Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Update: Milwaukee Post Office Issues Apology

A few weeks ago we blogged about the controversy at the Milwaukee Post Office. An approved display commemorating Pride month was taken down almost as soon as it was put up.

Since then, Dr. Maggi Cage, Executive Director of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, met with Postmaster Charles Miller to discuss the situation. In the meeting, Cage requested a formal apology from Miller in which the Post Office would be apologizing to the entire Milwaukee LGBT Community.

The letter arrived at the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center on July 29 and included the following apology:

“I do apologize for the inconvenience, embarrassment and confusion caused to you, your members and the LGBT community, regarding our internal processes in which proper official procedures were not utilized as specified in guidelines for lobby displays and promotions….”

The Postmaster went on to offer two suggestions for working with the United States Postal Service (USPS) to bring attention to the LGBT Community both locally and at a national level. The first suggestion is to create a pictorial postmark cancellation to commemorate PrideFest 2010 in Milwaukee. The postmark cancellation would be used on letters for a specified period around the time of PrideFest. Scott Gunkel, President of PrideFest, said. “This is awesome! It gives the LGBT community the recognition it deserves.”

Another suggestion from the Postmaster is to participate in the process of stamp selection at the national level. The Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee is comprised of people with a wide range of educational, artistic, historical and professional expertise. The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center will explore starting a Harvey Milk Stamp Committee to advocate for the inclusion of an LGBT themed stamp in upcoming commemorative stamps issued by the USPS. Maggi Cage said “CenterLink, the national association of LGBT Community Centers, is very excited about working at a national level with all the LGBT Community Centers on the Harvey Milk stamp idea.”

Cage stated “I see this as a win-win situation for the Milwaukee LGBT Community”, and that she looks forward to collaborating with the Postmaster in a positive way in the near future.

You can read the complete letter from the Postmaster by clicking here (page 1) and here (page 2). [Adobe Acrobat required]

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