The Houston Forward Times (HFT) has been following the story involving community residents, activists and elected officials who are fighting to save their historic Post Office located in the Third Ward community of Houston, Texas.
Community residents and activists went to work collecting signatures and letters, after they were instructed to provide written comments to the U.S. Postal Service by January 17th to express their opposition to the proposed closure of the Southmore Station Post Office. The residents were inspired to jump into action after meeting with postal officials at a Town hall meeting organized by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee on January 11th.
National Black United Front National Chairman Kofi Taharka, who has been on the ground working with community residents to deal with this pressing issue, personally delivered every single petition and written letter to the Post Master General @ the U.S. Postal Service headquarters in Washington D.C. in order to save the historic Southmore station.
Facilitated by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and her Chief of Staff Glenn Rushing, Taharka was able to personally meet with a postal official at the headquarters to ensure that the package was received by the deadline.
“Many of our elders don’t have email addresses and many of them have mobility issues,” said Taharka. “If we don’t fight for our elders and let them know that they are important to us, anyone outside our community will get the impression that they can advantage of our precious seniors. That’s not going to happen on my watch!”
Residents of the historic Third Ward community in Houston have held rallies and Town hall meetings to express their frustration with the U.S. Postal Service about their plans to close the Southmore Station at 4110 Almeda.
The historic site, where the Post Office is now sits, is the place where students marched from Texas Southern University’s campus to perform the first sit-in demonstration in Houston. Those Black students challenged the segregated lunch counters at Weingarten Supermarket in 1960 and now there is a Texas Historical Commission marker at the site that commemorates the non-violent protests that helped integrate public facilities.
According to a U.S. Postal Service announcement that was sent out last month, the Southmore Station would move to a location that has “yet-to-be-determined” within the same 77004 -- ZIP code; a move that residents are not in support of at all. The Southmore Station Post Office is one of six Post Offices in the city of Houston that are scheduled for relocation. The other sites that are slated to be moved are: Greenbriar, Julius Melcher, Medical Center, Memorial Park and University.
The Houston Forward Times will keep our readers informed about any decisions being made.