San Diego, CA; August 23-29, 2014
The system that elects the national officers of NAPS (National Association of Postal Supervisors) is based on rules that may have made sense when the organization was founded in 1908, but are outdated and undemocratic for 2014. When the largest NAPS branches across the country control blocks of votes, it is reminiscent of machine politics where the outcome of the election is pre-determined. The undemocratic process has been a barrier to women being represented in the organizations’ leadership.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) 40 percent of employees in the United States Postal Service are women, but in the 105 year history of NAPS, only one woman, Margarete A. Grant of San Francisco, has held a leadership position from 1986 -1996. In the past 20 years, no other woman has been elected to serve NAPS in Washington D.C. and there has never been a woman elected President of NAPS. Mary Burkhard, NAPS Branch 244 President from Santa Clarita, California is running for NAPS National Secretary/Treasurer at the convention taking place at the Towne and Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego, CA. Burkhard supports a resolution that would change the election system to be more democratic, giving every member of NAPS one vote.
The NAPS organization is controlled by Congress through Title 39, US Code, Section 1004. Mary Burkhard has been lobbying Congress on behalf of NAPS members to have Congress change this code to reflect the need for more transparency and democratic elections.
NAPS leaders have taken steps to make the organization less transparent by banning video recordings at the convention, and blocking filmmaker Jay Galione of “Gone Postal: The Documentary” access to the convention hall to film the debate on the resolution to give each member one vote, as well as the campaign speeches and events leading up to the election. Galione and filmmaking partner Sheila Dvorak were allowed access to the convention in 2010 when Mary Burkhard first began fighting for a more democratic election procedure and to represent her NAPS members as their Secretary/Treasurer. The story of Mary’s determination and passion for the Postal Service will be chronicled in the film “Gone Postal: The Documentary”, coming in 2015. The trailer is available now at www.gonepostalfilm.com/trailer.