La Jolla’s Congresswoman, Susan Davis (D-53rd), was joined by Reps. Brian Bilbray (R-50th) and Bob Filner (D-51st) this week in introducing legislation that would allow communities like La Jolla the first option to purchase their post office, should the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) follow through with its plan to sell the historic building and relocate services elsewhere in The Village.
Davis’s bill, The Community Post Office Relocation Act, would allow a community nonprofit, such as the La Jolla Historical Society, the initial opportunity to purchase its community post office at fair market value and then lease all or part of the space back to the Postal Service if both parties so choose. Such a measure would allow USPS to reap funds from the sale of a building, while allowing a community like La Jolla to maintain a post office that is integral to its community identity.
“This has the potential to be a win-win for both the La Jolla community and the Postal Service,” said Davis. “La Jollans have come together to say that the Wall Street building is more than just a post office to them — it’s at the heart of their history, their identity and their daily commerce.”
After hearing about the importance of the building to La Jollans and evaluating the efforts of the Save Our La Jolla Post Office Task Force, the congresswoman worked closely with local activists to craft the legislation.
“The Task Force is grateful for the leadership of Susan Davis and her staff in assisting us in our efforts to save our 78-year-old post office, along with its services,” said Task Force Chair Leslie Davis. “We hope this bill will serve, not only our community, but others, as we work together to find solutions that consider the needs of all citizens.”
The Community Post Office Relocation Act could move through Congress either as a standalone measure or as a part of an expected larger postal reform measure. Congresswoman Davis and her colleagues will work to move the bipartisan bill later this year. She also has pledged to continue working with La Jolla and USPS on direct negotiations.
Leslie Davis said the Task Force recently submitted nomination paperwork in a new format to place the post office on the National Register of Historic Places, as requested by the state historic preservation officer.
“We also received a request for advice from the (WPA-era) Berkeley, Calif., post office, which recently found out they too were going to be sold,” she said, noting that the Task Force remains optimistic that it will still be able to achieve its “plan A,” keeping the post office services were they are, with no sale of the Wall Street building (at least for the next few years).