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Just When You Thought It Sucked to Live in an SRO...
Scott Lucas | Photo: Wikimedia Commons | November 5, 2013
It gets worse: The post office might be discriminating against tenants.
It's not much fun to live in an SRO. There's poverty, bedbugs, drug addiction, and shared bathrooms. There's even the looming plan by Twitter and Google to force you out of Central Market and onto barges in the Bay. (What, you haven't heard about that yet?) But to make things even worse, you can't even get your copy of the Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer anymore.
That's according to City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who's office argued today in an appeal before the 9th Circuit Court that the U.S. Postal Service is violating the right to mail delivery of San Franciscans who live in SROs by not delivering mail door to door to them.
It's bad enough that the NSA is violating our rights. But now it's the Post Office too?
The policy dispute began in 2008, when the San Francisco Postmaster reclassified SROs as hotels rather than apartment buildings, which meant that mail was delivery to a single point in the building, instead of to individual mailboxes, as is done in apartment buildings. That means that SRO tenants have to pick through a unfiltered heap of letters, junk mail, and catalogs just to find their checks, medical correspondance, or personal letters.
The purpose of the move was to save costs in light of what the Postmaster called in 2008, "current fiscal shortages" (thanks, Obama). The City, joined with a coalition of tenant activist organizations, sued. They lost a before a trial court in 2011, but have now appealed the decision.
Said City Attorney Dennis Herrera in a statement, "There is no legal basis for the U.S. Postal Service to discriminate against SRO residents as a cost-cutting measure." For its part, the Post Office declined to comment, citing a policy that prohibited it from doing so for ongoing litigation.
Speaking of which, just where is our copy of the Fearless Flyer anyway?