Friday, September 30, 2011

Postal Services planning to close

Notice of Town Hall Meeting

Alert: Town Hall Meeting Notice

To Avoid Closure of the Civic Center Post office at 101 Hyde at Golden Gate Avenue. You are invited to the Postal Service on Friday, September 30th in the Civic Center Post Office Lobby 5PM to 6PM to listen and give your input.

If you have any concerns about the discontinuance feasibility study please call Sylvia Siu, District Discontinuance Coordinator at (415) 550-5084.

Raj Sanghera

Manager, Post Office Operations

US Postal Service

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Community Members Celebrate


P.O.P. stands for Post Office Patrons (an collective of boxholders orginally organized after the 1989 earthquake to retain postal service at San Francisco's Main Post Office located at 7th & Mission Streets).




Post Office Patrons receives recognition








FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 14, 2008

Contact: James T. Wigdel
415-550-5718
415-205-4708
jwigdel@usps.gov
usps.com/news
Release: SF08-053



Tenderloin Community Post Office Converting to Full Service Unit

U.S. Postal Service Civic Center Station to Offer Mailing and Shipping Services


SAN FRANCISCO — The Post Office located at 101 Hyde St. will soon sell more than P.O. Boxes and service the General Delivery community. The U.S. Postal Service announced today that it is moving forward with plans to expand service at the Civic Center Post Office to include all Postal retail services.

“The community asked us to consider upgrading the Civic Center Post Office to a ‘full fledged’ retail center and we listened,” said Winifred G. Groux, Postal Service district manager for San Francisco. “After exploring all of our options, including consolidating several offices into one, upgrading the Civic Center Post Office makes the most sense for the community and the Postal Service.”

The Postal Service is in the early stages of discussion with its Facilities group and the land lord to determine the best course of action to begin the upgrade; however no timeline has yet been established. “We want to move as quickly as possible,” Groux said.

Several factors went into the decision to upgrade the Civic Center. Among them was the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act of 2006, which mandates the Postal Service to be profitable. The law also gives the Postal Service more flexibility in how it offers its products, such as Express and Priority Mail, so upgrading the Civic Center gives the Postal Service an opportunity to offer its products closer to the community.

“We also received a good deal of information from the community,” Groux said. In particular, Elaine Zamora, district manager of the North of Market Tenderloin Community Benefit District, provided relevant information about community growth that has and will take place in the Tenderloin area. This solidified the business decision to go forward with upgrading the Civic Center Post Office.

Groux said she appreciates the input from the community and the assistance of San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly’s office, which facilitated discussions between the Postal Service and the community.



-30-
Community Members:

Today we heard the really great news that the US Postal Service is responsive to grassroots activism, and has agreed to the compelling business case Tenderloin activists mounted toward the goal of instituting full service at the Civic Center Post Office at 101 Hyde Street in San Francisco.

For months, a diverse coalition including Alliance for a Better District 6, Chinatown Community Development Center, Post Office Patrons, Safety Network, Senior Action Network, Tenant Associations Coalition, Tenderloin Housing Clinic, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, The New Tenderloin, North of Market Community Benefits Corporation, U.C. Hastings College of The Law, and the YMCA have advocated in favor of instituting full postal services at Civic Center Station. Crucial assistance came from Tenderloin Police Commander Gary Jimenez, and the offices of San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

Since the Old Main Post Office at 7th and Mission Sts. closed in the aftermath of the 1989 earthquake, Civic Center has lacked a full service postal facility. In recent months, plans have been afoot to consolidate postal services in the Civic Center. Shortly, the retail building at 1390 Market will be demolished in favor of housing and the Post Office there closed. Also, the Postal Annex within the Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate will soon be closed due to poor patronage and the recent decamping of Federal employees to their new building at (where else but) 7th and Mission!

Yesterday, Tenderloin activists confronted the possibility that not only would the Civic Center Station continue to be an unstaffed magnet of crime and blight, but might also be closed entirely, depriving residents and businesses of even the most minimal postal facility.

While the task remains to keep the pressure on the U.S. Postal Service to live up to its promises, today, neighborhood residents and activists can dare to indulge in the hope that the presently forlorn corner of Hyde and Golden Gate will soon become a vibrant locus of productive activity and beneficial to a growing and vital neighborhood.



ALLIANCE FOR A BETTER DISTRICT 6
P.O. Box 420782; San Francisco, CA 94142-0782
(415) 820-1560 Voice / (415) 820-1565 Fax
http://allianceforabetterdistrict6.blogspot.com/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/District6inSF
is to empower people who live and work or have an interest in improving the quality of life in District 6 to resolve problems affecting District 6 and Citywide.


Post Office Patrons
http://postofficepatrons.blogspot.com/

Why San Francisco lost it's Main Postal Facility

At the time of the October 17th 1989 earthquake 7th and Mission Street building served as San Francisco’s Main Post office with a full range of postal services for the residents and businesses located in San Francisco. With lobby hours from 6AM to Midnight everyday.

After the 1989 earthquake the Postal Service then began the process of moving the operations that were formerly at 7th and Mission to other locations.

As a result of closing the Main Post Office at 7th & Mission, Postal patrons were severely impacted by having their Post Office Box numbers changed and moved to new locations in the City, and by being assigned new ZIP Code numbers.

Persons of limited means or mobility who had a post office box for receiving Social Security, retirement or other checks who have their Post Office Box numbers changed face disruption in their receipt of essential income.

Post Office Box holders lost their investments in stationary, and they were forced to notify tens of thousands of correspondents of a change of address. Many Post Office Box holders will suffer the loss of mail as a result of the change of Box Numbers and locations.

Businesses and professionals and non-profit organizations have spent years and have significant sums publicizing their addresses in advertising, manuscript covers, brochures, and semi-permanent publications, the Post Office Box numbers of Box holders have been printed in tens of thousands of directories which may not be reprinted for years, and mailing lists will have old Post Office Box numbers on them.

The maintenance of a Post Office Box Number is a critical issue for many residents and businesses located in San Francisco, and changes to these numbers should not be routinely implemented without first addressing the kinds of issues raised.

Mail is routinely returned or destroyed by the Post Office after one year.

The concentration of postal services provided at the Main Post Office is important to its neighborhood, and its closure has caused economic distress to residents and businesses located in the 7th and Mission area.

The site selection for the San Francisco Main Post Office was made in 1891. The Federal Building at 7th and Mission has served as the City's Main Post Office since 1905, and survived the 1906 earthquake and fire thanks in large measure to the brave efforts of Postal workers.

The Building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a "monumental building," being one of the most ornate public buildings in the western United States.

The 7th and Mission Federal Building is a historical and architectural treasure from the Victorian era with exceptionally fine furnishings and elaborate interior craftsmanship that is unmatched in today's modern buildings.

The Federal government did not provide adequate notice to postal patrons of the likelihood of the closing of the Main Post Office.

The Federal government did not provide a process by which San Francisco Postal patrons would be allowed to express their views on the possible closing of the Main Post Office.

The Federal government did not provide a process by which San Francisco Postal patrons could participate in the decision-making process which resulted in the closing of the Main Post office.

The participation of Postal patrons in the decision-making process related to the closing of the Main Post Office have resulted in the serious consideration of other solutions to the problems facing the Federal government at the 7th and Mission Federal Building.

The participation of Postal patrons in the decision-making process related to the closing of the Main Post Office could have resulted in decisions being made by the federal government that did not result in the placing of such severe burdens upon the citizens who support and utilize the Postal Service.

The ultimate purpose of the Postal Service is to provide service to the users who support the postal system.

The retails service found at the Main Post office were relocated to 1390 Market Street "Fox Plaza". (Now, Fox Plaza's retail space is scheduled for demolition see below notice from planning department)

On July 7, 1991 the Civic Center Box Section opens at 101 Hyde claiming to have a facility fully compatible with the latest postal automation technology.In 1991 Lobby hours were:

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 7:30AM to 5:30PM; Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:30AM to 8:30PM; Saturdays 7:30AM to 3PM

In December 4th 2006 Civic Center Postal Site reduced it’s lobby hours to M-F 7:30AM-5:30PM; Saturdays 7:30AM-3PM

Within the last months the postal service has removed ongoing mail boxes and shut down the lobby postage machine without prior notification.

Box Holders have continually complain about the decrease in services and amount of time it takes to get first class mail into the mail boxes.

Post Office Patrons are seeking remedies to the safety concerns and lack of postal services being offered at 101 Hyde postal facility. We are asking the Postal Service to place retail services and increase staffing.

Michael Nulty

Post Office Patrons

News Article: Tenderloin Post Office Patrons Celebrate Huge Victory

http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=5712#more

Tenderloin Post Office Patrons Celebrate Huge Victory

by Paul Hogarth‚

May. 28‚ 2008 After a long community struggle to demand that the Tenderloin get a full-service post office, the US Postal Service announced plans on May 14th to expand their bare-bones facility at 101 Hyde. Last night, the Post Office Patrons (POP) – a group of P.O. Box holders – gathered to celebrate this victory. For this group of Tenderloin residents, a neighborhood post office is a crucial milestone – after getting evicted from the US Court of Appeals building nearly 20 years ago. For this group of P.O. box patrons, the dignity of having a full-service post office is all that they’ve been asking for.

Until the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989, the ornate US Court of Appeals building at 7th and Mission also housed the City’s Main Post Office – where SRO residents rented P.O. Boxes to receive mail, as well as General Delivery service for homeless people. Daily lobby hours were from 6:00 a.m. to Midnight. But when the court renovated in 1991, the court wanted that space for an exercise facility – kicking out the P.O. Box holders.

The current location at 101 Hyde Street opened up in 1991 – and the Postal Service has slowly downsized its operations over the years. Today, you can’t even send out mail from that facility – and last year they removed the vending machines to buy stamps. All you have now is a series of P.O. Boxes for regular patrons to pick up their mail – while the neighborhood complains that the building is an eyesore and a place for loiterers.

Box-holder Michael Nulty emceed last night’s festivities – where Post Office Patrons, Senior Action Network and the Safety Network received awards in recognition of their work to make this happen. Nulty described the campaign to get a full-service station – with a February 14th hearing at the Board of Supervisors. “We brought Valentines for the Supervisors,” he said, “because our post office wouldn’t let us mail them out.”

“One thing that helped motivate the Post Office,” said Elaine Zamora of the Tenderloin Community Benefits District, “is that we gathered 1,000 signatures in just three months.” She explained the next steps: the Postal Service plans to open the full-service station by the end of the year, and will construct two service counters that will be staffed. Zamora added that she’s looking into grants to pay a muralist to decorate the building’s exterior – provided there are no legal constraints from the Postal Service’s side.

“They’ll have to eliminate some mailboxes to convert the station,” said Zamora. “But only ones that are not currently utilized – so no customers will be affected.”

Federal law signed by President Bush mandates that the Postal Service make a profit on its operations – which affected the decision to expand the facility at 101 Hyde. At last night’s event, one person suggested that to ensure a good market the Postal Service should notify everyone living in the 94102, 94103 and 94109 zip codes by postcard that they’ll be having a full-service post office. “People in the neighborhood won’t use it if you don’t tell them about it,” she said.

When I got home right after the event, I received a free promotion in the mail from the Postal Service's new "Stamp by Mail" program -- where you can mail them a check and have your stamps delivered. The promo even included a "no postage necessary" form to send back. If the Postal Service can afford that, surely they can send out notifications to Tenderloin residents about the new post office.

News Article: Tenderloin residents up in arms over neighborhood post office

http://www.examiner.com/a-1224540~Tenderloin_residents_up_in_arms_over_neighborhood_post_office.html

Feb 16, 2008 by Will Reisman, The Examiner
SAN FRANCISCO- The letters on the facade of the U.S. Post Office at 101 Hyde St. are faded and weary. A single employee helps a streaming line of patrons with general delivery queries. The stamp-dispensing machine in the lobby bears a note that says its services are out of order.
Located in the Tenderloin, the facility’s open doors, lack of security figures and dearth of full-time employees make it a sheltered haven for criminal activity, said
Elaine Zamora, a neighborhood resident and member of the advocacy group The New Tenderloin.
“We need something positive in this community,” Zamora said. “A real branch post office can give this neighborhood an identity — something we can be proud of.”
Zamora and other advocates have lobbied The City to pressure the
USPS into expanding their facilities. On Thursday, they went before the Board of Supervisor’s City Operations and Neighborhood Services committee to make their case. Supervisor Chris Daly, who represents the Tenderloin, requested the hearing.
“The post office runs this facility like it’s an inner-city fortress,” Daly told The Examiner on Friday. “I’m surprised there aren’t bars on the windows.”
Gary Jimenez, captain of the San Francisco Police Department’s Tenderloin Station, said the post office situation was concerning.
“Other than a staffer at general delivery and a few boxes, it’s pretty much an abandoned property,” he said. “We’re constantly chasing drug dealers out of the place.”
Tenderloin residents are also upset with the center’s relatively short operating hours — 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday — and its lack of retail services, said
Michael Nulty, executive director of Alliance for a Better District 6.
USPS spokesman
James Wigdell, who attended Thursday’s hearing, told The Examiner that the organization is investigating the community’s complaints, but at present, there “is nothing on the table” regarding expansion of the location’s services.
Postal patrons have other options in the area, but the nearby U.S. Federal Building is laden with lengthy security checks, and locations at the
Macy’s basement and Fox Plaza have the same operating times, making it difficult to take advantage of their services, Nulty said.
wreisman@examiner.com

Tenderloin asks the Board of Supervisors to mail their Valentines.



Postal Customers ask the Board of Supervisors to mail their 500 Valentines greetings, because they are not able to sent ongoing mail from their postal facility at 101 Hyde Street.



Action needs to be taken now.

Hey community,

As some of you may know, retail services at the Civic Center Post Office (101 Hyde) are non-existent. That means you can not buy stamps, send packages, or even mail a letter from this location. This site houses rented PO boxes and provides the city’s General Delivery services (mail pick-up service for those who have no mailing address). As a result, the all but abandoned location has been attracting a variety of illicit behavior and has become a public safety concern.

Recently, Alliance for A Better District 6 along with it’s community partners and fellow box holders (Alliance is a box holder) have been working on restoring full service to this Post Office and we've finally made some progress. The Board of Supervisors has scheduled a public hearing on this issue. This is the first step toward making change, and we really need your support to make this happen.

Please come out to the hearing on February 14th and testify, and inform your neighbors to come to City Hall. And look for our ad on the back cover of February issue of Central City Extra.

Get as many people as you can to SIGN THE PETITION ONLINE:
http://www.petitiononline.com/101Hyde/Petition.html

On February 14, 12:00pm, there will be a rally at 101 Hyde St . From there we'll march over to City Hall. Hearing begins at 1:00 in Room 263. Wear red for Valentines Day. Ask the supervisors to help mail your Valentines Cards! And tell them to stop disinvesting in our community!

Let’s get our full service post office now.

Michael Nulty
Executive Director
Alliance for A Better District 6
P.O. Box 420782
San Francisco, CA 94142-0782
http://allianceforabetterdistrict6.blogspot.com/

Please sign this NEW petition requesting a Full Service Post Office at 101 Hyde.
We need a safe and full service facility.
Please send this link to others.
Thank you.

http://www.petitiononline.com/101Hyde/Petition.html

Hearing to Establishing a Full Service Post Office in the Tenderloin


[Establishing a Full Service Post Office in the Tenderloin Neighborhood]
Hearing to discuss the benefits and process for establishing a full service post office at Hyde Street and Golden Gate Avenue. On the corner of northwest corner of Hyde Street and Golden Gate Avenue sits a general delivery post office. What would the process be for converting this station into a full service station? What would the impacts of a full service post office on the neighborhood in terms of enhanced safety, small business development and overall neighborhood feel? Supervisor Daly presented. RECEIVED AND ASSIGNED to City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee. Hearing set for February 14, 2008 1:00 p.m. Room 263

Sign online petition


The U.S. Postal facility located at 101 Hyde Street is a...

A Federally funded location for illegal drug transactions and consumption? Yes!

A Federally funded location for people to dispose of their human waste? Yes!

A Federally funded location for loitering? Yes!

A Federally funded location that puts its patrons at risk of assault? It is!

A Federally funded location where you can purchase stamps? No longer!

A Federally funded location where you can mail your letters and/or packages? Not anymore!

We are asking you to please take action today by signing a letter asking the U.S. Postal Service to restore basic service to this location; in addition, add full staffing to the location to help ensure the safety of all postal patrons and neighbors. http://www.petitiononline.com/101Hyde/Petition.html

**If you agree with this letter, please pass this email along to your networks. **
************************************************************************************************************
How to sign the online petition in support of making the postal facility located at 101 Hyde Street (at Golden Gate Ave.) a full service post office.

1. Clicking on this link http://www.petitiononline.com/101Hyde/Petition.html
2. Read the letter requesting full service at the 101 Hyde Street postal facility
3. Then, click on the gray box located at the bottom of the letter labeled, "Click Here to Sign Petition"
4. Complete the required personal information and email privacy options portion
5. Once completing your personal information and email privacy option, click on the gray box titled, "Preview Your Signature"

THANK YOU for supporting this action effort to make 101 Hyde Street a safe location for all residents of the neighborhood and for the U.S. Postal Service patrons.

1390 Market (Fox Plaza Postal Retail Services) is to be demolitioned

Planning Department Notice: Notifying the community of the pending demolition of the retail and office building to be replace with 250 dwelling units.

Captain Jimenez TNT Press Conference 101 Hyde

Elaine Zamora advocates full service Tenderloin post office

TNT Kicks Off Post Office Petition Drive

http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/TNT_Kicks_Off_Post_Office_Petition_Drive_5206.html
TNT Kicks Off Post Office Petition Drive
by Ben Malley‚
Dec. 14‚ 2007 Members of The New Tenderloin (TNT) have taken another step to creating positive change in their community. At a rally in front of the large stone walls at the post office at Golden Gate and Hyde Streets, various community organizations and residents kicked off a petition drive to make the post office full-service. For years, the minimum-service post office has served as an open invitation for drug dealing and other criminal activities.

“All great communities have a working post office, and the Tenderloin should be no different,” said Tenderloin Police Captain Gary Jimenez. Attracting a variety of participants from the North of Market Community Benefit District to nearby Hastings College of Law, the petition drive will culminate in the sending of the signatures to postal officials and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Community members want the post office turned into a full-service post office for two reasons. First, and most importantly, the community needs a real post office. The post office at 101 Hyde has only post office boxes and a window for mailing. There isn’t even a drop box. A customer must stand in line to mail their letters. The nearest full-service post office is at the Federal Building, a few blocks away. But at that building customers are searched before they are allowed to enter.

The second benefit would be that a full-service post office would encourage more customers. With more customers and foot traffic in a regularly used post office, crime would be pushed away from the Golden Gate and Hyde corner. “People pay $30 a month for their box here and they are afraid to pick up their mail,” said Elaine Zamora, head of the North of Market Community Benefit District. One man in the crowd held a sign that said, “Pick up your mail… and run.”

“If this were a privately held site,” said Hastings College CFO David Seward, pointing to the post office, “they would be open to litigation from the city for providing an area for criminal activity like this to go on.”

Organizer Jesse Nathan told the crowd that the area had become a federally-funded crime zone and Captain Jimenez said there was only so much the police could do. “We need to do more than just conduct crime sweeps of this area,” said Jimenez. “We need to dissuade people from dealing here, and the way to do that is to maintain security. A full-service post office would do just that.”

Community Opposes Federally-Funded Crime Zone

http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=5198

Community Opposes Federally-Funded Crime Zone
by Jesse Nathan‚
Dec. 13‚ 2007 For years, the corner of Hyde and Golden Gate, site of a minimum-service post office, has been an uninhibited trafficking point for drugs—not to mention a congregating stop for various unseemly, even dangerous denizens. It’s for this reason, explains a press release put out this week by a coalition of neighborhood organizations that “Tenderloin merchants and residents will hold a press conference at the Post Office…to demand that the federal government stop allowing criminal activities at the site.” The coalition, including Hastings College of Law, The New Tenderloin, the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, the Chinatown Community Development Center, the YMCA, the Safety Network and the North of Market Community Benefit District, plans to hold the press conference today, December 13, at noon.

The problem, argues Elaine Zamora, head of the Community Benefit District, is that the Post Office—and consequently the corner generally, since the building occupies a huge chunk of the block—“is poorly secured, has huge windowless walls, and is understaffed.” In turn, this means the site is ripe for drug dealers, many of whom feel comfortable enough to do their business in broad daylight—with their backs safely against the windowless walls of the Post Office building. “Drug dealing,” says the press release, “is a daily occurrence” around the perimeter of the building—and one need only walk by at any odd hour of the day to confirm this. Men in stocking caps or ballcaps with the brims pulled low will casually toss out their offers to passersby who seem like likely drug-purchasing candidates.

But it’s not just drug dealing that’s driven these community organizations to action. Safety, too, has become a serious concern. David Seward of Hastings College of Law wrote the Postal Service and the office of Nancy Pelosi late this summer detailing a nightmarish experience one of Hastings’ students had had in the Post Office. According to Seward, the student—a woman—was accosted by a man near the corner of Golden Gate and Hyde. She was able to escape and fled into the Post Office—thinking it a safe, federally-funded space. She was wrong, says Seward. Instead of finding safety, she found a nearly deserted warren of rooms (the building is staffed by one or two workers at most who operate behind a gated window in the far corner of the office). With no one around, she was all but cornered—and only managed to escape, says Seward, by way of good luck and a quick dash for the doors.

What’s more, the Tenderloin—which is a neighborhood, says the Tenderloin Housing Clinic’s Randy Shaw, that’s trying to grow into a healthy, clean community—does not as of now have a full service Post Office. The building on the corner of Golden Gate and Hyde has only postal boxes and a window for mailings and postage. There is of course the Federal Building down the street, but to enter one must submit to a series of searches—all just to send a few holiday packages. Most disturbing, says Alysabeth Alexander, a community activist with La Voz Latina, Hispanic residents of the Tenderloin—especially those with less than secure status in this country—almost always feel too intimidated by the prospect of entering the Federal Building. For them, there is no postal service in the Tenderloin—and many of them will be trekking blocks and blocks, to the Mission, to Market, to send their mail this Christmastime.

As opposed to so many of the social problems that plague San Francisco, solving this one seems relatively easy—all that’s required, says Zamora, is a little political muscle to convince the Postal Service that it’s time to quit federally funding a crime zone and convert the Post Office to a full-service station. “A full service post office will increase citizen traffic and commerce and improve security on the corner dramatically,” she says. “The Tenderloin is a residential neighborhood that deserves a full-service post office.” The press release further implies solutions by pointing out that the building’s structure itself is part of the problem: “[The Post Office’s] concrete walls create a perfect screen for drug dealing on the sidewalk, a problem that could be reduced with the installation of additional windows.” Or, suggests the news release, “additional staff”—security personnel for instance—could also help keep drug trafficking and danger to a minimum.

The best solution, however, says box-holder Michael Nulty, is for the federal government to convert the station to the full-service outlet the community deserves: “Postal Patrons want retail services along with safe facility to enhance our community 18 years in the making.” To Nulty and to those who’ve organize the press conference—and who demand action from the federal government on this matter—converting the post office to a full-service station is a “win-win” solution.

Event Details: Press Conference at the corner of Golden Gate and Hyde. 12:00 p.m., Thursday, December 13, 2007. Contact Elaine Zamora for more information at ezamora@sbcglobal.net or 415-567-2518.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Michael Nulty, Post Office Patrons member


Speakers

Jesse Nathan, press conference organizer

Randy Shaw, Tenderloin Housing Clinic Executive Director

Tenderloin Housing Clinic's Administrative offices are at 126 Hyde (accross the street from postal facility)

David Seward, UC Hastings College CFO

UC Hasting's campus is across the street on Golden Gate Avenue

Captain Gary Jimenez, Commander of the Tenderloin Police Station

Elaine Zamora, North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefits District District Manager


12-13-07 101 Hyde Press Conference





12-13-07 101 Hyde Press Conference





Item number 6 on Agenda...Video

Video Link to February 14th, 2008 San Francisco Board of Supervisor's City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee hearing on establishing a Full Service Post Office in the Tenderloin Neighborhood.

http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/ASX.php?view_id=8&clip_id=4895&r=47c2fd2bce084e72ded63fd2b9a45bb7&xp=y&intro=1&sn=sanfrancisco.granicus.com&sn=sanfrancisco.granicus.com

Hearing to convert the postal facility at 101 Hyde into a full service Post Office 2/14/08

Today’s hearing item number 6 on agenda of City Operations & Neighborhood Services Committee according to Chris Daly’s Office item should be heard around 2:30PM in room 263. See link below for copy of agenda.

http://www.sfgov.org/site/bdsupvrs_page.asp?id=29796



http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=5371#more

Tenderloin Takes Post Office Fight to City Hall by Jesse Nathan‚ Feb. 14‚ 2008 Today, Supervisor Chris Daly will consider a resolution to call on the U.S. Postal Service to take action. Specifically, Tenderloin community organizations want him to approve a resolution demanding the USPS convert its post office at the corner of Hyde and Golden Gate into a full-service station.For years, the corner of Hyde and Golden Gate (the site of a minimum-service post office) has been an uninhibited trafficking point for drugs – not to mention a congregating stop for various unseemly, even dangerous denizens. It’s for this reason, say a coalition of neighborhood organizations that the federal government stop allowing criminal activities at the site. The coalition, including Hastings Law School, The New Tenderloin, Tenderloin Housing Clinic, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, Chinatown Community Development Center, the YMCA, the Safety Network and the North of Market Community Benefit District, support the resolution presently before Daly.The problem, says Elaine Zamora of the Community Benefit District, is that the Post Office—and consequently the corner generally, since the building occupies a huge chunk of the block—is “poorly secured, has huge windowless walls, and is understaffed.” In turn, say Zamora and allies, this means the site is ripe for drug dealers, many of whom feel comfortable enough to do their business in broad daylight—with their backs safely against the windowless walls of the Post Office building.“Drug dealing,” said a December press release by the coalition, “is a daily occurrence” around the perimeter of the building—one need only walk by at any odd hour of the day to confirm this. Men in stocking caps or ballcaps with the brims pulled low will casually toss out their offers to passersby who seem like likely drug-purchasing candidates. To Zamora, this is all very sinister.But it’s not just the alleged drug dealing that’s driven these community organizations to go public with their complaints. Safety, too, has become a serious concern of theirs. David Seward of Hastings College of Law wrote the Postal Service and the office of Nancy Pelosi late this summer detailing a nightmarish experience one of Hastings’ students had had in the Post Office.According to Seward, the student—a woman—was accosted by a man near the corner of Golden Gate and Hyde. She was able to escape, he says, and fled into the Post Office—thinking it a safe and federally-funded space. She was wrong. Instead of finding safety, says Seward, she found a nearly deserted warren of rooms (the building is staffed by one or two workers at most who operate behind a gated window in the far corner of the office). With no one around, she was all but cornered and only managed to escape, says Seward, by way of good luck and a quick dash for the doors.The Federal Building suffices, says James Wigdel of the US Postal Service. Besides, he argues, the USPS isn’t in the business of fighting crime. It’s in the business of delivering mail. Safety, according to his position, falls on the shoulders of the whole community, not the proprietor of the building in front of which the crime takes place. And Wigdel estimates a conversion would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Still, he says, it’s hard to say exactly how much given the fact that such a conversion would have wildly varying costs, depending on staff and services to be offered in the new facility.Randy Shaw doesn’t see it that way. The Tenderloin, he says, is a neighborhood that’s trying to grow into a healthy, clean community. Shaw heads the Tenderloin Housing Clinic and works out of the clinic’s law offices across the street from the post office. “How can a healthy, clean, growing community,” he says, “not have its own post office?” Shaw discounts the accessibility of the Federal Building. He points out that districts like the Haight and the Mission and Pacific Heights all have easy access to at least one and often two full-services post offices. The building on the corner of Golden Gate and Hyde has only postal boxes and a window for mailings and postage.To enter the Federal Building down the street one must submit, Shaw laments, to a series of searches—all just to send even one package. And most disturbing in his view is that Hispanic residents of the Tenderloin—especially those with less than secure status in this country—often feel too intimidated by the prospect of entering the Federal Building. For them, there is no postal service in the Tenderloin—and that, believe Shaw, is unfair and un-San Francisco: “What kind of community does that to some of its residents?” he asks.As opposed to so many of the social problems that plague San Francisco, solving this one seems relatively easy. At least that’s what Zamora and Shaw say. She argues all that’s needed is a little political muscle to convince the Postal Service that it’s time to quit federally funding a crime zone and convert to a full-service station. “A full service post office will increase citizen traffic and commerce and improve security on the corner dramatically,” she says. “The Tenderloin is a residential neighborhood that deserves a full-service post office.”Last December’s press release further implies solutions by pointing out that the building’s structure itself is part of the problem: “[The Post Office’s] concrete walls create a perfect screen for drug dealing on the sidewalk, a problem that could be reduced with the installation of additional windows.” Or, suggests the news release, “additional staff”—security personnel for instance—could also help keep drug trafficking and danger to a minimum. Wigdel had no comment about the feasibility or the cost of either option at the time this article went to press.The best solution, however, says box-holder Michael Nulty, is for the federal government to convert the station to the full-service outlet the community deserves: “Postal Patrons want retail services along with safe facility to enhance our community 18 years in the making.” An analysis of neighborhood post offices reveals that Nulty’s got reason to ask, too. If the Fox Plaza post office moves—as Shaw claims it’s rumored to be doing—then all the Tenderloin will have access to is the uninviting and often hassle-filled Federal Building. The hearing tomorrow represents an opportunity for the Tenderloin to make a win-win move by getting, finally, a real post office.