Berkeley’s political firmament rallies to keep post office

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Mayor Tom Bates, flanked by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner and State Senator Loni Hancock, mails a letter to the US Postal Service appealing the planned sale of Berkeley’s main post office. Photo: Lance Knobel

Mayor Tom Bates, State Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, and just about a full complement of Berkeley councilmembers gathered on the steps of the city’s main post office this morning to protest its planned sale.

Bates, Hancock and Skinner jointly signed a letter appealing the decision by the U.S. Postal Service. Bates said it was the beginning of a long fight that will include a lawsuit and appeals to the U.S. Congress.

“We’re not going quietly. We’re going to fight this every step of the way,” Bates said. “We are against it and the people of Berkeley are against it.”

“This is the very heart of our civic life and postal services are part of our civic life,” Skinner said. “We want to maintain this in the core of our civic downtown.”

Hancock said the selloff was part of a larger plan by Republicans in Congress to privatize the postal service.

“It will lead the the privatization of a publicly mandated organization,” Hancock said.

In front of television cameras, radio microphones and a crowd of a couple of dozen supporters, Berkeley councilmembers echoed the statements by Bates, Hancock and Skinner.

“The city council often doesn’t agree,” said Councilman Kriss Worthington. “There are things we disagree about every week. But on this we’re unanimous.”

Post Office to sell its downtown Berkeley building [04.22.13]
Council asks for 1-year moratorium on post office sale [03.06.13]
USPS hears vocal opposition to sale of downtown building [02.28.13]
Post Office public hearing to focus on Berkeley sale plan [02.26.13]
Berkeley discusses future of main post office [02.13.12]
Protesters take Save Post Office demo to San Francisco [12.05.12]
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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