|Why Saturday Delivery Matters|
For more than 200 years, the U.S. Postal Service has done far more than sell stamps and deliver letters. It has built communities, united citizens, and bound together our vast and diverse country.
I am deeply concerned that, if the Postal Service were to follow through on its plan to slash Saturday delivery in the pursuit of short-term financial gain, it would sacrifice its most crucial long-term competitive edge: its renowned and respected status as a core American institution.
The USPS is not just another delivery service. Only the USPS goes, in effect, every day to every address, rich or poor, rural or urban, commercial or residential.
Introducing the Tyler Clementi Center
Nearly two years ago, Tyler Clementi took his own life after his Rutgers University roommate used a computer to spy on him in an intimate moment. Since then, the Clementi family and Rutgers have worked together to try to fight back against harassment – an effort that gained new momentum this week with the formal introduction of Rutgers’ new Tyler Clementi Center.
Through lectures, symposia, seminars, and research, the Center will provide a venue for experts from around the country to talk about harassment, with a particular focus on issues related to the misuse of technology and the bullying of LGBTQ youths. My hope is that, by talking openly about these issues, we can eliminate the stigma that too often leads victims to hide the cruelty that has been directed toward them.
On Monday morning, I joined the Clementi family and Rutgers officials to formally launch the new Center, and I also announced that Sen. Lautenberg and I have reintroduced the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, which would require colleges and universities to have in place formal anti-harassment policies. Through these and other steps, we can begin to find solutions that will save the lives of young men and women like Tyler.
How Many Hours Should You Have to Wait to Vote?
The history of American democracy is, for the most part, a story of ever-expanding access to the ballot box. Over the centuries, we have steadily knocked down the barriers that once kept people from the polls: racial discrimination, gender discrimination, poll taxes, and more.
Yet as we saw in states around the nation last November, a major obstacle remains, one that is as simple as it is inexcusable: long lines.
The fact is that most people lead busy lives, full of family and work and other obligations. They do not have hours to spare standing in line to cast their votes, nor should they be required to do so to participate in our democracy.
To help fix this problem, I have joined 43 other members of Congress to co-sponsor the SIMPLE Voting Act, which would ensure that states provide enough resources so that voters will not need to wait for more than an hour in line to vote. It also would provide for at least 15 days of early voting nationwide.
As President Obama put it in his inaugural address last month, America’s journey toward full democracy and equality “is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.”