OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL |The state of the U.S. Postal Service is a touchy subject to many in the East Bay. Threats by the federal government to shutter some post offices have ignited strong protests, along with potential cuts nationwide to service in response to large deficits.
A resolution approved by the Oakland City Council Tuesday night urges California’s U.S. senators to add their support to a pair of bills in Congress that would maintain traditional six-day postal service and reorganize the agency’s fiscal problems.
Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan offered the resolution as a means for protecting over 1,000 postal jobs in Oakland, she said, during Tuesday’s meeting. The bills also maintain service for residents and businesses, she added, in a press release Thursday. In a memo from Kaplan last month urging her colleagues to support the resolution, Kaplan noted the prevalence of residents who use the postal service to vote-by-mail and to receive prescription drugs.
Although, the future of the U.S. Postal Service has been a hot-topic issue in Washington, both bills cited in the resolution have sit in committees for over a year. H.R. 630, authored by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and S. 316, authored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have roughly the same intention to change how the postal service calculates its retirement and health benefits and eliminates pre-funding the plans. The unique requirement, in large part, accounts for the multi-billion dollar shortfalls widely reported.