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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Special Delivery: City Attorney Says He'll Sue U.S. Postal Service for Stiffing SRO Tenants

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 11:25 AM

click to enlarge Oh, you're getting sued!
  • Oh, you're getting sued!
You don't have to be an FBI profiler to figure out that dumping piles of mail on the floor in the city's SRO hotels -- where many people are receiving assistance checks via the mail -- is nearly tantamount to the postman shouting "Hey, steal this!" as he leaves the building. To wit, the city passed the SRO mailbox ordinance in 2006, and the state followed suit in '07.

One hangup though: The U.S. Postal Service has declared that "fiscal shortages" compel them to cease delivering mail to hotel tenants' individual mail boxes in spite of the law -- proving, once again, that it is better to be rich and famous than poor and unknown.  

City Attorney Dennis Herrera has long threatened to sue the USPS and today he named a date: If an order for local letter carriers to simply drop bundles of SRO mail on the floor or a table isn't rescinded, Herrera will file suit in federal court on May 1. Fittingly, Herrera outlined his demands in a letter sent to the deputy chief of the local U.S. attorney's office, Andrew Y.S. Chen (read it here).

"As the San Francisco Postmaster, Noemi Luna, informed the City, USPS thinks that the fair treatment of San Francisco's low income residents and the security of their mail costs too much money," reads Herrera's letter. "The city asks that USPS immediately reconsider it's position. ... The Postal Service's delivery policy inflicts profound harm on some of the City's most vulnerable residents, and it does so to save few dollars."

Presumably this letter won't be left in a pile by Chen's door.


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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


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