Picture
The threatened Redlands post office at sunset
If you are opposed to the sale
of America's historic post offices,
please ask Senator Dianne Feinstein
to take action.


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Report on Tuesday, May 21st Meeting in Senator Feinstein's
San Francisco office

Senator Dianne Feinstein recognizes that Congress must act to restore financial stability to the U.S. Postal Service. 

John Murray, Senator Feinstein’s field representative for the East Bay, met with Annie Hallatt, Ying Lee, Mike Lonergan, Sharon Maldonado, Harvey Smith and Margot Smith in Senator Feinstein’s San Francisco offices last Tuesday, May 21st. 

We were there to ask Senator Feinstein to join with twenty-seven of her Senate colleagues and become a co-sponsor of Senator Bernie Sanders Postal Protection Act of 2013.  We also asked Senator Feinstein to sponsor an amendment to protect historic post office buildings and their art, and to lead her colleagues in calling for an immediate moratorium on the sale of our historic downtown post offices.

But first we presented Mr. Murray with a stack of over 250 letters written by Senator Feinstein’s constituents and a petition list with over 400 signatures.

Mr. Murray advised us that as a matter of policy Senator Feinstein does not intervene on behalf of an individual community that may be adversely affected by a U.S. Postal Service decision.  Harvey Smith, president of the National New Deal Preservation Association, pointed out to Mr. Murray that in this case we are asking Senator Feinstein to act to help a broad number of California communities and to save what is a national heritage of historic town center post offices and New Deal Art.  

At least seventy per cent of USPS financial losses are due to a Congressional mandate to prefund retiree healthcare.  Mr. Murray assured us that Senator Feinstein not only supports changing the current formula for funding retiree health care but voted to do exactly that in a previous session of Congress.  Unfortunately the bill did not pass the House and Mr. Murray cautioned us that, in his opinion, the passage of postal reform remains more difficult in the House than in the Senate.

On an encouraging note Mr. Murray assured us that Senator Feinstein pays close attention to the concerns of her constituents and that the senator is briefed every week on all meetings with constituent groups.


 


Comments

John Ryskamp
12/19/2013 3:08pm

You people have bad lawyers. I notice that your literature says that the USPS shouldn't be allowed to close/transfer/whatever the post office because the post office is part of the "commons." What in fact is the commons? If you are going to win, you are going to have to argue that the commons enjoys a higher level of scrutiny than minimum scrutiny.

In order to do that, you have to show that the post office is part of the commons and that the commons is

1. a fact of human experience
2. which history demonstrates
3. is unaffected by assaults upon it.

That's the legal test for showing that a FACT is a RIGHT, that is, that a fact is not in the political system, but instead is in the Court. This is the test you use if you want a fact to enjoy a higher level of scrutiny than minimum scrutiny. It comes from West Virginia v. Barnette.

Of course, lawyers don't want to do the historical research to prove this up, but there actually is a legal concept of the commons. See the link below.

But unless you are willing to argue new rights--a right to the commons or to the community or something like that--you will lose.

Making the historical argument is hard, but it's how the gun folks just won the right to a weapon of selfdefense in the home. Liberal Berkeley folks don't like that, but the Heller/McDonald folks used the proper Barnette test (so did those arguing for women's legal equality).

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-09-30/the-commons-an-historical-concept-of-property-rights

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03/24/2014 11:52am

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