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Officials Protest Post Office Closures In Baltimore

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A big chunk of Baltimore’s post offices could be closing their doors.  Wednesday, city leaders and community members gathered to protest the proposed cuts.

Monique Griego has more on why people are so upset.

The Waverly station is one of eight post offices in Baltimore City that are being reviewed for possible closure.  Some city leaders feel the review is targeting low-income, high-minority areas.  They say that’s discrimination.

What protesters want returned to sender is the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to close thousands of offices, including eight in Baltimore. 

“If they closed this post office, I’d be lost.  I can’t get around,” said Michelle Avery.

Avery lives near the Waverly station.  It’s one of 41 offices in Maryland under review for closing.

In all, eight facilities—0r 36 percent of post offices in Baltimore City—could be on the chopping block.

Helen Holton, Mary Pat Clarke and other City Council representatives gathered with residents to protest the review, which they claim discriminates against certain neighborhoods.

“Stop making cuts on the backs of people that can least afford the cuts being made,” said Holton.

She says more than half of the offices up for closing service large populations of low-income residents and seven of the eight are in predominantly African-American neighborhoods.

“They are poor.  They are vehicle-deprived, they are non-cyberspace neighborhoods.  What are they thinking of?” Clarke said.

The U.S. Postal Services says the post offices were chosen because of factors, including proximity to other branches, customer demand, revenue and expenses.

“If it’s not making revenue, take a look at why,” Clarke said.

Clarke says adjusting office hours and improving services might be a better way to improve business.  She hopes being vocal about her opposition will get state leaders to fight for residents who need them.

“We need this office,” Avery said.

The eight offices are still just under review to be closed.  The post office is taking feedback before making a final decision.  So far, no layoffs have been mentioned, just the shutting down of facilities.

According to the USPS, the company will face an $8 billion deficit this year.

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