New York and all across our country who depend on Social Security checks that come in the mail. 850,000 Social Security checks a month are delivered by mail. And people all across our district, during an economic crisis, are waiting weeks and weeks and weeks for those checks.

Is that acceptable? [Crowd: No!] Do we demand our government do better? [Crowd: Yes!]

How about the millions of people across this country who depend on the postal service for their medications? Anybody in this crowd get medication through the mail? You’re not alone. One in five Americans gets their medication in the mail. It’s more than 100 million prescriptions. And all you have to do is turn on the news to see somebody who’s talking about dying, because their life sustaining medication is three weeks late.

Is that acceptable? [Crowd: No!] Do we demand better? [Crowd: Yes!]

And how about the fact that we have the most important election of our lifetimes coming up this November.

I’m guessing, are you all planning to vote? [Crowd: Yes!] Okay, that’s not nearly enough of an answer. Are you all planning to vote? [Crowd: Yes!]

So this November, because we are in the middle of a pandemic, the ability to vote by mail is more important than it has ever been. Millions and millions and millions of Americans are going to cast their ballot by mail.

And let’s be clear, mail in voting is safe. It is secure. It cannot be hacked. There is no such thing as widespread mail voting fraud. It doesn’t exist.

And while our President and our Congressman and the Republican party in Washington DC want us to believe that that is a problem, all of the evidence shows that it isn’t. And by the way, they all vote by mail. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for us.

I am tired of living in a country where our president and his administration think that they play by a different set of rules than the rest of us. This is our democracy. This is our election. This is our vote.

And the United States Postal Service and all of the incredibly hardworking employees who show up to deliver our mail no matter what the weather, no matter what the danger, no matter how tired they are, no matter what challenges they are dealing with, they show up every single day for us to keep our community connected, to make sure we get our medications, our checks, our bills — sorry about the bills — everything that we need in the mail. These are incredibly important, valuable public servants. And we owe them support and the government owes them support.

We need the post office to be fully funded. And there is a vote in the House today to fund the Postal Service. It’s going to pass because the Democrats are going to pass it. And we need to keep raising our voices and demanding that the Senate take up this bill. We need to let Mitch McConnell and his team know that if they don’t take up this bill and pass it, they will be voted out of office.

But I want to say that funding the Postal Service is not enough. It is very important, we’ve got to do it and I believe the Democrats are going to get it done. But at this moment in time, we are watching Donald Trump attack the US Postal Service in an effort to rig November’s election. And that is not okay. That is anti democratic. That is what dictators do. That is how we take our country down the road to fascism, and I, for one, will not stand for it.

And I believe that any elected official who is unwilling to call that behavior out for what it is, who is unwilling to say that that is anti democratic, that that is the behavior of a dictator — if you do not have the political courage to stand up and say that, to fight to protect our democracy, that you do not belong in office.

And in case anyone misses my meaning, let me be clear, that is a message for Congressman John Katko.

So my promise to you is that I will always stand with you to fight for what is best for our community and to protect and defend the essence of what is our democracy. We are facing challenges like we have not seen in our lifetimes. Using our voices matter. Using the platform at our disposal matters. And as long as you are out here fighting, I will be fighting with you. Thank you.

Dana is a lifelong educator, receiving her first paycheck at the age of twelve for teaching at Sunday school. Early in her career, she was a teacher and director of education at a disability services nonprofit and recently taught at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. Dana Balter was the 2018 Democratic nominee for Congress in NY-24, where her campaign smashed fundraising records and came closer than any Democrat ever has to defeating John Katko.