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.
The USPS wants to sell Berkeley's historic main post office. Citizens to Save the Berkeley Post Office is a grassroots group that has come together to block the sale of our heritage, stop service cut backs, and preserve living wage postal jobs.
Our fight is not unique. Thousands of post office closures across the country mean the largest private auction of public history our nation has ever seen.
Join the movement and spread the word. Our post office is not for sale.