Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wants America to wake up from partisan gridlock, so he's offering free coffee at the chain Friday for customers who buy coffee for each other, and he's gathering petition signatures demanding politicians to "come together" to resolve the government shutdown.
The petition announced Friday on the company's website said Starbucks wants to make its customers voices heard in Washington. Print versions of the petitions are also available in Friday editions of USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Users can also "like" the petition's Facebook post, which will count as a signature.
"To our leaders in Washington, D.C., now's the time to come together to:
1. Reopen our government to serve the people.
2. Pay our debts on time to avoid another financial crisis.
3. Pass a bipartisan and comprehensive long-term budget deal by the end of the year."
The company announced its free coffee promotion on Wednesday, which continues through Oct. 11, as an example of cooperation for Washington politicians, proving the uniting power of coffee.
"A customer buys the next person in line their favorite beverage—not as an act of charity or thanks—but an acknowledgement of commonality and humanity," the company said. "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."
Schultz took a political stand in September when he requested that gun owners no longer bring firearms into the coffee shops or outdoor seating areas, even in states with open carry laws allowing gun owners to carry weapons in public.