Friday, 15 February 2013 | A Public Affair
On Friday February 15th, host Esty Dinur interviewed Dr. Gray Brechin regarding new decisions made by the U.S Postal Service. The U.S. Postal Service has announced that it will end Saturday home delivery of letters and other first-class mail, but will still deliver packages, starting in August.
Brechin is founder and project scholar of the Living New Deal Project. He is a historical geographer and author, and received a B.A. in History and Geography, an M.A. in Art History, and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley. Gray is author of Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin (1999), considered a classic of urban studies. With photographer Robert Dawson, he published Farewell, Promised Land: Waking from the California Dream, which chronicles the Golden State’s declining environmental and social health.
He recently stated: “With the reduction of mail delivery to from six to five days and possibly fewer, the USPS management continues its losing strategy of degrading service and driving away customers that began with radical staffing cutbacks at our post offices and continues with the outright sale of those post offices across the U.S. We are watching a daylight bank heist with no cop on the beat. The press has entirely missed he point that over its 221-year history, U.S. taxpayers paid for a portfolio of public properties and art that is now worth a fortune to anyone who can gain access to it. By putting the USPS into its current death spiral, Congress has forced the USPS to liquidate the public’s assets. It has designated the commercial real estate giant CBRE as its exclusive agency to sell our properties, a company largely owned and chaired by private equity billionaire Richard C. Blum, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband. The USPS is custodian of post offices and art of extraordinary quality, but at the current pace of downsizing, all of its properties will soon be thrown onto the market and the U.S. will be without the public postal service mandated by the Constitution. The USPS announced last week that it will sell the central Bronx Post Office with its great cycle of Ben Shahn murals. Yesterday, the shocked residents of Chelsea in Manhattan learned that the Postal Service will sell its beloved neighborhood post office with its two New Deal sculptures.”
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Listen to the entire interview: