Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Schultz has launched a petition for the public to sign that requests three things from leaders in Washington, D.C. The first is to come together to reopen our government to serve the people. The second is to pay our debts on time to avoid another financial crisis. And finally, he asks them to pass a bipartisan and comprehensive long-term budget deal by the end of the year. While Schultz maintains that he is a nonpartisan, he did tell The Huffington Post in an interview that it "was 'correct' that the Republican Party deserves more blame for the current impasse, but that it was now up to both parties — and the president — to compromise."
The Huffington Post reported that Schultz "decided to launch the petition drive after discussing the idea with one of President Barack Obama’s top advisers, Valerie Jarrett, as well as with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.)." Schultz is also adamantly opposed to the stopgap solution that some have suggested, which will merely lift the federal borrowing limit and carry the government for six weeks.
Schultz lamented that there are others around the country who are just as outraged as he is, not only about the shutdown but the potential of such a temporary solution. And since one of the government-run means of expressing public sentiment (the White House "petition" line) has been made unavailable during the shutdown, he took matters into his own hands. Due to the influence Starbucks has on American citizens, Schultz's petition may be well-received. Starbuck reportedly serves about 45 million U.S. customers every week, and the petition was made widely available at about 8,000 to 10,000 Starbucks locations starting this Oct. 11. The petition is also available online and Starbucks patrons can print the petition out and bring it to their local coffee shop.
Schultz told The Huffington Post, "Civil discourse is more necessary than ever."