Seattle -- Starbucks Coffee Co. is once again throwing itself into the middle of a national debate. In an open letter on the chain’s website, founder and CEO Howard Schultz said that, starting Oct. 11, the company will circulate petitions in its stores across the nation urging lawmakers to reopen the partially closed government and avoid a looming default.
“Starbucks will offer up its thousands of stores across the nation to give the millions of customers who come through our stores every week, and thousands of partners (employees) who serve them, an opportunity to have their voices heard by signing our petition,” Schultz wrote.
The petition will be circulated Friday through Sunday. Consumers can also sign the petition digitally at ComeTogetherPetition.com or "like" the petition's Facebook post, which will count as a signature to the petition.
The "voluntary, non-partisan" petition asks Congress and the White House to reopen the government, pay U.S. debts on time, and pass a long-term bipartisan budget deal by the end of the year.
“What has become clear to me over these past few days — aside from the continued dysfunction we see from our elected leaders — is the sad and striking realization that the American people have no platform with which to voice their frustration with Washington and the current stalemate that threatens our nation,” Schultz wrote.
Newspaper ads promoting the petition will appear Friday in USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
Schultz also sent letters to business leaders, encouraging them to sign onto his initiative, Reuters reported.