Crowley, Elected Officials Call on U.S. Postal Service to Keep the Van Nest Post Office Open
Bronx, NY —Following confirmation that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will close the Van Nest Post Office this summer, Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), and Councilmen Joel Rivera and James Vacca today joined community groups and concerned citizens in a rally calling on the USPS to keep the post office’s doors open. The elected officials, along with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, have worked tirelessly to keep the post office open.
Earlier this week, the USPS confirmed that it will be closing the Van Nest Post Office, located at 715 Morris Park Avenue, on August 12, 2011. In a community absent of banks, thousands of Van Nest residents, including many seniors, will soon be left without access to the vital services provided by the post office.
Working with community groups, including the Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance and the Morris Park Merchants Alliance, the elected officials have raised the community’s concerns about the impending closure with the USPS, including the Postmaster General, and the Postal Regulatory Commission.
“Clearly, the USPS doesn’t see Van Nest the way we do. While the community is fighting to take two steps forward, the USPS is forcing them to take one step back – and that’s unacceptable,” said Congressman Crowley. “We will continue our fight to keep the Van Nest Post Office open and despite the news of the closure, I’m confident the community will continue to come together and revitalize Van Nest into the neighborhood we know it can and should be.”
“Closing this vital post office would prevent many Bronx residents from having reliable access to yet another basic service. It’s essential that the federal government continues to help underserved communities grow and thrive,” U.S. Senator Gillibrand said.
“It would a mistake for the federal government to consider closing this post office,” said State Senator Klein. “A majority of VanNesters, a good portion of them seniors, do not own their own cars. For that reason, a local post office, and the services it provides, valuable community assets.”
“The Van Nest Post Office is vital to our community, especially to the elderly and local businesses as the next nearest location is half a mile in each direction. This neighborhood has shown strong support to keep the Post Office open earlier in the year producing over 200 signatures in 2 hours," said Councilman Joel Rivera.
"When you look at the portion of our borough that is elderly, that is low-income, that does not have access to the Internet, and that relies on the post office, and then you see that three post offices in our borough are being closed, you have a right to feel that the people of the Bronx are being picked on. The Post Office might think we don't know what they're doing but we do. This does not have our stamp of approval,” said Councilman James Vacca.
The Van Nest Post Office is one of six New York City postal facilities slated for consolidation under USPS’ station and branch consolidation initiative. It has been ten years since the last bank in the Van Nest neighborhood closed, and closing the local post office will further hamper the efforts of elected officials and community leaders to entice banks into the community.