News

Protesters take “Save Post Office” demo to San Francisco

Campaigners hoping to halt the sale of the downtown Berkeley Post Office took their protest to San Francisco on Dec. 4. Photo: Harvey Smith

Campaigners who hope to persuade the U.S. Post Office not to sell Berkeley’s main post office at 2000 Allston Way took their protest to San Francisco on Tuesday, Dec. 4. This followed on the heels of a rally in Berkeley on Nov. 14.

The group rallied outside the Montgomery Street offices of UC Regent Richard Blum who is the chairman of CBRE, the real estate company that is advising the USPS on its property sales. Blum is married to state Senator Dianne Feinstein, and six of the campaigners met with a staff person in Feinstein’s office after the rally.

Councilwoman Linda Maio spoke at the rally in front of Blum Capital.

Campaigners display a banner at their Dec. 4 protest in San Francisco. Photo: Harvey Smith

The USPS announced in June that the main Berkeley post office, a distinguished 1914 Renaissance Revival building, was for sale. The plan is to move all its carrier and bulk mail operations to the Berkeley Destination Delivery Unit at 1150 Eighth St., and to find an alternate retail location for downtown customers.

The City Council passed a declaration in July asking that USPS not sell the main post office. Shortly afterwards, Eddie Orton, an award-winning developer who specializes in historic properties, told Berkeleyside that he would be interested in buying the building.

The USPS has put 40 historical post offices up for sale in the last few years in numerous communities around the country. The sell-off of such a large number of historic properties so alarmed the National Trust for Historic Preservation that in June it put historic post offices on its “2012 List of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places.” Despite the efforts of numerous activists in communities around the country, the USPS has never backed off from closing a historic post office after its closure was announced.

Before it can take any action, the USPS is required to hold a formally noticed public meeting to discuss its proposal, after which it will take written testimony for 15 days. A public meeting that was scheduled for Nov. 20 was canceled and is expected to be rescheduled for a date early next year.

Related:
Rally held to protest sale of Berkeley’s main post office [11.15.12]
Developer eyes Berkeley’s historic post office [08.01.12]
Chances are slim of stopping sale of Berkeley’s post office [07.23.12]
Postal Service plans sale of Berkeley’s main post office [06.25.12]

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  • The Sharkey

    Councilwoman Linda Maio just lost my vote for sure.
    Passing the pointless resolution was bad enough, but participating in this silliness when there are so many more pressing issues in Berkeley right now? For shame.

    Hope she has a good challenger for once.

  • Bill N

    I don’t see a reason why it wouldn’t be good to have the building in private hands on the tax rolls. I like the building and (believe it or not) like going there to do my postal business but increased property taxes are a good thing for the city. I hope that UC isn’t the only potential developer and I hope it doesn’t sit empty and graffiti covered for years. And I’ll still probably vote for Linda!

  • Completely_Serious

    Yeah, like the Private Manning resolution, or the intact genitalia resolution, or the seating chart (“where is the council member no one likes going to sit”) or the Ecuadorian Rebel Solidarity resolution or the proposal for Berkeley to issue its own currently (scrip) idea that percolated in the City Manager’s office but died when they couldn’t find a U.S. based, union shop in West Berkeley to print the dang stuff with all-vegetable, non-toxic dye on papyrus harvested from South Park Drive during the road closure.

    Is that what you mean by “more pressing issues?” Because that’s what the Council thinks of.

  • The Sharkey

    I was thinking about issues more like the woman getting gunned down while riding her bike last night, but whatever.

  • Howie Mencken

    I’d be wary of labeling anything in Berkeley the “People’s _________”. It didn’t work out so good for the park.

  • Completely_Serious

    Sharkey,

    I agree the murder last night on Derby, crime in South Berkeley, Berkeley’s own fiscal cliff in the form of pensions and health care for retirees, potholes, pools, etc. are more pressing. My post was meant to highlight the stupid stuff the Council spends its time on. So I think we’re on the same page, maybe my presentation needs work. Peace.

  • Howie Mencken

    C_S…I hadn’t caught some of those key issues considered by the council. So now I’m looking at the parade photo above and wondering why the city refused to discuss my alternative energy proposal: “Hot Flash Electric”!

    The plan called for menopausal citizen volunteers to sleep leaning against a large water tank; raising its temperature adequately to generate electricty through new thermoelectricity technology.

    See: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2011/11/temperature-differences-give-rise-to-electricity

  • Howie Mencken

    If the face reality (brutal and otherwise) our insular, self-serving approach is always highlighted. We live in a world where what’s spent on pet food would feed every hungry mouth on earth. What we call a dog’s life is an enviable fate elsewhere.

  • WaitingInLine

    And if it’s not sold….then what is going to happen? Frankly, the post office should be closed or they need to make it efficient. It is probably the worst, slowest post office that I have ever used.

    Why not sell it, retain it’s historic designation, and have something turn it into something useful

  • M.E. Lawrence

    Because a serious crime happened last night, nothing else is truly newsworthy? I am concerned about crime in my neighborhood/city, and also concerned that our downtown post office might be sold. The two concerns can co-exist; they are both local problems over which we have genuine influence.

  • Biker 94703

    Don’t like the postal service? Stop using it! Why would you complain about something you can do something about?

  • guest

    Council issues are not always brought to Council by Councilmembers, often they come from Committees. Granted, there are 2 or 3 Councilmember that are constantly inventing new feel good items for the Council to vote on but don’t blame the entire Council because of a small minority. No I am not a Councilmember. Just opinionated.

  • The Sharkey

    Who said anything about it being newsworthy? It’s newsworthy, it’s just not a pressing matter for the City Council to keep harping on about. They said their piece with their pointless resolution. Time to move on and start doing basic city management for once.

  • Shermie

    Or men with sizeable loads of hot air might blow the large water tank, eh Howie?

  • Howie Mencken

    Sorry Shermie, we need those in congress…

  • Howie Mencken

    “the intact genitalia resolution”
    Worthington?

  • Completely_Serious

    Dunno. I know I was at a meeting a year or so ago and around 11 pm, Bates asked if my group would consent to switching places (that is, go last), after the intact genitalia coalition had their 10 people talk. I said no.

    Believe me, as you all well know, if I could pin it on Worthington, I would.

    One of the intact genitalia people was wearing a tee shirt that had a slogan something like, “A foreskin is a right, not a privilege” or such. Lost my support on that one.

  • shermie

    my point is that making a point, with humor or other rhetorical strategy, is best made without relying on sexism. up to the challenge?

  • Howie Mencken

    If you can’t laugh at yourself, you can be certain some one else will.

  • Howie Mencken

    Yet it does sound like an issue he’d want to get in front of.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Val-Nostdahl/1025990186 Val Nostdahl

    this is one more attack on the nations usps and workers, the onslaught continues, to understand about the postal situation, first go to read the free goggle book online” the post office, its past record, its present condition , and its potential relation to the new world era, daniel calhoun roper, chairperson of the united states tarrif commision and first assistant postmaster general, 1913-1917, congress was not listening back then to postal workers working condiitions and collective bargaining was formed with unions who fought to get minimum wage, 40 hour work week, medical leave for family situations, the fair labor standards act, social security and medicade, now the attack it to take our country back to that era and do away with labor laws, including child labor protection . this onslaught began in 2000, 2001 ( timing is everything 2 events took place 911, ( see the harbinger) and a man wanted to donate the ten commandments to the post office in texas and was denied) , the usps workers then in those 2 years were made to pay in an extra 15 percen to their retirment systmes under the 1997budget reconcilation act, they were thanked for their sacrifice of buget only matters( in other words not for retirement) by the president and congress, then in 2003, congress was informed of the overpayments to the federal retirement systems, 15 billion to fers, and 140 billion to csrs ( see postal comments to the federal trade commision , august 6, 2007) , then the law of making the usps pay in out of profits made ( and 2006 was a huge profit legislated away, see http://www.billburrasjounral.org- misc , phoney excuses for diverting usps profits and myths versus facts) in third retirment fund worth 42 billion. at the same time pay per performances were given to the top 12 exec in the usps, including pmg potter, of 72 thousand dollars more a year, while shorting staff at the lower levels, he retired in 2010 with 5.5 million, while doing this damage and onslaught to the usps and the currant usps pmg has the same package deal to sell off the usps, short workers via attrition or non replacement of retirees since there is not enough money for postal budget due to too much money in retirment systems. So then postal facilities are sold off to make more money also, see http://www.awpu 3800 tricounty first area local, pa, library stress in the workplace articals, ‘ how the ongoing violation of the guiding principles of the usps is creating a toxic work enviorment, 2008, see ALEC/Koch Cabal the Privitization of the USPS for Ups and FedEx, artical by bob sloan, vltp, 2010, about the connection to the lobbying of the USPS destruction, plus http://www.examiner.com, tim mccown, artical behind all the schemes and lies of the privitization of the usps, june 2012, http://www.savethepostoffice.com

  • The Sharkey

    Looks like we got a brand new Bruce Love/Becky O’Malley/”Fact Checker” type poster on our hands.