ACTION At Starbucks In Union Square Sunday 7/15–POSTPONED
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ACTION At Starbucks In Union Square Sunday 7/15–POSTPONED

Starbucks didn't consult the disability community when making its straw decision...Join NYC Disability Rights Activists to share their message.

Sharon Shapiro-Lacks speaks at the Yad Empowers Alliance. Courtesy of Michael Levy
Sharon Shapiro-Lacks speaks at the Yad Empowers Alliance. Courtesy of Michael Levy

UPDATE, 7/15:

We’re postponing our rally outside Starbucks (Sunday, July 15) after a senior company representative contacted us to discuss the company’s policy. We expect to continue discussions with the company to ensure that single-use plastic straws are available upon request at all stores, no questions asked, even after the company phases out its wider use of straws. However, we’ll be back at Starbucks (or any other company) if it turns out appropriate plastic straws won’t be available for customers who request them.

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Dear Colleagues,

We’re heading to Starbucks — but not for coffee! Join us this Sunday, July 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Union Square (25 Union Square West near 16th Street, at the end of the Disability Pride Parade) for a news conference/rally to urge the company to alter its plan to completely eliminate plastic (and all other) straws by 2020.

Many people with disabilities depend on plastic straws, but Starbucks didn’t consult with our community before making its announcement. It now says it “will work with the disability community to ensure we continue to meet their needs going forward.” But Starbucks needs to hear from our community to make sure that actually happens, since so far the company’s outreach record sucks.

As many of you know, getting rid of plastic straws is the environmental issue of the month. We’re all for reducing plastic waste, but at the same time we want to make sure plastic straws are available to anyone who asks for one. (Starbucks says it’s replacing straws completely with what it’s calling an “adult sippy cup,” which requires someone to physically raise the cup to one’s mouth and apparently uses more plastic than straws; it also isn’t clear whether the sippy cup can be used with plastic straws.)

Will your organization endorse our efforts? If you’re participating in the parade, would you ask participants to join us as you roll into the end of the parade? Thank you.

Yours,
Edith M Prentiss, Disabled In Action, edith@disabledinaction.org
Joe Rappaport, Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled, jrappaport@bcid.org
Sharon Shapiro (BCID), sshapiro@yadempowers.org

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