Pam Parmer holds up a sign that says "save our USPS" at the “Save the Post Office Saturday” Day of Action rally at San Antonio’s local post office in Thousand Oaks. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

The hood of her jacket pulled tight around her head, Kathy Furst stood next to a blue mail collection box in the rain Saturday morning and waved her homemade signs at passersby. 

Many honked in support of Furst and the two dozen people who rallied in front of a San Antonio post office for the “Save the Post Office Saturday” Day of Action, a nationwide event sponsored by the political action committee MoveOn and other groups. 

“This is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Furst, 66, who drove from her home in Bulverde to the post office on Henderson Pass to participate in her first-ever political rally despite the morning downpour. “I brought my rubber boots just in case.”

Organized by Heather Perez, the rally in Thousand Oaks was held to draw attention to the recent controversy surrounding the United States Postal Service (USPS) and mail-in voting ahead of the 2020 general elections and to support postal service workers. 

Perez, whose blue T-shirt was drenched by the showers during the first half-hour of the rally, was inspired by the postal service motto to show up for the event despite the rain. 

She said she emailed supporters that morning reminding them of that motto: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Perez and others stood along the roadside with umbrellas and “Delivering our Democracy” signs as several mail trucks exited the rain-soaked parking lot. 

“My husband is a letter carrier here in San Antonio, and he works long hours,” she said. “I want to just come out here and show these guys, especially as they’re driving out here to go to the routes, that we support them, that there are people out here who find this service viable, that it’s vital.”

Heather Perez (right) organized the rally. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

On Friday, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before the Senate and admitted that some of the cost-cutting measures at the postal service had slowed mail delivery. DeJoy promised senators, however, that some of those actions would be halted and the USPS could handle the expected volume of mail-in ballots this fall. 

One of those measures is the removal of blue mail collection boxes. So far this year, 1,463 boxes have been removed as part of the postal service’s regular processes, according to a USPS statement. The total number of boxes removed during the last general election year was nearly the same. 

The postal service’s board of governors also announced Friday it had established a bipartisan election mail committee to oversee support of the mail-in voting process. 

At Saturday’s rally, Perez said she was sure the mail carriers driving past didn’t want any extra attention paid to them. “My goal is to show them we are here to support them, that the country is behind them, and they need to have the resources [to do their job],” she said.

The clouds broke shortly after.

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the business beat reporter at the San Antonio Report.