On September 9th, 2014, approximately fourteen months since the idea of a zoning restriction was proposed, The Berkeley City Council passed (by consent, unanimously) the Civic Center Zoning Overlay Ordinance, restricting the Civic Center area, including the Downtown Post Office, to civic uses.
In other words: Ding!
(It’s not quite soup yet; it still needs a second reading at their next meeting)
Also, again by consent, the resolution supporting the boycott of Staples was passed.
Susan Hammer of the APWU spoke in support of that resolution and got a big round of applause.
No one spoke in opposition to either motion.
Thanks go to Greg Jan, who came up with the idea those fourteen months ago; to those who planned and carried out the initial Post Office Occupation, drawing national attention to the fight to Save the Berkeley Post Office, to everyone who gathered petition signatures directed at the Mayor back in January; to those who spoke at City Council meetings and public hearings for almost two years now; and to those who gathered petition signatures for the Green Downtown Initiative (which includes the Zoning Ordinance). Getting that initiative on the ballot ultimately forced the City Council’s hand, at least those on it who had betrayed us in March by burying the ordinance in committee.
The USPS can still sell the Post Office; this just makes it harder for them and less attractive for potential buyers. There is no indication as yet that they will stop being pig-headed about wanting to sell it, as the example of the recent sale of the Bronx Post Office indicates.