By Lookout Staff
August 17, 2009 -- Former Santa Monica MayorRuth Goldway -- the driving force behind the local farmers markets and a political lightening rod as a crusader for rent control -- was appointed by President Barack Obama as Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission earlier this month.
Gioldway will head the independent federal agency comprised of five members appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate who exercise regulatory oversight over the United States Postal Service (USPS) created in 1970.
First nominated to the PRC Commission in April 1998, Goldway is serving a third term as Commissioner, which extends through November 2014.
“I look forward to working with my fellow Commissioners to help steward the Postal Service through these turbulent times and to preserve an equitable, affordable universal mail system for the citizens, businesses and institutions across this country that depend upon it,” Goldway said in a statement.
Before being appointed to the commission, Goldway served on the Santa Monica City Council between 1979 and 1983. She also was director of public affairs at California State University, Los Angeles, and assistant to the director of California’s Department of Consumer Affairs.
Goldway was the first member of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR) to be elected to the City Council and serve as mayor, a post she held between 1981 and 1983.
She was elected the same year rent control won a stunning victory at the polls and launched the renters' rights group on a path that would lead tobtheir control City Hall for most of the past 30 years.
Goldway was defeated in a bid for a second term, and, the following year, SMRR lost control of the City Council. They would not regain a council majority until 1988, when current mayor Ken Genser was elected to a first of an unprecedented five terms on the council.
Goldway takes the helm of the USPS during tough economic times and with the agency facing stiff competition for the Internet. The agency recently announced a $2.4 billion net loss for the fiscal third quarter and a projected $7 billion shortfall for the fiscal year.
Goldway has proposed converting the USPS’ 219,000 vehicle fleet to electricity, reducing gasoline consumption by as much as 68 million gallons a year. Goldway also considers packages and shipping services as a key to the future of the agency.
Goldway championed the use of "forever stamps" used to mail a one-ounce letter even if prices rise.