Chicago Postmaster General Prater Replaced Following Rush's Call for Change in USPS Leadership Due to Unprecedented Mail Delays and Mismanagement
Rush recently convened a meeting with USPS leadership and local elected officials; 150-293 routes went undelivered daily in Chicago USPS area in May
CHICAGO — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) announced that he has learned that Eddie C. Morgan, Jr. has replaced Wanda Prater as Chicago Postmaster, effective Saturday, June 12.
"There has been an undeniable, unacceptable, and unprecedented breakdown in mail delivery over the past year, and unfortunately, my constituents have borne the brunt of it," said Rush. "After a damning Inspector General investigation — and an equally damning lack of response from management to the investigation — I am encouraged that USPS has finally heeded my call for new leadership in Chicago. This is about getting a fresh perspective on the problems we are facing and the solutions for restoring first-class mail service to my constituents."
"I appreciate Ms. Prater's service to our city and acknowledge the barriers she broke in her career; however, it is time for us to move on. I look forward to meeting Mr. Morgan — who is also African American — in the coming weeks and working together to correct past issues and move forward in a constructive manner. My constituents depend on the prompt delivery of their mail, and they deserve no less."
Postmaster Morgan will be responsible for over 1.3 million possible deliveries, 4,363 employees, 48 delivery units, and 2,143 city routes in the City of Chicago. Mr. Morgan is an Air Force veteran who began his postal career more than 22 years ago and his most recent assignment was as the Executive Postmaster for the Kansas City, MO Post Office. Ms. Prater has been reassigned to the Milwaukee Post Office, according to information from USPS.
Between 150 and 293 routes went undelivered daily in the Chicago USPS area in May 2021, with another 20 to 60 routes only partially delivered each day, according to data provided by the USPS Carrier Union.
Earlier this month, Rush convened a meeting with USPS Vice President Elvin Mercado, USPS Midwest District Manager Randy Stines, Alsip Mayor John Ryan, Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke, Aldermen King, Sawyer, Harris, and Coleman, and others, to discuss the persistent mail delays plaguing residents of the 1st Congressional District. At that meeting, Mr. Stines reported that USPS has been hiring at a rate of 20-30 people per week over the past few weeks.
The Inspector General report requested by Congressman Rush, which took place in September 2020, was released on February 1, 2021. It showed that management at the Auburn Park and Worsham Stations reported 3,114 delayed mail pieces and Henry McGee and Ashburn stations did not report any delayed mail, in direct contradiction of the more than 62,000 pieces of delayed mail found by investigators. During the period of the investigation, three stations did not report any non-deliveries. Auburn Park Station reported 329 non-deliveries — the day before inspectors arrived. Inspectors found 18,785 non-deliveries for all four stations on that day.
On July 21, 2020, Rep. Rush hosted a virtual townhall about the unprecedented parcel and letter delays taking place in the 1st Congressional district, with 3,500 constituents participating. Of the nearly 700 participants who responded to polls conducted during the call, 40 percent stated they had not received mail for at least a week, 11 percent stated they had not received mail for two weeks, and 9 percent claimed to have not received mail for three weeks or more. Following the townhall, Rush called on the USPS-OIG to formally investigate several Post Offices in his District.
In August, Rep. Rush joined the Illinois Delegation in calling on Postmaster General DeJoy to address the issues taking place across the State of Illinois and joined Speaker Pelosi and Chairwoman Maloney in calling on Postmaster General DeJoy to further address the dysfunction taking place across the country. Rush also cosponsored the Delivering for America Act last Congress, which passed the House of Representatives in August. That bill would have required USPS to restore operations and levels of service that were in effect on January 1, 2020. Rush also recently called on President Biden to remove and replace the six current members of the Postal Service Board of Governors, citing lax oversight and negligence.
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