Keep it open! Keep it open!
That two minute chant filled Co-op City early in the morning on Monday, November 14, as hundreds of local residents joined Congressman Joe Crowley in the first rally to keep the Einstein Post Office on 127 Einstein Loop opened.
On Sunday, October 23, it was reported that the United States Postal Service will continue to shut down locations throughout the country as a result of a large budget deficit, including Co-op City’s Einstein Post Office and the Dreiser Loop Post Office at 179 Dreiser Loop.
Residents of Co-op City gathered on a chilly fall morning with Crowley, who believes closing post offices, especially in Co-op City, is completely unfair.
“The residents of Co-op City, who are people of all ages, are a strong and united community. We all understand during this time that the United States Post Office must make changes, but there has to be better ones than this,” Crowley said. “Simply put, the people here in Co-op City need their own post offices, to send letters, gifts, packages, and pay bills.”
Crowley is one of 226 co-sponsors of the proposed H.R. 1351 bill, also known as the ‘Save America’s Postal Service’ bill. The bill was introduced in April and should it be passed, it would allow the Postal Service to apply billions of dollars in pension overpayments to the congressional mandate that requires the USPS to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees.
The bill is gaining strong attention throughout the country and Crowley said it would allow the USPS to save millions of dollars over time, which would leave enough funds to keep all the post offices slated for closing, open.
Throughout the rally, the crowd acknowledged that should Co-op City’s post offices be closed, the nearest location for residents would be at 3300 Conner Street, nearly one mile away.
“It’s really not fair to anyone who has to go through this, but the residents of Co-op City truly rely on their only post office,” Crowley said. “There is a large senior citizen population here in Co-op City and not everyone has access to the internet where they can pay bills online. We need this post office and we will not them roll over this community just so that they can balance their budget.”
Dr. Robert Smith, of the Church of the Savior at 120 DeKruif Place, was notified of the proposed closure immediately and will continue to work with Crowley to protest the plan.
“Co-op City is a family and one of the most vital aspects of this community that keeps us together is access to the United States Postal Service,” Smith said. “Many of our elderly residents rely on our post office because they need to receive their medication. Let us continue to support Congressman Crowley and all those in favor of keeping our post offices open. We will win this battle.”Reach Vito Signorile via e-mail at vsignorile