Tucson and Arizona Leaders Unite to Save Postal Service

–Tucson leadership calls on members of Congress to deliver more than 1,700 survey responses to United States Postal Service– 

Tucson, AZ– July 01, 2015– More than 1,700 Tucson residents and businesses provided feedback to Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Vice Mayor Richard Fimbres’ call for comment on the planned consolidation of Tucson area postal service. Through a public survey, which closed yesterday, Tucson leadership collected stories from area business owners, seniors, Veterans and other residents who rely on timely delivery of mail for critical items such as paychecks, medication and Medicare assistance. 

“The impact of the United States Postal Service’s decision to consolidate mail services in our community is affecting households throughout Southern Arizona,” Mayor Rothschild said. “This is no longer about one community or one postal facility. This is now about protecting our region’s ability to sustain viable businesses and care for its residents.”

In May, Mayor Rothschild and Vice Mayor Fimbres opened two public surveys: one for businesses and one for residents. The collective 1,759 results came from residents in Tucson, Green Valley, Rio Rico, Tubac and other Southern Arizona communities. The majority of respondents reported significant delays in mail delivery, with many citing a delivery time of nearly double the days. 

“Our seniors are not receiving their medications or Medicare checks in a timely manner,” Vice Mayor Fimbres said. “Our businesses’ payrolls and sales services are being disrupted. Nonprofit organizations in our community have lost the ability to mail at a discounted rate. Reducing postal service in our community—one of the fastest growing communities in the state—does not make sense, and it’s hurting our residents.”

In January 2015, USPS enacted changes to service delivery standards nationwide, resulting in the delay of First-Class mail delivery. At the same time, USPS continued to pursue consolidation of the Tucson Postal Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC)/Cherrybell, which under USPS’ plan had already stopped processing outbound mail in 2013. The second phase of consolidation, originally planned for July 2015, would reduce Cherrybell’s services to limited retail operations with little-to-no mail processing. City and Congressional leadership challenged this decision, and phase two consolidation plans have been delayed until 2016. 

Mayor Rothschild and Vice Mayor Fimbres plan to compile the results of the survey and deliver them to Arizona’s members of Congress, who can share the impact of the consolidation directly with the Postmaster General and the chairpersons of the committees in Congress who oversee the USPS consolidation. 

“We are incredibly grateful to the members of the Arizona Congressional delegation who have supported the city’s efforts to keep our postal service system robust and intact,” said Mayor Rothschild. “It is important that the voices of the citizens of Tucson and Southern Arizona are heard as the Postal Service and Congress makes decisions that will directly impact our lives.”

Excerpts from the survey are included below. 

Community Responses:

“My Dad gets his prescriptions in the mail. There have been a few times he runs out of his medications before the next prescription comes in. My sister gets her disability check in the mail. She used to receive it by the 3rd of each month before. Now it may be the 6th or 7th when she gets her check, and it’s very hard on her.” – Respondent #1135, age 45-55

Business Response:

“As a furniture consignment business, we send out hundreds of checks every month to our consignor partners. We have been in business for almost 20 years. We are dependent on the USPS running efficiently to maintain the good reputation of our business. – Catherene Morton, HomeStyle Galleries