Many government institutions are struggling these days, among them, the United States Postal Service. One way the USPS has been trying to make money is by selling off its properties. More than 600 buildings have been targeted, with a total projected worth of more than two billion dollars.
The sales could pay off by raising short-term capital, but the long-term consequences bother many people. One of the many post offices up for sale is the downtown Berkeley post office. Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to oppose the sale of the post office, and asked for a one-year moratorium on any decision about its sale. Berkeley mayor Tom Bates and other local and state officials have sent an appeal to the USPS, and are still awaiting a decision.
Another opponent of the sale is Gray Brechin. He’s a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, just up the hill from the downtown Berkeley post office. Brechin is founder of the Living New Deal Project, which looks at the public works built in an effort to help lift the country out of the Great Depression. KALW's Ben Trefny sat down with Brechin to discuss the significance of the post office properties.
Click the audio player above to listen to the interview.
You can find out more about that appeal, and the other proposed post office sales, here.