June 2012 Ethical Hero – Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz is not sitting around waiting for Congress to do something about jobs.

Credited for making Starbucks the number three restaurant chain in America, last April, Schultz has raised the capitol and consciousness for jobs through an initiative he calls Create Jobs for USA.

“My message” Schultz said in an interview on CBS This Morning, “is the following: we as business people and business leaders cannot and should not wait for Washington to solve the problem. It’s obvious to me and many others that that’s not going to happen. We must do something. And I think corporate America must recognize that we must not only look at the bottom line, but balance profitability with our core responsibility to invest back in the United States of America and bring people back to work.”

The money raised from both business and private donations is put in the hands of a group of small banks that offer low-interest loans to small-businesses and start-ups. Starbucks has already contributed $5 million to a “total of $50 million already raised by selling $5 wristbands to its customers.”

But Schultz isn’t stopping there. He took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal with a direct call-to-arms addressed to all:

HOW CAN AMERICA WIN THIS ELECTION?

“On Independence Day,” Schultz writes, “our country celebrates the promise of America.

“It’s a day to remember that the principles that bind us together vastly outweigh what keeps us apart. The freedom to dream and the opportunity to create a better life – not just for ourselves, but for each other – have always defined our great nation. …

“Across the country, millions of Americans are out of work. Many more are working tirelessly yet still unable to adequately care for their families. Our veterans are not being welcomed home with the level of support they deserve. Meanwhile, in our nation’s capitol, our elected leaders are continuing to put ideology over real solutions. I love America, but we all know there is something wrong. The deficits this country must reconcile are much more than financial, and our inability to solve our own problems is sapping our national spirit. We are better than this. America’s history has showed that we have accomplished extraordinary things when we act collectively, with courage, creativity, and generosity of spirit – especially during trying times. …

“Let’s tell our government leaders to put partisanship aside and to speak truthfully about the challenges we face. Let’s ask our business leaders to create more job opportunities for the American economy. And as citizens, let’s all get more involved. Please, don’t be a bystander. Understand that we have a shared responsibility in solving our nation’s problems. We can’t wait for Washington. …

“Join the national conversation with #INDIVISIBLE. Starting today, I invite you to share your view of America, and how we can all put citizenship over partisanship. On Instagram, post a photo of the America we all need to see. On Twitter, provide a link to an innovative idea. Blog about who’s making a difference in your community; or on YouTube, share how you made your American Dream come true….

“Together, we can set a new tone in America. We hope you agree that doing so is a powerful way to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

In 2012, America needs to win the election more than either party does. It is time now to join together as Americans. It is time, whatever our differences, for us to strive and succeed as one nation – indivisible.”

To paraphrase Mahatma Ghandi, Howard Schultz is the change we want to see in our world.

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