The work to keep the Cherrybell Post Office and Processing Center open and restoring the Tucson Postmark is not over.
The most recent announcement about the status of Cherrybell by the U.S. Postal Service is a welcome one and a positive sign.
Since 2011, our community has endured more than dozen announcements from the U.S. Postal Service that Cherrybell was going to close by a specific date, three this year alone.
Despite the assertions of postal officials, reports of mailing being delayed are coming in through the survey being conducted. This includes delays in prescriptions and packages being sent and received.
Reports of businesses being affected by mail operations have come in through the business survey.
Congresswoman Martha McSally, Ruben Reyes – Congressman Raul Grijalva’s District Director, State Senator Andrea Dalessandro and George Kalil and I toured the Cherrybell Processing Center and met with postal officials.
Postal officials again said that the numbers of pieces of mail being processed had declined since 2007 to the present. The point was brought up, by those present about the economic downturn, as well as the multiple announcements of Cherrybell’s impending closure could have had an effect. Who is going to do business with a company that announces they are closing?
During the discussion, the question about the jobs affected was raised. Our community has had a job loss of 128 employees from the U.S. Postal Service decision of consolidation. This had a negative impact to our economy, from the workers to the businesses where these workers spent their money. Postal officials said they had the figures on the impact, and these were requested by those present during the meeting.
Postal officals added that if the consolidation went through, there would be only 35 employees still at the facility.
Postal officials expressed that some of the operations would continue, but when asked whether businesses or non-profits would receive the discounted rate usually offered when mailing bulk items or business mail, the postal officials said they would not and that they would have to travel to Phoenix to get this rate.
When the question about medical prescriptions was raised, those present were told that the prescriptions would be sent to Phoenix to be processed.
Tucson and Southern Arizona has more than 1-million people and 26,000 businesses and non-profits. Our community has a large veteran and senior population, plus the Tohono O’odham nation and the Pascua Yaqui tribe. Tucson and Southern Arizona relies on the postal service. More than 750 responses have been received so far from the business and community surveys about Cherrybell have been received.
Congresswoman Martha McSally, Ann Kirkpatrick, Kyrsten Sinema, and Congressman Ruben Gallego, Raul Grijalva and Trent Franks have expressed their opposition to closing Arizona’s second postal processing center and the negative economic impact that half the state could endure if the consolidation of postal services went through.
It isn’t just about jobs at one plant, this is about our seniors, our veterans, our non-profits and our businesses. This is about Tucson and Southern Arizona. It is about our identity.
With the announcement by the postal service, the survey deadline has been extended. I ask you to take a moment and fill out the survey about Cherrybell.
The findings will be passed on to U.S. Rep. Martha McSally and other congressional delegations to be presented to U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan and Congressional leaders who are working on postal reform.
If you have filled out a survey, thank you. If you have not, please do so.
Postal survey for businesses: http://svy.mk/1Ba6Xiu
Postal survey for community: http://svy.mk/1L6F0gA
Postal survey for business in Spanish: http://svy.mk/1L6ESxM
Share this message with your friends and family. This is far from over and our community needs to speak out loudly on this.