Happening Now: The Mission to Save Hudson Valley Post Offices
Last month, 15 Hudson Valley post offices, including the beloved and historic location in Beacon, NY, were included in a plan that would move mail sorting to a central "Sorting and Delivery Center" (S&DC) in Newburgh, NY.
The decision, meant to begin in September 2023, would send all affected mail carriers to pick up their daily route in Newburgh, NY before making their deliveries locally. While the USPS is stressing that none of the affected post offices will close permanently and that window service as well as PO box service will not be altered, some residents are still pushing back.
Beacon, NY Attempts to Save Their Local Post Office
"There is a petition inside the [Beacon] post office now to keep it open, please go and sign it!", read a recent post in the Beacon, NY Facebook group. While some tagged Congressman Pat Ryan to add support, others shared the petition, which calls for more than just a reversal on the recent decision to create regional S&DCs.
National Petition to Replace Postmaster General DeJoy
The national petition (available here) calls for the firing of Post Master General Louis DeJoy. From the petition:
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has tried year after year to sabotage the USPS. Families, voters, and small businesses across the country rely on this vital public service – and we cannot let DeJoy do them any more harm. To save our Postal Service, I urge you to fire Louis DeJoy and replace him immediately.
While many lamented that a petition may be too little too late, others had more positive information. "They worked in the past", said one New York resident. "It saved one by me [and] they got a new [post office] out of it". For locations like Beacon, however, there's more to save than just mail sorting.
Historic Artwork in Many Hudson Valley, NY Post Offices Sanctioned by FDR
Beacon, NY is home to one of the five "FDR Post Offices" in the Hudson Valley, which contain intricate murals in their respective lobbies. While some, like the post office in Rhinebeck, were asked to be modified after parts of the mural were seen as offensive, the art in Beacon, NY remains untouched. "Beautiful mural...I hope it can be preserved some how", mused one Beacon resident. "I wish our town board would look into an appeal process on the closing", offered another.
With the news of the new S&DC in Newburgh, many residents were frustrated with what they felt was the inability to receive clear information on whether local post offices were closing and being sold, or just halting local sorting and delivery. A Beacon, NY postal worker confirmed that the office has no plans on closing, even if the building is sold. Front desk service and PO Box service will remain uninterrupted, they shared.