Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton released a statement last week pointing out that her fight to keep 19 District post offices open has been partially successful:

“As we predicted, the published list of post offices for study was preliminary, and now nearly half have been effectively removed from the list,” said Norton, a senior member of the committee and subcommittee with jurisdiction over USPS. “We will keep at it until we get the same result we achieved two years ago, when none of the D.C. post offices on the preliminary list were closed.”

In addition, to ensure that closings are not related to the expiration of leases, Norton requested and has received a list of six District post offices with leases expiring in the next year. USPS is finalizing the lease for one of those offices, Benning Station. The other five offices with leases expiring are the T Street Station (Feb. 29, 2012), Chillum Place Columbia Heights (May 16, 2012), Anacostia Finance Station (Aug. 4, 2012), Southwest Station (Dec. 31, 2012), and Palisades Station (Dec. 31, 2012). Nortonsays District residents must have convenient access to postal services and she will continue to insist that USPS finds new locations in the neighborhood before leases expire so residents are properly served without interruption.

But a note from a Mount Pleasant in this morning’s D.C. Watch newsletter says that a huge part of the problem is fewer staff:

Our mail has been getting later and later, 8:00 p.m. became regular. Then Monday night the mail hit the door at 9:45 p.m. Since there was a certified letter I ran, and I mean ran, to catch [the mail carrier]. I found her at her truck parked next to an alley where the previous Saturday night we had several robberies at about the same time. I hadn’t previously met her but my husband had spoken to her a lot and I was struck by her youth, energy, and quite frankly her beauty. I felt compelled to tell her to be careful, and she laughed it off. I stopped and said, “No, I am serious,” and told her about my neighbor’s attempted robbery feet from where she was parked Saturday night and that the police had told her it was the ninth call that night.

What are we doing to our carriers that they have to work such long hours to diligently complete a route?

Photo by ElvertBarnes via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License