Vermont mailers go postal on reform efforts

“You’re a quiet, green group that needs a bullhorn.”

That’s what Jeffrey Munger, chief of staff for Sen. James M. Jeffords (I-VT) told about 40 catalogers, printers, and letter shops that had gathered in Burlington, VT, Friday for a reception for postal reform. Although Sen. Jeffords and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) did not make the Jan. 10 meeting, their respective chiefs-of-staffs were there to answer questions, queries, and concerns of the group. Representatives from Rep. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) also attended the meeting.

Munger stressed to attendees that their message will carry more weight in Congress when officials consider the “multiplier effect” that direct marketing has on the region. The group estimates that 61,000 jobs are attributable to direct marketing in the Vermont/New Hampshire region—more than any two states combined.

Indeed, “our message will have much more credibility as soon as we can statistically verify the multiplier effect and the actual total impact on the region’s economy,” says Steve Harris, vice president for legislative affairs of the Vermont/New Hampshire Direct Marketing Group. Direct marketing represents the fifth largest industry in Vermont, he says.

A joint effort between the VT/NH Direct Marketing Group and New England Mail Order Association (NEMOA), the meeting was held at Gardener’s Supply Co.’s Burlington headquarters. According to Harris, the VT/NH group will make a formal request this week of the Vermont and New Hampshire senatorial delegation for a meeting with the President’s Commission on Postal Reform.

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