United States Postal Service To Issue Harvey Milk Stamp

MilkEarlier this year we reported on speculation that the United States Postal Service (USPS) might be getting ready to release a Harvey Milk stamp. A campaign advocating for a stamp in Milk's honor began back in 2009 and today the USPS has announced they will in fact be issuing the stamp sometime in 2014. The Harvey Milk Foundation broke the news on Facebook:

"Another advancement for LGBT, recognition for Harvey and his message of hope! Amazing news from Stuart Milk, please share widely!

"Breaking! It is official! The USPS will confirm this week that my uncle, Harvey Milk will be commemorated on a 2014 US postage stamp. Another first! My deep gratitude to everyone that supported this effort! More details including the image to come via USPS soon! "Hope Will Never Be Silent" and will be on millions of letters soon!"

As notes, Milk's stamp will be the first to feature an openly LGBT elected official. Chucke Wolfe, President and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute commented on the significance of the USPS's decision:

"Harvey Milk’s legacy is alive and well...His historic run paved the way for a new generation of LGBT leaders who can be open and honest about who they are, and it’s encouraging to see the U.S. Postal Service honoring his legacy of perseverance and pride today."

University of Chicago Frat Plays Disgusting Homophobic, Racist Prank on Postal Carrier

The Phi Delta Theta fraternity at the University of Chicago is under investigation after a postal carrier exposed a racist, homophobic prank that it had played on him, the Sun-Times reports:

Becton“About a week after Memorial Day, I had an order to bring 79 of the boxes. I came to the address and explained to the frat member that I would have a lot more supplies. I went back to the truck for the boxes about six or seven times,” Becton said.

“After the last trip, one of the frat guys came out and said it was a practical joke. Another guy said that I should read the name backwards and I’ll get the joke.”

The items — all 79 of them — were addressed to “Reggin Toggaf.” Written backward, the first name is a racial slur. The last name is a slur for gay men.

The fraternity's mail delivery has been suspended during the investigation by the Postal Inspection Service, which wants to insure that the carrier feels safe to deliver the mail.

Mack Julion, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 11, spoke with the frat house's former president, who blew off the seriousness of the incident:

“Their contention was it was a practical joke, but we don’t think it was funny, the letter carrier doesn’t think it was funny, and it doesn’t reflect well on the university,” Julion told me.

Julion said the fraternity told him the “joke” was being played on them and was not meant to offend Becton.

“But if it was a practical joke from one frat to another and not to the letter carrier, it is still not funny. Is this the way you tease each other?” Julion said he asked. “Is this standard protocol in terms of practical jokes? Is this the way they go back and forth, because it is not acceptable.”

U.S. Postal Service Announces Snail Mail Will Get Slower

First Class stamped mail will be slowed and no longer be delivered the next day starting next spring, the USPS tells the AP, as part of a broad series of cuts:

Milk_stampThe estimated $3 billion in reductions, to be announced in broader detail later Monday, are part of a wide-ranging effort by the Postal Service to quickly trim costs and avert bankruptcy. They could slow everything from check payments to Netflix's DVDs-by-mail, add costs to mail-order prescription drugs, and threaten the existence of newspapers and time-sensitive magazines delivered by postal carrier to far-flung suburban and rural communities.

That birthday card mailed first-class to Mom also could arrive a day or two late, if people don't plan ahead.

Said Jim Corridore, analyst with S&P Capital IQ, who tracks the shipping industry: "It's a potentially major change, but I don't think consumers are focused on it and it won't register until the service goes away. Over time, to the extent the customer service experience gets worse, it will only increase the shift away from mail to alternatives. There's almost nothing you can't do online that you can do by mail."

(image - the long-lobbied-for Milk stamp)


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