Marking “a blow against the right wing attacks on social services,” community members and United States Postal Service officials gathered inside the new E Union post office Monday morning to celebrate the opening of the new Central District facility.
The new post office is “dedicated to the service of the people of the United States of America” and “represents a move in the right direction for not just post office employees, but more importantly, for this community,” Myrna Umali, president at Local 28 of the American Postal Workers Union, said before cutting the ribbon on the new retail location for the USPS. “This branch is part of the tree that represents the life of the community,” she said.
“Hopefully this will be our final destination for years to come,” USPS manager Eddie Lee Smith said.
District 3 city council member Kshama Sawant announced the re-opening of the Central District post office in its new location last week after it was “closed two years ago due to gentrification in the neighborhood.”
CHS reported here on the USPS’s selection of a former e-bike shop in new construction at 23rd and Union as its home for the new office after the larger original facility in the Midtown Center was lined up for demolition as part of a three-piece, seven-story mixed-use apartment development with more than 400 market-rate and affordable apartment units, a quasi-public central plaza, and a huge underground parking garage.
Sawant was not in attendance at Monday’s ribbon cutting.
A spokesperson for the Socialist Alternative political group credited Sawant’s leadership and community pressure for the reopening and celebrated the “blow” against the “unprecedented and vicious attack by the Trump administration” on the postal service.
“They would like nothing more than to tear down this vital public service,” putting it in the hands of “big business profiteers,” the spokesperson said.
CHS reported here on worries about locked and missing mailboxes across Capitol Hill as part of nationwide concerns about Trump administration efforts to cut postal services and resources. While the post office contends many of the boxes were locked as part of standard procedure due to ongoing unrest and protests in the area, worries persist. The disappearance of another mailbox from 15th Ave E, meanwhile, has added another example to ongoing worries.
Meanwhile, Monday morning brought a new round of propaganda from Washington D.C. in its efforts to criticize responses to the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests and major efforts to defund police departments. Monday, Attorney General William Barr announced he was designating Seattle, Portland, and New York City as anarchist jurisdictions — cities “that have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities” —
- For nearly a month, starting in June, the City of Seattle permitted anarchists and activists to seize six square blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, naming their new enclave the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) and then the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” (CHOP).
- Law enforcement and fire fighters were precluded from entering the territory. The Seattle Police Department was ordered to abandon their precinct within the CHOP.
- Person-related crime in the CHOP increased 525% from the same period of time in the same area the year before, including by Mayor Durkan’s own count “two additional homicides, 6 additional robberies, and 16 additional aggravated assaults (to include 2 additional non-fatal shootings).”
- The CHOP was allowed to stand for nearly a month, during which time two teenagers were shot and killed in the zone.
- The Seattle City Council, Mayor Durkan, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee publicly rejected federal involvement in law enforcement activities within the city of Seattle.
The designation could line Seattle up for the Trump administration to attempt to justify withholding of federal funding. Mayor Jenny Durkan and the city have previously called similar threats unlawful and likely to end up in court.
The new post office is located at 2207 E Union. Its hours for counter services are 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 5:30 PM Monday through Friday. The counter and the lobby are closed on weekends. Learn more at usps.com.
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