Rep. Maloney, Elected Officials, Postal Workers & Roosevelt Islanders Rally to Save Local Post Office

Roosevelt Island residents together with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Assemblymember Micah Kellner, State Senator Jose Serrano, NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin and Postal Union members protest possible closing of Roosevelt Island Post Office - Photo Maria Casotti

Today, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, State Senator José M. Serrano, Assembly Member Micah Kellner, City Council Member Jessica Lappin, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation President Leslie Torres, Roosevelt Island Residents Association President Matthew Katz, Chuck Zlatkin of the American Postal Workers Union, and Roosevelt Island community leaders and residents rallied outside the Roosevelt Island Station to urge the United States Postal Service to keep open the only post office located on Roosevelt Island.

Maloney and her fellow elected officials and community members have collected more than 1,600 signatures from Roosevelt Islanders who want to keep their post office open for business, and plan on delivering the petitions to the Postal Service later this week.At today’s event, Maloney also urged Islanders to reach out to the Postal Service directly, and issued the following list of actions people can take to save Roosevelt Island Station:

In July, the Postal Service announced that it was studying the possibility of closing Roosevelt Island Station and 3,652 other post offices nationwide.  The USPS placed Roosevelt Island Station on its list of potential closures because Roosevelt Island Station had less than $600,000 in revenue last year, and there are more than 15 alternate postal “access points” within a ten-mile radius.

However, as Maloney and others argued today, Roosevelt Island is home to many seniors and persons with disabilities who could not walk to the next-nearest post office nearly a mile-and-a-half away in Queens, and the only other postal “access point” on the Island itself is a Duane Reade that sells stamps – hardly a substitute for a full post office.

A final decision on which post offices will be closed is expected later this year.

Earlier this month, Maloney and her fellow elected officials wrote to U.S. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe urging him to keep Roosevelt Island Station open, and requesting that USPS hold a public hearing on the potential closure so affected New Yorkers could express their views.  A copy of that letter follows.

“As the name suggests, Roosevelt Island is an island.The post office has identified alternate post offices in a ten-mile radius – but other than a Duane Reade that sells stamps, all the other alternatives are located across the East River, a swift-moving body of water.

While I love the people of Roosevelt Island, they can’t walk on water, so they won’t be able to walk to the next-closest branch,” said Maloney.

“Roosevelt Island Station serves residents of a community with many senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and Section 8 recipients. The island was specifically designed to be virtually car-free and, indeed, very few residents of this community own cars.

Almost all postal customers using Roosevelt Island Station walk there – or use wheelchairs,” Maloney added.  “So, today, we are asking to Postal Service to look at the needs of this neighborhood, the nature of the customer base here on Roosevelt Island, and the long distances people will have to travel by foot to reach the nearest alternate postal facility – and conclude, as we have, that this vital community post office must remain open for business.

Save our post office!”

”Access to a post office is a right that most New Yorkers take for granted, and it is inconceivable that such a right might now be taken away from the people who live on Roosevelt Island. I am proud to join with Rep. Carolyn Maloney and many other elected officials, community leaders and residents today in urging the United States Postal Service to keep open the only such office serving this important community. Forcing residents to walk one and a half miles to the next nearest post office, in Queens, is no solution at all — not for seniors, not for persons with disabilities, or anyone else who lives on Roosevelt Island,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

State Senator José M. Serrano said, “Closing the only post office on Roosevelt Island simply does not make sense. For the most vulnerable Island residents, traveling to Astoria or Manhattan to drop off mail is clearly not an option. I urge the United States Postal Service to ensure that the Roosevelt Island Post Office remain open for business, as its closure would deeply inconvenience all those living and working on the island.”

“Under this plan the US Postal Service literally expects Roosevelt Islanders to walk on water to get their mail,” said Assembly Member Kellner.  “But Islanders shouldn’t need a miracle to keep this post office open.”

”Our message is signed, sealed and delivered — keep Roosevelt Island Station open,” said Council Member Jessica Lappin.

“Roosevelt Island is a small town community that relies on the services of the USPS every day,” said Leslie Torres, President of the Roosevelt Island Corporation. “Closing the only station on the island will create an incredible hardship especially on the elderly and disabled residents that use the station for their everyday postal needs.”“Access to a post office is a right that most New Yorkers take for granted, and it is inconceivable that such a right might now be taken away from the people who live on Roosevelt Island. I am proud to join with Rep. Carolyn Maloney and many other elected officials, community leaders and residents today in urging the United States Postal Service to keep open the only such office serving this important community.

Forcing residents to walk one and a half miles to the next nearest post office, in Queens, is no solution at all — not for seniors, not for persons with disabilities, or anyone else who lives on Roosevelt Island,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

State Senator José M. Serrano said, “Closing the only post office on Roosevelt Island simply does not make sense. For the most vulnerable Island residents, traveling to Astoria or Manhattan to drop off mail is clearly not an option. I urge the United States Postal Service to ensure that the Roosevelt Island Post Office remain open for business, as its closure would deeply inconvenience all those living and working on the island.”

“Under this plan the US Postal Service literally expects Roosevelt Islanders to walk on water to get their mail,” said Assembly Member Kellner.  “But Islanders shouldn’t need a miracle to keep this post office open.”

”Our message is signed, sealed and delivered — keep Roosevelt Island Station open,” said Council Member Jessica Lappin.

”Roosevelt Island is a small town community that relies on the services of the USPS every day,” said Leslie Torres, President of the Roosevelt Island Corporation. “Closing the only station on the island will create an incredible hardship especially on the elderly and disabled residents that use the station for their everyday postal needs.”

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