TUCSON, DC – Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement today after the U.S. Postal Service changed the planned July 11, 2015 shutdown of the Processing and Distribution Center in Tucson/Cherrybell to a “To Be Determined” status.
“I welcome news that the Cherrybell Processing and Distribution Center will likely not shut down in July, as had previously been planned,” said Rep. Grijalva. “Any delay gives us time to further make the case that the Cherrybell facility is vital to our community, and an unacceptable cut as USPS consolidates across the country.”
First announced in 2011, the closure of the Cherrybell processing facility would require all mail processing to be consolidate to USPS’s Phoenix facility, cutting nearly 250 jobs and ending overnight delivery for Tucson residents.
“While any news other than closure is good news, we must keep in mind the hundreds of our neighbors who are waiting with baited breath to learn if their jobs will be there next year,” Grijalva continued, “Likewise, small businesses across Southern Arizona that count on local service to ensure overnight delivery are awaiting an outcome too. I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure the outcome is the right one for our neighbors, our community, and out postal service at large.”
Grijalva has led the charge to safeguard the Cherrybell processing facility, and the nearly 250 jobs of postal employees working in it, since the proposed closure announcement in 2011. His efforts over the past three years include:
March 7, 2012: Rep. Grijalva introduced legislation ensuring zip codes with high population growth as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau – including Tucson – would not be subject to postal closures.
May 2, 2012: Rep. Grijalva called on Congressional leadership to follow the Senate’s lead in bringing a bill to keep post offices open without cutting worker benefits or making other unnecessary cuts.
May 17, 2012: Rep. Grijalva spoke out vehemently against USPS’s indication that the Cherrybell center was among the facilities that “may be consolidated” by early 2013.
February 26, 2013: Rep. Grijalva sent a letter to Postmaster General Donahoe urging transparency and the recognition of the Tucson community’s adamant opposition to the facility closure.
March 26, 2013: Rep. Grijalva called for transparency and accountability as the impending closure circumvented the calls from the Tucson community to keep their mail processing facility open.
October 27, 2014: Rep. Grijalva led a letter signed by all five Democrats who were then in the Arizona Congressional Delegation urging Postmaster General Donahoe to reconsider consolidating the Tucson facility in light of USPS’s lack of an impact analysis and public engagement on planned service standard changes.
March 17, 2015: Joined five members of the Arizona Congressional Delegation in sending a bipartisan letter urging USPS enact a moratorium on continued consolidations to allow USPS to fulfill its regulatory and statutory obligation to engage in complete, fair, and transparent review of service standard changes and the factors that have led to the consolidation decisions.