I would like to publicly thank the Levittown Post Office and all postal workers for their taking part in the postal service's food donation campaign which took place on Mother's Day weekend. Inspired and informed by one of my children's elementary school teachers, I have always taken a keen interest in the issue of hunger on Long Island. I am certainly no expert on the subject, yet I know the problem is a grave one and that as we near the end of the school year, the need for food dramatically increases. Children who receive free lunch and/or breakfast in school may be in need of a nutritious meal and oftentimes the only way they get it is from a food kitchen or a federal summer lunch program. Although there are always numerous food collections around Thanksgiving, this spring boost in food donations is very timely and important. In addition to restocking food pantries, I believe this spring campaign helps raise our collective consciouness about the real problem of hunger here on Long Island. Thank you to all of those postal service workers who took on the additional work required to make their food drive a success. I am certain that transporting the food is a tremendous labor. I am also certain that I am not alone in recognizing the important contribution you have made to Long Islanders.
Assemblyman David G. McDonough's "Do Not Mail" campaign appears to be a misinformed attack on advertising mail (Opinion May 14). His claims that advertising mail is an annoyance and a threat to the ecological balance are just not so.
Advertising mail does not intrude. It does not demand immediate attention or interrupt other activities. The recipient decides whether to pay attention and when to open and read it. It is highly valued by most recipients. Research shows that consumers read 78 percent of advertising mail, almost 10 percent respond to the offers, and 21 percent of all consumers take advertising mail with them when they shop.
Concerning its environmental impact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, advertising mail is not an environmental problem. EPA data shows that advertising mail is only about four-ten thousandths of the 13 billion tons of Municipal Solid Waste that America creates annually. That's a paperclip inside a battleship.
If Assemblyman McDonough wants to arbitrarily limit delivery of advertising mail, first he should talk to his constituents. More than 44,000 residents of the area he represents and nine million Americans nationally earn a living and support their families in the mailing industry. In New York state that comes to 603,898 jobs and a $64.685 billion economic impact.
He should ask his friends, neighbors, relatives and constituents who are printers, typesetters, mail carriers, truck drivers, warehouse workers, paper recyclers, artists, writers, sales people, telephone order takers, retail clerks and office workers what would happen to their jobs if advertising mail was strictly curtailed.
Assemblyman McDonough might want to consult local charities, environmental groups, churches, universities, theaters, orchestras, dance companies, etc. How will they raise money if they cannot use advertising mail to solicit contributions? He should also sit down with the local business owners who distribute shopping fliers and coupons to find out how they will attract customers to their stores. Their employees would face layoffs, customers would pay higher prices, students would pay more tuition, audiences would pay more for tickets, and charities would be forced to reduce their services.
Before legislators support such radical actions, they should carefully consider the consequences of what they do for the people they represent.