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Cut the junk mail

Vail Daily Editorial
Vail CO, Colorado

Here’s one proposal that needs to be saved from the legislative trash can: a law that lets Coloradans opt out of junk mail.

State Rep. Sara Gagliardi is killing her own bill that would have done just that. Apparently the postal-worker lobby got to her; 30 percent of the postal service’s operating budget comes from the $9.2-billion junk mail, er, “direct marketing” industry.

Gagliardi, a freshman Democrat from Arvada, shouldn’t be so quick to give up on her bill. The proposal would have let people sign up by phone or on the Web to stop unsolicited mail, similar to the way residents can now sign up for the “no call” list to stop telephone solicitations.

Coloradans who still wanted to receive direct-mail marketing could. The rest of us would have the ability to stop the flood of unwanted catalogs and advertisements from filling our mailboxes. And it would ease the worry that those unsolicited credit-card offers we receive could end up in the wrong hands. That, after all, was Gagliardi’s intent in the first place.

This bill died not because Coloradans didn’t want it, but because of pressure from labor unions, postal workers and businesses.

About half of the 12.5 million pieces of mail delivered every day in Colorado are direct mail, said a U.S. Postal Service spokesman.

No one wants to cause layoffs.

But we do need a way to let citizens cut back on the amount of junk mail they receive. Not only is it a nuisance to sort, cut up, recycle and throw away, junk mail can make us all a little more vulnerable to identity theft.

Let’s hope concern for citizens ” not special-interest groups ” can save this idea from the shredder.

” Tamara Miller for the editorial board


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