News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 12, 2013

Government shutdown: ‘Reopen our government’

Starbucks calls citizens to send message to Congress

Dianne Frances D. Powell
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — “There’s a story in every coffee.” And for a limited time only, there’s also a petition.

Starbucks, the nation’s largest coffee chain, this weekend becomes the hub for a nationwide petition that aims to let citizens’ voices be heard.

“...we’re asking citizens, including our customers, partners (employees) and other business leaders, to sign a petition,” Starbucks told the Tribune-Star in an email.

The “Come Together” petition hopes to “give the American people the voice they currently lack,” the email said.

This weekend, Starbucks customers can go into stores across America to sign the petition asking “our leaders in Washington DC,” to:

n Reopen our government to serve the people

n Pay our debts on time to avoid another financial crisis

n Pass a bipartisan and comprehensive long-term budget deal by the end of the year

And the company promises to deliver the message to the nation’s capital.

“We’ll ensure that your signature is sent to Washington, and that your voice will be heard,” according to a flier explaining the petition, which started Friday and runs through Sunday.

By Friday afternoon, Starbucks branches in Terre Haute already saw signatures.

The branch on 3017 S. U.S. 41 had 13 signatures. The one at 4900 U.S. 41 had 14.

The Starbucks branch at 2500 Wabash Ave. had 31 signatures after lunch on Friday.

Manager Laurie VanHorn said the store has received questions and comments from customers about the petition. People are talking about it, she said.

The petition is also available online and in tear-out ads in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the Washington Post. The company is asking citizens to tear-out the petitions, sign them and drop them off at a store this weekend.

VanHorn said the local branch has already seen people dropping off petitions in the drive thru.

“It’s a representation of who we are as a company. The way we connect with our customers, with citizens,” VanHorn said.

“So many of our customers are being affected” by the government shutdown, she said.

Customers can also sign digitally at Come TogetherPetition.com. A “like” on the petition’s Facebook post will count as a signature.

All for change.

“The crisis of leadership in Washington is causing grave concern among our country’s citizens and about America’s standing in the world. We want to help give a platform to share their concerns,” the company said in an email.

Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or dianne. powell@ tribstar.com.