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SCV man becomes Los Angeles postmaster

Posted: February 12, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 12, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Alfred Santos Jr., the new postmaster of Los Angeles, stands outside his home in Valencia. Signal photo by Dan Watson.

For Santa Clarita Valley resident Alfred Santos Jr., the journey to becoming postmaster of Los Angeles began largely by chance.

Following his graduation in 1981, Santos looked to go into law enforcement when he injured his hand.

While he waited for it to heal, his wife, Jacqueline, suggested he look into a job with the Postal Service.

Though he was resistant at first, he decided to explore the opportunity, eventually landing a gig as a letter carrier in San Fernando in 1987.

He found the work of a letter carrier to be to his liking, so much so that when his boss asked him his thoughts about going into a supervisorial position, Santos originally wasn’t interested.

His wife had a different view.

“She goes, ‘Wow, that’s great! When do you start?’” Santos said with a laugh.

The gentle prods from his wife set Santos on a career path that led to his installationas postmaster of Los Angeles in January. 

As postmaster, he is responsible for overseeing thousands of employees and an annual operating budget of more than $250 million serving approximately 4 million residents and 95,000 businesses, in the nation’s second-largest city.

But no matter how far up the ladder he’s climbed during his time in the Postal Service, he’s never strayed far from his roots in the Santa Clarita Valley, which go back some four decades.

“I took that route with the Postal Service and never looked back,” Santos said during an interview at his home in Valencia.

As a youngster, he went to Sierra Vista Junior High School and Canyon High, where, he said, he was a top-flight tennis player.

“I loved growing up here as a child,” Santos said of the SCV.

He recalls when a motorist could drive down Soledad Canyon Road from Canyon Country toward Six Flags Magic Mountain, where he held down a summer job, and only have to run by three lights. 

He can still remember the smell of onions wafting through the windows of his car as he drove around the Santa Clarita Valley.

But much has changed over the years.

The onion fields have nearly all been developed, and quite a few more lights have been installed on Soledad Canyon Road.

But despite all that’s changed, Santos’ feelings for the community have largely stayed the same.

“It was a beautiful city to grow up in and it’s a beautiful place to live,” he said.

Looking back on a career that began largely by chance, Santos said he is thankful for the way his life has gone and the support he has received.

“I’ve been very blessed throughout my career,” he said.

He’s also thankful to his wife for her work raising the pair’s two daughters, Monique and Noelle.

“I say she had the toughest job,” Santos said.


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