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At a press conference on the steps of Berkeley's historic Main Post Office on Friday, May 3rd, Berkeley's elected officials spoke out against the Postal Service's decision to sell the landmark building. Loni Hancock and Nancy Skinner stated: "We are deeply disappointed and concerned about USPS unilaterally making a decision to move forward with the sale despite the City of Berkeley's requests to suspend efforts for one year to allow the City and USPS to work together to find an alternative solution. In light of the legislation pending in Congress, S. 316 by Senator Bernie Sanders and H.R. 630
by Representative Peter DeFazio, there should be a moratorium placed on the sale of all historic post offices."
"Overwhelming public opposition to the sale"
Mayor Tom Bates was joined by Berkeley City Council members Susan Wengraf, Jesse Arreguin, Laurie Capitelli, Linda Maio and Kriss Worthington. The joint letter from the Mayor and City Council to the USPS reads in part: "Berkeley's Main Post Office sits at the heart of our civic center and our city. To privatize this much loved landmark will diminish all that we have done to improve the downtown. It will also deprive citizens of their right to view the incomparable WPA murals, created with public funds and owned by all of us."
"Our question to USPS is: What does it take for you not to sell this beautiful public building?"
The letter from the Berkeley city officials was co-signed by Senator Hancock, Assemblymember Skinner and County Supervisor Keith Carson.
Berkeley's Congressional Representative Barbara Lee's letter to the Postal Service objects to relocation of services: "I would also like to strongly emphasize that this building was constructed at a time when the Postal
Service was directly funded through taxpayer dollars and was designed specifically to be a post office. It
would not be serving its true and original purpose if it was something other than a post office. Relocation
is not a suitable option for my constituents, and I wholly agree with them and support their concerns"
"Please take a number"
The press package includes the letter from Berkeley's Mayor and City Council, the letter from Loni Hancock and Nancy Skinner, and the letter from Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Click to view or download.