1,000 signatures reached
To: U.S. Postal Service
Don't sell Berkeley's historic main post office
Don't sell Berkeley's historic, publicly owned, main post office. Selling this post office is not necessary, it’s not economical, and it’s not right.
Why is this important?
Berkeley's main post office is a local landmark. But after 99 years, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) put the building on the auction block.
But thanks to strong push-back from the City Council, Mayor Tom Bates, and members of the community, the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission has agreed to hear an appeal of this plan. We need to make sure the U.S. Postal Service gets the message loud and clear that they can’t shut down our post office.
The U.S. Postal Service is seeking to shut down over 600 post office buildings ostensibly to save money. But this is a short-term solution that won’t solve our postal system’s real problems.
The financial problems facing the U.S. Postal Service are a direct result of an onerous and ill-considered 2006 law called the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act" that mandates pre-funding the postal service retiree health care and pension benefits for 75 years — something that no other government agency or private company is forced to do. If Congress repealed that measure, the vast majority of the post office's debt problems would simply vanish.
And selling off the Berkeley Post Office to the highest bidder wouldn’t even save the postal service any money. The post office would have to rent a downtown location to continue providing comparable services. As Mayor Tom Bates explained in his request for an appeal, downtown Berkeley commercial rents run $3 per square foot -- and there aren’t even any vacant spaces large enough for the post office’s current demands.
The Berkeley Post Office is a historic structure and a storied part of Berkeley’s local history. It houses important murals and other works of artwork. It’s irreplaceable, and we shouldn’t let the U.S. Postal Service transfer this public treasure into private hands.
The time is now to speak out and save the Berkeley Post Office.
Doug Letterman (Flickr)