Sometimes, being an urban pioneer is so demanding that it’s hard to maintain any sort of perspective for what’s going on elsewhere on the frontier.

After all, when a constant vigil is necessary to ensure the City doesn’t turn the neighborhood into an eight-lane highway, there isn’t much time left to keep track of what’s happening in the rest of the world.

Take, for instance, the state of your mail delivery. It’s easy to tell when yours is bad (how do those two-year-old birthday cards keeping showing up?), but it’s harder to figure out if these things happen to anyone else.

It’s entirely too easy to chalk up shoddy mail service to the same sort of governmental indifference that aggravates anyone who lives in East Dallas; they ignore us on the City and state level, so why shouldn’t we be ignored on the federal level, too?

Well, we’re not the only ones being ignored.

This revelation is the result of two years of intensive wrangling with U.S. Postal Service bureaucrats, consultations with Dallas-area congressmen, and whining to a variety of people who deliver the mail.

The stories I’ve heard – and this is from someone who used to believe the postal service got a bum rap from its critics – point to the same conclusion: Our mail service stinks.

Mail service here may not be as bad as that in Italy or Mexico (yet), but when a congressional aide’s mail woes are worse than mine, something is wrong.

Says Sharon Birmingham, who handles mail complaints for U.S. Rep. John Bryant: “There are so many problems with mail service that people just give up complaining.”

Is that what the postal service counts on?

Well, it’s no longer necessary to suffer in silence or isolation. Bill Broomfield, a Michigan congressman, has introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to form a commission to study the postal service, with an eye toward reforming it (though blowing it up and starting over probably would be a better idea). The resolution has more than 120 co-sponsors, including Bryant.

This resolution is an opportunity for anyone who has had a serious problem with the postal service to exercise his or her duty as a taxpayer and lodge a protest. Broomfield, is soliciting comment from other districts, and the Dallas-area congressmen representing this area will be happy to pass along complaints. There’s even a form you can fill out.

Birmingham’s telephone number for 5th District residents is 767-6554. If you live in the 3rd District, call Rep. Sam Johnson’s office at 985-8868 or 239-0562. Their districts cover the 75204, 75206 and 75214 code areas in East Dallas.

And remember, neither wind nor rain nor gloom of night should stop you from completing your appointed complaint.