Two Pumps of Safety Concerns

Is it a sign of the times that it is not safe to run a Starbucks in some cities in America? The coffee chain announced that it is closing 16 stores in the U.S. not because of low profit margins but because of “safety concerns.”

Starbucks says that stores in these cities have had a barrage of issues putting their employees at risk of “personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more.”

The store closings will happen at the end of July in Seattle; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Washington, DC, and Portland, Oregon. This might as well be a list of America’s most divisive and poverty-ridden cities. What else do those cities have in common? Democratic mayors. Starbucks chief Howard Schultz said in a leaked video that Democratic mayors have “abdicated their responsibility in fighting crime and addressing mental illness.”

Is this political or is it more systemic than that?

Starbucks is usually a beacon of progress in a neighborhood and it feels apocalyptic to see them close down. Maybe we’re reading too much into this but maybe we’re not.

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