The Postal Wire


Postal News Roundup

Major Civil Rights Coalition Opposes Postal Consolidation, Hits Official’s Appointment - The Washington Post
For generations, the U.S. Postal Service had a reputation for employing African Americans when many others would not. …. “The Postal Service has been very instrumental in our evolution from slavery to mainstream America . . . middle-class employment,” said William Burrus, former president of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU). But now, a major civil rights coalition is concerned that current policies could dull the luster on that legacy. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights says Postal Service consolidation plans could harm the black community that has depended on it.  In a related issue, the Leadership Conference also urged the Senate to delay confirmation of Mickey D. Barnett’s reappointment to the Postal Service’s Board of Governors. Barnett, chairman of the board, has lobbied for the payday lending industry, which a Leadership Conference letter to senators said has been “harmful” and “destructive” to black and brown communities.

Does This Postal Chairman’s Lobbying History Pose a Conflict of Interest?The Washington Post
The U.S. Postal Service has the potential to earn billions of dollars a year by entering the payday-loan business, but former banking lobbyist Mickey Barnett could block its path. Barnett now chairs the USPS Board of Governors. Previously, he represented the interests of payday lenders, who stand to lose out if the Postal Service grabs a share of their market.

Tester to Postal Service: Stop Digging a Deeper Hole - The Hill
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said the U.S. Postal Service should stop closing facilities to cut costs. “They think they can cut their way to fiscal solvency and quite frankly they’re wrong,” Tester said on the Senate floor Thursday. “What the Postal Services does need is responsible postal reform legislation.” Tester said the closing of mail processing facilities and offices disproportionately harms rural America. Some closures are expected at the start of next year. The agency has also proposed ending overnight delivery. Tester said those decisions will make the Postal Service less competitive against private companies. “There are a lot of people in Congress who would like to see the Postal Service go out of business,” Tester said. “[But] it is a critical part of our daily lives.” He said there is no reason for the Postal Service to “keep digging the hole,” when Congress could pass a bill that would end the agency's expensive requirement to count future pensions as yearly costs it needs to recoup. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) joined Tester on the Senate floor. All three of their states expect to have facilities closed.

Buyer Opts Out of Purchase of Historic Berkeley Post Office - Save the Post Office
The US Attorneys' office has notified the City of Berkeley that the prospective buyer of the Berkeley main post office has exercised an option to cancel the sale, which was set to close on December 22.