Senator Boxer is developing a policy on the Postal Service and on protecting historic town center post offices.
On Wednesday, May 29, 2013, representatives of Save the Berkeley Post Office met with Jennifer Tang, Senior Field Representative in Senator Boxer's Oakland office. After brief introductions, we presented Ms Tang with letters from over 270 of Senator Boxer's constituents asking Senator Boxer to co-sponsor S.316, the Senate version of Sanders-DeFazio (the Postal Protection Act of 2013), and take immediate action to stop the sale of America's historic post offices. We also gave Ms Tang a petition for Senator Boxer. The petition was signed by over four hundred California residents and demanded that the Downtown Berkeley Post Office remain in the public trust and that the USPS not sell the building.
Brian Turner, Senior Field Representative for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, along with Gale Garcia, Annie Hallatt, Ying Lee, Mike Lonergan, Harvey Smith and Margot Smith of Save the Berkeley Post Office, answered questions from Ms Tang and Maria Henderson, a constituent services representative from Senator Boxer's staff, on the current manufactured financial crisis of the US Postal Service and its affect on historic town center post offices like Berkeley's downtown post office.
On behalf of the Berkeley community, we again asked Senator Boxer to join twenty-seven of her Senate colleagues and sign on as a co-sponsor to Senator Bernie Sanders' Postal Protection Act of 2013. Further we repeated the need for protections for historic post offices that are not in Sanders-DeFazio and because of the imminent loss of many historic post offices we asked that Senator Boxer lead her colleagues in a call for a moratorium on the sale of historic post offices.
We also included in our package and discussed letters from State Senator Loni Hancock and labor leader Dolores Huerta urging Senator Boxer to support the Sanders-DeFazio bill.
National Trust representative Brian Turner stressed that historic post offices are frequently an anchor for traditional Main Street commercial and civic centers and that their loss has a broad affect on the health of historic districts. Currently, the Postal Service is not protecting historic post offices with a consistent, sensitive and transparent process that follows established federal preservation law.
Ms. Tang advised us that Senator Boxer is aware of the issues confronting the Postal Service and that Senator Boxer's policy on the Postal Service is still developing. Ms Tang assured us that our concerns will be made known to Senator Boxer.
S.316 needs Senator Boxer's support. And Senator Boxer needs to hear from her constituents that we demand a Postal Service that serves the public good and insist on preserving America's historic town center post offices.
112 Hart Senate Office Building
As of June 19th, 28 Senators have signed on to Sanders-DeFazio as co-sponsors and 162 Members of the House, including 31 members of California's Congressional delegation. Below is a map of support in the House of Representatives.