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Press Release: Berkeley Post Office Sale Hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 26th at 7

From Margot Smith
Friday February 08, 2013 - 03:42:00 PM

The US Postal Service Public Hearing on the sale of the Berkeley Main Post Office is on Tuesday, February 26th, at 7:00 PM., at Berkeley City Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley. After the meeting, the 15 day public comment period commences. Following that, the USPS can decide whether or not to sell our building, with a short period designated for appeals.

The City of Berkeley finally received a confirmed date from the US Postal Service for the public hearing on the proposed sale of the historic main post office on Allston Way. Towns and cities throughout the nation, like Berkeley, may lose these historic sites which were built with public funds. The giant realty firm CBRE headed by UC Regent Richard Blum advises the USPS on which buildings to sell, and CBRE makes a tidy profit as listing agent when sales go through.

Come to the hearing on Tuesday, February 26th, when we citizens outraged at this proposed sale and the Save The Berkeley Post Office group will tell the USPS our views. We hope to make a difference! 

Berkeley's beautiful and historic main post office was built in 1914, and houses two New Deal artworks. Across the country, 3700 post offices are at risk of being sold or closed--many of them equally historic. Some also house irreplaceable WPA/New Deal art like ours that was meant to be permanently in the public domain. 

Sold post offices have frequently morphed into restaurants or offices, or even been abandoned. At some, it is necessary to ask permission to see the public art. At others, nobody even knows where the art has gone. 

The USPS was established in Article I of the constitution, Benjamin Franklin having been our first Postmaster General. The cabinet-level Post Office Department was created in 1792 from Franklin's operation and transformed into the USPS In 1971. George W. Bush signed legislation in 2006 that transfers $55.8 billion out of USPS operating revenue between 2007 and 2016 and sends that cash to the US Treasury. The new law destroyed the financial stability of the USPS and is laying the groundwork for its privatization. If it were not for the 2006 law the USPS could be as solvent today as it has been for hundreds of years, and would continue to provide the service we all so admire and appreciate. 

Those opposed to the selling of our post office, and possible privatization of the USPS system as a whole--which would then be operated for profit, not for service--are encouraged to write to their senators, representatives, and to Ms. Diana Alvarado, USPS Facilities Office, 1300 Evans Ave., Suite 200, San Francisco 94188 by March 13, 2013.. For further information, please visit 

CONTACT Dave Welsh 510-847-8657 Save the Berkeley Post Office