Could America elect a president who probably couldn’t even win a race for his own district’s City Council seat?
But former Starbucks CEO and longtime Madison Park lakefront mansion resident Howard Schultz is apparently passing up his opportunity to challenge socialist incumbent Kshama Sawant for her seat representing his District 3 on the Seattle City Council in 2019 and, instead, gearing up for a “centrist independent” run for president in 2020.
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“It feels good to be here. My hope is to share my truth, listen to yours, build trust, and focus on things that can make us better,” Schultz posted over the weekend kicking off waves of buzz about his prospects. The former CEO also is publicizing his new book.
Schultz has called Madison Park home for more than 20 years. His 16,000-square-foot waterfront mansion on 42nd Ave E is now worth somewhere around $30 million. Before moving into the gated Reed Estate community where he now lives, Schultz built a fancy new house near Viretta Park — and pissed off his neighbors by incorporating portions of the public green space into the property.
In D3, while the controversy over Viretta Park has likely faded, the coffee magnate would be ground up and spit out by constituents still angered by his $350 million sale of the city’s NBA franchise to Oklahoma buyers. Combined with worries about an independent run by Schultz damaging Democratic hopes in 2020 and handing Trump the White House — again — and animosity about a billionaire trying to run the country, we’re going to guess that Schultz’s local approval ratings among non-Starbucks team members are pretty low.
Locally, Schultz hasn’t been a visible player in District 3’s community and political arenas. In 2015, he joined then SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole in a forum on racism and policing held at the 23rd and Jackson Starbucks. “We all know that there are very serious problems going on in America today around racism, racial tension,” Schultz said at the 2015 forum, held in the wake of rising tensions and protests over police shootings. Schultz said at the time that his company was “heartbroken” over the tension between black communities and police and had decided to use “stores and our scale to elevate a national conversation” on the topic. The following week, the chain launched “Race Together” campaign in stores across the country.