City Council Passes Post Office Resolution. Will the Postal Service Take Notice?

Only July 30th the Berkeley City Council passed a resolution calling for dialogue with the Postal Service over the future use of the downtown Post Office at 2000 Allston Way.

In an article written by Judith Scherr the next day, Councilperson Linda Maio, sponsor of the resolution, noted that postal officials have never listened to the city and was quoted as saying “I’d just like to get them to talk to us.” 

Maio also said “the post office should initiate a pilot program of postal banking and use the rear of the building for civic purposes such as government administrative offices or nonprofit programs.”

Unfortunately, Postal officials seem to be as deaf  to community involvement as they have always been. As Scherr reported

Ruiz further contended that the downtown post office “already has full services.”

Reminded that there is no longer package pickup or bulk mail processing downtown, Ruiz argued that those services are easily available just a mile away on San Pablo Avenue.

But there is some hope. It’s not up to Ruiz. He said “…the request for a meeting would go to district postal officials.”

Berkeley City Council Resolution for June 30th Consent Calendar: Reaffirm Opposition to Sale.

TO PRESERVE AND BEST UTILIZE THE DOWNTOWN BERKELEY MAIN POST OFFICE BUILDING

WHEREAS, the United States Postal Service, through its pleadings in City of Berkeley v Donahoe, has stated that Berkeley’s downtown Post Office at 2000 Allston Way is not for sale, nor are services to be transferred out of that location;

and WHEREAS, the City of Berkeley is no longer engaged in a lawsuit with the United States Postal Service contesting the building’s sale;

and WHEREAS, the City of Berkeley, its City Council and its citizens have an abiding interest in preserving their historic downtown Post Office, maintaining and expanding its services and utilizing the space for the public good;

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Quips and Clips.

The Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General’s Report on offering Financial Services and Banking at the Post Office.

Local reporter Judith Scheer on Postal Banking et al:

On Tuesday afternoon, with about a dozen service windows shuttered, 24 people waited for help from two postal clerks…

Local activist Sharon Maldonado with  Save the Berkeley Post Office said postal banking would be a positive step toward re-establishing the fiscal health of USPS…

J.P. Massar of Berkeley Post Office Defenders echoed the report’s concern for the 68 million people outside the mainstream banking system who pay usurious fees to cash checks and take out loans.

Information booth at Post Office set up by homeless and union members.WW photo: Judy Greenspan

Judy Greenspan writing on “Victory in Struggle to Save Berkeley Post Office” in Workers’ World:

The information booth is still standing. The occupation of the front of the Berkeley Main Post Office by “First They Came for the Homeless” continued into May. But the main battle to save this historic building was won on April 14…

According to Dave Welsh… “Our victory is a result of nearly three years of intense political activity by the people of Berkeley, including two lengthy encampments. I think people have had enough of privatization. We all wanted to keep the post office as a public place. I hope this will be the beginning of many victories across the country.”

Some of Berkeley’s Post Office Defenders

Courtesy of First They Came for the Homeless, pictures of some Berkeley Post Office Defenders who attended the May 9th Sort of Victory Celebration, thanking the lawyers, the activists and the people of Berkeley, for holding the Postal Service at bay. Top to bottom, left to right: Mike Zint, Dave Welsh, Ed Biow, Kristen Hansen, Mike Wilson & Mike Zint, Sharon Maldonado & Greg Jan & JP Massar (Brian Turner of the National Historic Trust in the foreground), JP Massar. Continue reading