State and local presidents have been sent the latest Suspension List for 2019 that was released after Quarter 4 FY 2018. A Mobilizing Toolkit was also sent to help mobilize members and the communities to help save our post offices on that list. The toolkit describes the community’s rights involving notifications, postings/letters of a proposal to discontinue a post office and a notice of a final USPS decision to discontinue. The USPS must provide a “community meeting” at a time and place that allows for all patrons to have the opportunity to speak on the issue of the proposal, provide an opportunity for written comments, and must provide appeal rights if the USPS decides to discontinue (close), reduce hours, or relocate the post office.
Many of the offices on the list are either Post Plan offices or small, remote, or rural post offices. The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 calls for a maximum degree of effective and regular postal service to rural areas, communities and small towns where post offices are not financially self-sustaining.
The toolkit explains how to get a meeting rescheduled and how to get the message out to the community through media and mobilizing work. It provides steps to take to save a post office and petition the community. Political and legislative officials, as well as the community, should be invited to participate at these meetings. The community can petition and provide comments and input in writing. The toolkit also provides a model for a successful meeting, including talking points and questions to ask that address specific needs of the community, as well as more mobilizing opportunities.