Starbucks CEO: 'There's Something Wrong With Washington'
The Come Together petition is getting widespread support. It has more than 134,000 likes on the Starbucks Facebook page and Starbucks tweeted that the company had already reached more than one million signatures. Starbucks is also reaching out to CEOs of some of the nation’s largest companies in hopes that they will also come together, according to The Washington Post. The coffee chain has a unique opportunity to initiate a movement because more than 60 million customers visit Starbucks every week.
This is just Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s latest political move. Earlier in the week, the chain announced its “pay it forward” promotion to give a free tall coffee to anyone who paid for someone else’s order. According to the Starbucks website, “We’re hoping this small motivation will encourage you to be the spark of connection that helps bring us all a little closer at a time when showing our unity is so important."
The government shutdown, however, drones on. The federal government has been shuttered since Oct. 1 because the Democrat-controlled Senate and Republican-controlled House cannot come to a consensus over the budget for new fiscal year. Until Congress can pass a budget bill, more than 800,000 furloughed federal workers will continue to stay home from work, national parks will still be closed to the public and some welfare benefits will be unavailable.
Starbucks has a history of getting involved with politics. Schultz made a statement just last month that guns would not be welcome in Starbucks stores. Last December, the company encouraged baristas to write “come together” on coffee cups in the Washington, D.C. area to remind people that cooperation was important in the face of the fiscal cliff crisis. In 2011, Schultz asked other CEOs to stop campaign contributions until politicians could resolve their dispute over the debt ceiling and more than 100 companies took part in the effort.
Schultz has organized the Come Together petition to send a message to the government. As he put it, "There's something wrong with Washington."
Reach Staff Reporter Meghan Coyle here.