2009-08-07 / Top Stories

Weiner Launches Fight to Keep Neighborhood Post Offices Open

Representative Anthony Weiner, cochair of the Middle Class Caucus, revealed an alarming number of post offices at risk of being closed in New York City. The United States Postal Service (USPS) plans to close 677 post office branches and stations nationwide and 53 of them will be in New York City (22 percent of the City's branches and stations).

The borough of Queens could lose 11 post offices (16 percent of the borough's branches and stations). Neighborhoods that would be affected include: Fresh Meadows; Little Neck; Howard Beach; Long Island City; Ridgewood; Astoria; East Elmhurst; College Point; Jackson Heights; and Corona.

According to the USPS, if the plan goes through, each borough will get hit. The Bronx would lose eight post offices; Brooklyn would lose seven post offices; Manhattan would lose 25; and Staten Island would lose two.

A Weiner spokesperson says that the USPS did its analysis based on how many other post offices exist in a fivemile radius, not usage or accessibility. Neglecting to consider population density or usage clearly hurts urban areas such as New York City. Further, the spokesperson says, USPS also analyzed profits from stations, but didn't account for services that they provide. As a result of these potential closures, New Yorkers will have to travel further and wait longer for basic postal services.

It is also pointed out by Weiner that the USPS has not engaged in any public input or discussion about the planned closures. As a publicly funded agency, he says, it is the USPS' obligation to inform the public of its operations. The congressman has sponsored legislation that would require the USPS to notify both public officials and the customers of the affected post office at each step of the process. He also sent a letter calling for the US Postmaster General to hold public hearings before any post offices are closed.

"New York is a City of neighborhoods and at the center of each community is a post office. The USPS is mailing it in if they think we will stand by while they shut us out of essential services New Yorkers rely on," said Weiner.

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