Brooklyn’s congressional delegation has taken a stand in opposition to the Post Office’s plan to end Saturday deliveries later this year.
In the middle of February, congressmembers from across the city joined together in a protest spearheaded by freshman Queens Congressmember Grace Meng and sent to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. All the Brooklyn reps — Congressmembers Michael Grimm, Hakeem Jeffries, Jerrold Nadler, Yvette Clarke, Nydia Velazquez and Carolyn Maloney — signed the letter.
The Post Office plans to end regular mail delivery on Saturdays beginning in August. Stations would remain open, and package deliveries would continue on Saturday under the plan, which it is reported would cut $2 billion from the service’s expenses. Last year, USPS lost close to $16 billion.
“New York City has certainly seen the impact of the postal service’s financial troubles,” noted Grimm, “but eliminating Saturday delivery and cutting postal jobs is not the answer.” He added that he is “committed to finding a legislative solution that will allow the USPS to achieve cost savings without drastic cuts in service.”
In their letter, the congressmembers tell Donahoe, “Your plan will have negative and far-reaching consequences for postal employees, companies and consumers who need to be able to rely on six-day delivery being there when it’s needed.”
Among the impacts, they contend, is that “The USPS will be made vulnerable to competition and continue to contract its business model rather than expand it,” something, they say, that could “very well mean significant mail volume decreases for USPS and further financial hardship.”
In addition, said the representatives, eliminating Saturday service “violates the clearly-stated intent of Congress for the last three decades to continue six-day delivery… Instead of working with us on this issue,” they charge, “it appears you are attempting to ignore the democratic process.”
Rather than cutting back, the representatives assert, the Post Office should allow Congress to work on the issue. “We are of the firm belief that comprehensive postal reform legislation can be achieved in the 113th Congress,” they wrote.
Brooklynites have successfully fought back in the past when the Post Office has threatened to cut back service, mobilizing on more than one occasion to preserve the Ovington Post Office, which has been threatened with closure.
Nonetheless, residents didn’t seem too disturbed to see Saturday deliveries come to an end.
While one resident confided, “I hope they won’t do it. It’s supposed to be a done deal,” said Laura Feregrino, of Bay Ridge. “I could wait for Monday.”
Additional reporting contributed by Melisa Stumpf.