Nearly 300 people packed into the basement of a West Garfield Park church Tuesday night to protest the possible closure of West Side post offices, according to our partners at the Austin Weekly News.
The town hall meeting at the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 4301 W. Washington Blvd., followed the most recent of multiple rallies that have taken place since the U.S. Postal Service announced several local offices could close, including three in Austin.
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After this week’s meeting, state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford sent the following statement:
Recently, the United States Postal Office announced the possible closings of five post offices on Chicago’s West Side. Since then, the community has taken their slippers off and has put their marching shoes on in protest of this consideration.
As a state representative, I enjoy town hall meetings where the voice of the people can be heard. Town hall meetings display government working as it is meant to work: of the people, by the people and for the people.
Congressman Davis’ recent town hall meeting was a success. The people had a chance to speak, and the elected officials and the managers from the post office were there to hear them. The post office representatives reported that the post offices are operating at a loss, and some changes must take place.
I learned at the town hall meeting that according to Title 39 Part I Chapter 1, under the Postal policy, the Postal Service shall (not may) provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining. No small post office shall be closed solely for operating at a deficit, it being the specific intent of the Congress that effective postal services are ensured to residents of both urban and rural communities.
Losing these services would likely be an inconvenience for the community and a burden on senior citizens. The Austin area continues to lose businesses and services that are necessary for a stable community. I hope Congress will protect these needed services and jobs, and not leave us with more abandoned buildings in the Austin community.
State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D-8th)