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PRESS RELEASE: Feinstein Joins Fight to Save Social Security Office

By Howard Egerman

U. S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has joined her colleague Barbara Boxer, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Assembly member Leland Yee, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in calling for the Social Security Administration to reconsider its decision to close the Social Security Administration's office at l405 Fillmore Street on April 30.

"I am extremely concerned about the proposal to close the Western Addition office on Fillmore Street in San Francisco," the senator and former city mayor wrote. "This office serves 2,000 seniors a month, most of whom are Chinese, Russian, and Spanish speaking. In addition, this community is one of San Francisco's most underserved communities with seniors who rely on offices to be accessible to address their needs. Closing this office would jeopardize their ability to attain much needed services," she said.

Although the senator indicated that she recognizes the agency's concerns for resources and personnel, she said that "in the short term, I believe the offices should remain in areas close to those who need services most."

"It is my hope you will re-assess your analysis," she added. The senator pointed out that 5 years ago the Social Security Administration closed the Bay View Hunter's Point office, which made it "difficult for underserved residents to receive appropriate attention and assistance."

Howard Egerman, the union rep for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFL-CIO) Local 3l72 which represents the employees in the Western Addition office thanked the senator for her action.

"We are honored that someone such as Dianne Feinstein, who has worked for San Francisco's residents for over 30 years, has joined our effort," he said.

"Our union is concerned that Social Security wants to close this office on April 30th and, while moving the employees and forcing the public to use the downtown office on Market Street, will continue to pay rent on the Fillmore Street facility through December. Instead of being used to serve the public and take applications from disabled and elderly residents who have mobility problems, the office will be used to house file cabinets.

“We think that the public deserves better and encourage everyone who cares about Social Security to join our senators and congresswoman and contact Social Regional Commissioner Pete Spencer at Box 4200, Richmond Ca. 9480l or call at 5l0-970-8400 and ask that he reconsider his decision. Our employees want to serve the public. The public wants to be served and we hope that Senator Feinstein's and Senator Boxer's wishes to keep this office open will be heeded."