On Wednesday, Dec. 28, I was one of the 500-plus people who attended the U.S. Postal Service’s meeting about the proposed closure of Tucson’s mail-processing center.
I was proud of our community spirit, with so many turning out at 6 p.m. during a holiday week that the Leo Rich Theatre was filled to overflowing. As Ron Barber, district manager of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office suggested, if the meeting had been held at a better time in a bigger venue, thousands would have shown up to protest.
The proposed closure would be devastating to our city, not only because of delays in the delivery of mail, which would have to be trucked to Phoenix for processing before being returned to Tucson, but also because Tucson nonprofits and businesses – including the Arizona Jewish Post — would lose the local presort discount, increasing mailing costs significantly.
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild spoke eloquently at the meeting about the “downstream effects” of the closure on local printers, mailing houses and the businesses they serve, as well as the loss of about 300 postal service jobs in Tucson. Barber and Rep. Raul Grijalva also spoke in opposition to the closure, with Grijalva suggesting alternatives to shore up the USPS’s finances, including no longer requiring the service to pre-pay billions for retiree health benefits and allowing the service to pursue more competitive practices.
The USPS has invited comments from the public, which must be postmarked by Jan. 12 to become part of the permanent record. I urge you to write, with copies to your senators and representatives.
The address is:
Manager, Consumer and Industry Contact
PO Box 21628
Phoenix, AZ 85306-1628.