Especially if your in Verona, WI! Local Verona small business Tuvalu Coffeehouse has come under some scrutiny(both positive and negative) for allowing people to sign their recall Walker/Kleefisch petitions inside the establishment. Instead of addressing every single response personally it was much easier for owner Erika Hotchkiss to respond to everyone Via a LTE in the Verona Press, unfortunately the Editor turned her request to print this letter down. Fortunately, the new media allows alternate press like this very blog, to not be restrained from having to censor so here is Ms. Hotchkiss’s letter in its entirety:
Since the beginning of the recall effort in Verona I have received many messages and phone calls both in support and in opposition to Tuvalu’s participation in the recall effort. I would like to take a moment to clarify why I have made the decision to involve my local business in this issue.
Tuvalu Coffeehouse & Gallery has, since it’s opening, been all about social justice. Everything I do I do with the thought of how it will affect our community, our children, and quite honestly our world. I have set out to make a place in Verona that educates consumers and offers a family friendly environment and a socially conscious choice within our community.
I feel strongly that what is happening to the people of our state and the divisiveness that we see at the Capitol is, at its core, a social justice issue. I have, therefore, provided the recall Walker organizers in Verona a place to collect signatures where they can sit out of the cold at a table in the corner and be safe, and the people who want to sign the recall petition can sign it knowing that they are signing in a place where they and their signatures are also safe. The recall group has been very respectful of our business and our customers. They sit quietly at a table with their petitions waiting for people to come to them if they so choose.
As a customer recently wrote to me “Some might think that putting politics into your business is risky… Sometimes, separating the two is the least authentic choice. We must all go to bed at night knowing we are measured by the positions we take on a daily basis. I applaud the transparency and I know you sleep well.”
No matter the outcome, I wouldn’t change a thing. As a longtime resident of Verona, a mother to three wonderful kids, and a small business owner I have to make the best choices I am able to every day. I love that we have a safe place in Verona for people to sign. I love that I am able to stand up for what’s right with integrity and feel empowered and supported by this wonderful community! I have never been silent when I see injustice and misuse of power no matter the risk. I truly would walk away from anything where I was not able to be authentic to who I am and what I believe. This is what Tuvalu is at its core… it’s more than just a place to get a great cup of coffee.
Thank you all and Happy Holidays!
FYI the reason that the editor gave for NOT publishing this letter is because Ms. Hotchkiss is running for Dane County Board. While I believe these two issues are separate, the editor disagreed. However, since she is running for Dane County Board, here are contact places to help her do so. We need all the progressives in government we can get!
Show her some support and if you get near Verona, stop in and have a cup of coffee!
A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness tasted and time well spent.
Categories: | Better Government | County Board | Dane County Board | Local Purchasing | Media | politics | Recall Walker | What is a progressive | Wisconsin | Wisconsin Governor | Women in Local Government