On USPS birthday, Portlanders deliver a message


Postal defenders rally to save USPS on its 241st birthday.
Postal defenders rally to save USPS on its 241st birthday.

Chanting, marching through the Main Post Office in downtown Portland, singing, and eating birthday cake, about three dozen “postal defenders” called for continuation of door-to-door mail delivery, and expressed concern about relocating the Main Post Office.

The rally was held  July 26 in conjunction with the 241st birthday of the U.S. Postal Service.

The postal service has been under assault for years. Over 200,000 union jobs have been lost in the past 10 years as post offices and mail processing plants have been cut and closed.  Mail is being delayed. At-the-door delivery is on the chopping block.

Jim Cook, retired president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 82, said there is a bipartisan Postal Service Reform bill in Congress (HR 5714) that would end door-to-door delivery nationwide in favor of cluster boxes.

“We’ve been fighting for postal reform, but not negative postal reform,” Cook said.

NALC is lobbying for an amendment to delete Section 202 of the bill — the portion that mandates ending door delivery.

Rallygoers also called on Portland postal officials to hold public meetings before relocating the Main Post Office. NALC said  Democratic Congressional representatives in the area have written to Portland’s district manager requesting public meetings be held prior to any agreements  being signed.

The Portland Development Commission is on track to buy the U.S. Postal Service campus located on 13.5 acres of prime Pearl District property.

“This is the people’s postal service, and we need to have some say in any changes,” said Reverend John Schwiebert, speaking on behalf of Portland Communities and Postal Workers United. “So far, nobody is asking us (the people) what we would like to have in a new post office, or where exactly it’s going to be.”

Communities and Postal Workers United would like to have the new post office be close to the current one downtown, if not actually in the same place as part of the new development, Schwiebert said.

“Like Paul Revere, we need to sound the alarm to save postal service,” Cook said.


  1. We have noticed a distinct and dramatic slowing of mail delivery over the course of the last few months. We receive mail from all over the country and now it is common for us to receive letters FOUR days after their mailed from states out of the west coast. Local letters have taken as many as THREE days to arrive here, but usually take two. The travel times are not affected by weather at either end of travel. We picked our present home because we did not want to have to drive or walk 1/2 mile to pickup or place mail in the box for delivery. Many new home neighborhoods now have LARGE communal mail boxes that people have to drive or walk a considerable distance for pickup or delivery of mail to be handled. We dislike that setup intensely!!!

  2. All the postman can do have a worker with him at all time or have a camera on him like a cope do thats all people need there mail or have people pick up there work mail if people being like that I don’t see it or have someone with the mail man at all times and a camera on him that’s it like the police do try that then call the police on them for atack the mail man


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