opinion

Biggs: Sign petition to keep SSA building in Apache Junction

Posted 5/11/21

As one of your Apache Junction City Council members, it is my duty to advocate on behalf of the city and its residents. Today, I am asking for your help in advocating for your community and your …

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opinion

Biggs: Sign petition to keep SSA building in Apache Junction

Posted

As one of your Apache Junction City Council members, it is my duty to advocate on behalf of the city and its residents. Today, I am asking for your help in advocating for your community and your neighboring communities.

Several months ago we learned about the possibility of the Social Security Administration closing the Apache Junction branch at 235 W. Superstition Blvd. Quite rapidly, your District 4 U.S. Congressman, Rep. Paul Gosar, D.D.S., along with the Pinal County Board of Supervisors and the Apache Junction City Council, got to work. We have written letters, passed proclamations and fought back, but now we need you.

This is not a partisan issue as constituents of all walks of life benefit from the Social Security office. As a community, we need to rally and help protect this vital resource here in Apache Junction.

So, what are they trying to do?

The Social Security Administration is seeking to close the Apache Junction office and move it to Gilbert, 20 miles away.

This move will take away our direct local access to such a critical service, one that many of our residents rely on. With the closure, the next closest office is in downtown Mesa — 21 miles away. The new proposed office — also 20 miles away, in downtown Gilbert — happens to be 6 miles away from the Mesa office. With little to no access to public transportation from the Apache Junction area, this is simply unacceptable.

There is an online petition started by Congressman Gosar’s office to help bring the people’s voice to Washington, D.C. and we need your signature.

I am asking that you sign it and share it with your friends/family within the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon/San Tan Valley/Superior and far East Mesa areas.

Petition link is here.

Here are some facts about the closure, the area demographics, and the new office:

Demographics

  • 8.4% of residents in the Gilbert area are 62 or older compared to 32.9% in the Apache Junction area.
  • 57.7% of Gilbert residents have an annual income of under $80,000 compared to nearly 90% of Apache Junction residents.
  • Gilbert’s veteran population is roughly 1.7% while Apache Junction is about 2.8% with one ZIP code being nearly 4%.

Facts about the office

  • It has not been used in the last year — due to COVID-19 — meaning access to services has already been drastically reduced.
  • The current office occupies 13,500 square feet as opposed to the proposed office at half that.
  • More than $1.8 million in renovations and upgrades have gone into the Apache Junction office since it was built in 2005.
  • It will take roughly $6 million to get the new office open.
  • The Apache Junction office has on-site parking, the new office in Gilbert will not; this is unacceptable for the seniors or disabled constituents who need access to this office.

The bottom line is this is unacceptable and we need your help to make it known. Over the next few weeks, you will see several of us with paper petitions or discussing this issue in the community. Please sign either the paper petition or the online petition and help keep the Apache Junction Social Security office open for business and open for our constituents.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. You can reach me via email at Bbiggs@apachejunctionaz.gov or via phone at 480-594-2987

Let’s show Washington, D.C. what Apache Junction is like when we rally.

Editor’s note: Braden Biggs is on the Apache Junction City Council.

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