Postal Service Disrespects Harlem Community
Refuses to hold Town Hall meeting on “Relocation” of historic College Station Post Office
USPS uses unpublicized committee meeting to sneak through downsizing and possible sale of Harlem’s post office
By Chuck Zlatkin, Legislative and Political Director
New York Metro Area Postal Union, APWU, AFL-CIO
December 10, 2013 – New York City. The United States Postal Service will make a proposal to “relocating: the historic College Station Post Office located at 217 West 140th Street at an unpublicized meeting of Community Board 10’s Economic Development committee this Thursday, December 12th at 6:30 pm. In other communities such as Chelsea and the Lower East Side, the Postal Service has held well publicized, centrally located Town Hall meetings for relocations, why not Harlem? Instead the Postal Service is substituting an obscure committee meeting, not even located in the College Station Post Office’s zip code. The meeting is a full 15 blocks away from College Station, will make it virtually impossible for the people most impacted by the “relocation” of the post office: the elderly, the disabled, the poor, and small business owners from attending.
College Station Post Office is one of the 1100 post offices constructed during the New Deal throughout the country. These post offices, paid for by the American people though their tax dollars. are now being sold off to private real estate interests. The excuse is a manufactured postal financial crisis, created by Congress that is being used as an excuse to downsize the Postal Service, reduce service and eventually privatize its remains. The New York Metro Area Postal Union, the largest local in the American Postal Workers Union, was notified of the so-called public meeting on Monday by email from the Postal Service. The notification of the community was a single posting of the notice in an out of the way location in the College Station Post Office itself. There was no mailing to the public and the local elected officials weren’t notified either. The union sees that the Postal Service is acting in bad faith with the Harlem community by this action. What the Postal Service should do immediately is to promise to the people of Harlem that they will have a genuine Town Hall meeting where they can hear the Postal Service’s proposal, ask questions, and may their own statements why they think that the plans to move or sell College Station Post Office must be changed.
The Postal Service so-called “relocation” is a downsizing of service. College Station is centrally located in Harlem. All the Postal Service says is that there will be adequate service somewhere else in the Zip Code of 10030. By its track record, the Postal Service will provide a smaller, less convenient location. The College Station already in understaffed. There are long lines every morning at opening.
The people of Harlem have already suffered poorer mail service with shorter hours, fewer windows staffed, long lines, fewer collection boxes and delayed mail delivery. If the planned location goes through, there will be less service in a more crowded facility.
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