Public Comment

Press Release: Berkeley City Council That Opposed Main Post Office Sale Holds First Public Meeting With Postal Service Representative

From Harvey Smith and Gray Brechin
Friday September 07, 2012 - 12:33:00 PM

The U.S. Postal Service, through its designated real estate agent CBRE, is conducting a fire sale of America’s historic and architecturally distinguished post offices. Built to the highest standards and with the finest materials, those buildings and the New Deal artworks they often contain are the anchor for many U.S. cities and towns. They were designed to educate those who used them and to inspire pride in a universal public service honestly and efficiently conducted, and they are often beloved community landmarks. Many are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

This year, Benjamin Franklin’s successor as U.S. Postmaster Patrick R. Donahoe proposed selling 3700 post offices in order to briefly forestall a fiscal crisis largely manufactured by Congress in order to privatize a vital public service while stripping the public of invaluable assets. 

Without holding any public meetings or consultation with business owners, the USPS announced in June that Berkeley’s century old downtown post office would soon be on the market. The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to oppose the sale and formed a committee to consider options and to seek further information. 

That committee will meet at 11 AM on Thursday, September 13 in the City Hall Council Chambers (2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.) The public will have its first opportunity to ask questions of a USPS representative who will be present. 

“We are watching an epic public land theft in the 21st century like those in the 19th. But now the land is in the heart of America’s cities and towns, and it’s worth a fortune to those who can get it. As in the last Gilded Age, the public is the loser once again.” — Dr. Gray Brechin, Project Scholar of the Living New Deal Project 

Contact Harvey Smith @510-684-0414 or Gray Brechin @ 510-204-9607 

11 AM meeting, September 13 

City Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way