The rally was similar to those expected across the country this weekend.By Pam Surano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A large group gathered outside the post office in Squirrel Hill on Friday demanding accountability from postal leadership.

The group held signs in support of the post office and in protest of proposed cuts to services. The rally was similar to those expected across the country this weekend.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The group was concerned about the coronavirus pandemic and the handling of an increased number of expected mail-in ballots for the presidential election.

Post office leadership is facing criticism for possible changes and cuts, which many say threatens the United State Postal Services’ ability to handle a surge in mail-in ballots.

Members of the 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club were out Friday in Squirrel Hill. Some held signs that read “The post office unites us” and “The US mail is not for sale.”

The 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club is the oldest independent Democratic club in the country, and they say a strong postal service secures a strong Democracy.

They feel strongly that any dismantling of delivery capacity threatens lives, particularly the elderly, veterans and anyone who depends on things like social security checks, medication and time-sensitive deliveries.

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Then there are the over-riding issues of in-person voting, consolidation of polling sites due to the pandemic and more people who need to cast votes by mail.

“Every American has an opportunity to vote. But especially this year, voting safely is going to be a priority. There are vulnerable people and there is a pandemic raging,” said Matt Weiss from the 14th Ward Democratic Party.

“Anything that is happening right now to threaten to dismantle the post office or to make it run more slowly is absolutely anathema to what America is all about,” said Heidi Norman from the 14th Ward Democratic Party.

There’s no known disruption to mail delivery in Pittsburgh, however, state Representative Dan Frankel says his office has been impacted.

“Mail that we send back and forth from Harrisburg, much of it very sensitive information, personal information from my constituents, checks for licensing,” Rep. Frankel said, “and things that we send priority mail have taken days and days and days to get through.”

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This week, a response to these concerns was released by the USPS. Officials assured the public that hours at post offices will not change, mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain and no mail processing facilities would be closed.