It is debatable whether it is wise or appropriate for a business to declare their political/social values to the public. Corporations do declare their support and money all the time. Most small community based businesses, perhaps wisely, keep their politics out of their business. For the most part, we have followed suit. Quarter Moon supports community events and nonprofit organizations, but we have stayed out of the fray of most debates about politics.
That stops now. As the owner of this business, I want you to know who I am as a woman, and as a business owner in this community for 27 years. I want you to know what I support. I want you to know what I am against. These are my values. In light of the recent election, I am taking my fear, my anger and my sadness and I am making a commitment. I am making a commitment to fearlessly and loudly and relentlessly fight for what I believe in. I am using social media as a starting point, but I am pushing past the numbing effect of social media and I will be handwriting letters to our elected leaders, I am showing up at marches, I am supporting, campaigning and voting for candidates whose values most closely align with my own. I am setting up small affordable monthly automatic payments to organizations that work for the causes I believe in. After this election, I realize more than ever that as a citizen, I have a responsibility to try to build the type of community and country I want to live in. As a business person, I feel I also have the responsibility to use my community connections to try to build an open civil dialogue and a network of support for communities that are threatened by hate and fear.
Here is a starting list of what I believe in. If this affects your interest and willingness to shop at our business, I understand. I’ll tell you right up front, we do not tolerate RACISM, BIGOTRY, XENOPHOBIA, SEXISM, ABLEISM or HOMOPHOBIA within our walls. Quarter Moon is a safe place for all and we are keeping it that way.
I believe in LGBT RIGHTS and policies in our public and private institutions that protect the LGBT community from discrimination and harassment.
I believe in REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM, the right to safe legal abortion and access to free/ affordable birth control.
I believe in PAYING TEACHERS WELL and encouraging dedicated professionals to guide their profession in ways that help to build critical thinking skills in their students. I believe we need to bring back civics lessons, PE, Art and Music. I believe we need to add conflict resolution skills, cultural sensitivity and anti- bullying programs to curriculums across the country.
I believe there is an AFFORDABLE DAY CARE crisis for working families. I believe in day care subsidies based on a sliding scale where day care does not exceed a reasonable percentage of income.
I believe that we need to talk more openly about SEXISM, how pervasive it is and how hard it is for women to call out sexist behavior without fear of being labeled in negative ways. I believe we need to include men in these conversations and we need to teach our daughters and our sons to respect all equally regardless of gender/gender identification.
For god sakes, I BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE! Environmental stewardship is the greatest gift we can give to our children and grandchildren. It’s everything.
I believe in HUMANE IMMIGRATION POLICIES that provide a path to citizenship and that do not tear apart families. I believe in appreciating and rewarding immigrants, legal or illegal who take on the back breaking work of providing us with handpicked fruits and vegetables.
I believe we need to reach out to people of Muslim faith to increase understanding, fight stereotypes and let them know they have support in our community.
I believe in STANDING STRONG in support of our Native American communities across our country, protecting their land rights and supporting their struggle to save the environment from further degradation.
I believe we need to commit to continued CONFLICT RESOLUTION TRAINING, cultural sensitivity training, trauma counseling and updated safety equipment and support for our police force. Our police forces put their lives on the line every day and they need our support. Our many loyal good cops need a safe procedure to be able to weed out racists and overly aggressive bad cops without fear of retribution or their own safety.
I believe in PROVIDING SANCTUARY to families fleeing ISIS. This is an enormous human crisis and we are standing by while families suffer in ways we can only imagine.
I believe in SCIENCE.
I believe in businesses being encouraged through tax incentives to INCLUDE EMPLOYEES in meaningful PROFIT SHARING.
I believe in the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement. Until we acknowledge that there are differences in the way black citizens are treated in our country and work to change that, we are leaving our citizens of color behind and building divisiveness that is destructive to all of us.
I believe in SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE system, based on a free to sliding scale contribution, with no pre-existing conditions.
I believe in RELIGIOUS FREEDOM for people of ALL FAITHS and NO FAITH.
I believe that it is patriotic to “TAKE A KNEE” when you feel that you need to and patriotic to respect that right even if you are holding your own hand over your heart.
I don’t believe corporations deserve the same rights as PEOPLE.
I believe in employing all PEACEFUL solutions first to our world problems and also in protecting the most impoverished and vulnerable humans on our planet.
I believe in supporting ART and MUSIC as a healing force in our community.
I believe that we each have to WORK HARDER for what we believe in, share our philosophies of how to get to a better place and respect those who vote their conscience and vote for what they believe in.
I believe we need to LISTEN more and ENGAGE in face to face civil discourse with those who have different viewpoints. A face to face discourse that is free from disrespect and stereotypes is welcomed any time.
With wishes for LOVE and PEACE and HEALTH…seriously…I mean it.