Former Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz is scheduled to discuss his book, “From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America” at a sold-out Live Talks Los Angeles event Thursday evening at New Roads School in Santa Monica.
Former broadcast journalist and California first lady Maria Shriver will serve as the moderator.
The book weaves Schultz’s experiences growing up in public housing projects in Brooklyn, including some he had not previously publicly shared, with what he called “a candid look at my attempts to challenge the traditional role of business in society.”
Schultz has called the book “part memoir, part blueprint for how to induce positive change.”
“I wrote it to provide an honest, optimistic look at what I’ve learned, and the potential we all have to reimagine a better future for ourselves and the people around us,” Schultz said.
Members of the United Farm Workers and their allies plan to protest outside the event. The union has long asked Starbucks to take “social responsibility” for the alleged sexual harassment and labor law violations by the Washington state dairy cooperative Darigold, whose workers help to produce the milk Starbucks uses to make lattes, cappuccinos, Frappuccinos and other products.
In an interview that aired Jan. 27 on the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes,” Schultz said he is “seriously thinking of running for president” as an independent candidate.
“We’re living at a most fragile time,” Schultz told correspondent Scott Pelley. “Not only the fact that this president is not qualified to be the president, but the fact that both parties are consistently not doing what’s necessary on behalf of the American people and are engaged, every single day, in revenge politics.”
Schultz, a lifelong Democrat, said he would run as a “centrist independent.”
Many Democrats have criticized Schultz’s possible candidacy, fearing it would split the anti-Trump vote and lead to President Donald Trump’s re-election.
“There is zero appetite for this,” Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, tweeted. “The best thing that Howard Schultz can do for the country is invest in education, voting rights, civil rights, and climate advocacy.”
In a commentary published Monday on the online platform Medium, Schultz wrote that he has “repeatedly promised that I will not be a spoiler” and that he is “committed to ensuring that I will do nothing to re-elect Donald Trump.”
“I have come to feel a deep responsibility and moral obligation to address Americans’ frustrations with our broken two-party system,” Schultz wrote.
“I firmly believe there is an unprecedented appetite for a centrist independent presidential candidate, and that there is a credible path for an independent to win more than the necessary 270 electoral votes — a key criteria in my consideration of whether to run.”
Schultz pledged to present his “vision for how a centrist independent would govern” in the coming weeks.
“I will discuss how we must draw upon the best ideas from all sides, reject revenge politics and assemble an administration that reflects the full diversity of the country, including Democrats, Republicans and independents,” Schultz wrote.
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