To young women everywhere:

Believe in dreams, your dreams for yourself. Your dreams to be who you want to be, to touch the sky, to travel far, to be valued for who you are, as a whole person, with the body you were given and the brain you’ve developed. That’s the kind of dream girl we hope is a reality for you. Dream as in the imperative — your action for your future. Not the dream that belongs to someone else when you are reduced to being an object — to being valued solely for the way your body becomes a stranger’s sexual fantasy. Dream Girl Espresso is not about your dream, girl. It’s about his.

To entrepreneurs everywhere:

With an ample dose of determination, creativity and discipline, you can kick-start your own business. Go for it! Enterprise is what makes a community thrive. As a new entrepreneur you’ll be joining a long list of individuals who over millennia have sought ways to make a difference by responding to a need. One thing to keep in mind as you think up your business is how it will contribute to the greater good. At Adelante Mujeres in our small business development program, we present this in terms of the Principle of the Triple Bottom Line: people, planet and profit. So much emphasis has been placed on profit that sometimes we forget that with the right to start a business comes the responsibility to pay attention to how your business affects the community — whether this means protecting the environment in which you operate, protecting the welfare of your workers or protecting the community interest.

In addition to pay and benefits, think about what you require your workers to do and what you require them to wear while on the job. Are they in a position to be treated with dignity by customers? Are they respected for their skill and talent? If you concentrate on the first two — people and planet — if you think honestly about how your business is making life better for everyone your business touches, and give some thought to how your business respects the earth we all live in, the profits will follow. Dream Girl Espresso seems to be focused solely on profit with a disregard for its impact on the community.

To the Forest Grove community:

Adelante Mujeres is an organization committed to working for the empowerment of all people, especially women and girls who have suffered from structures that devalue women. We know firsthand the cost of sexism and the objectification of the female body. Over 50 percent of the women we serve have experienced sexual violence of some form or another. In society as a whole, between a third and a fourth of all women have been sexually abused. When women’s and girls’ bodies are made into a commodity, we all pay. Women pay with their bodies and with the dehumanizing message that a woman’s value lies solely in how her body appears and appeals to others; men and boys pay when relationships are impoverished by an equation that devalues women and girls.

Zoning laws limit strip joints and nightclubs to certain areas, but Dream Girl Espresso has found a way around this. As members of the community we can exercise our power by voting with our dollars. What kind of business do we feel is appropriate next to a bus stop where children wait to catch the bus, or next to a carwash where children come with their parents to wash their car, or next to an organization that serves families with small children? We have the right to determine whether we want to expose our children to Dream Girl Espresso. We have the responsibility to help create a community that fosters respect.

While we would like to support our new neighbor, for all the reasons we’ve just mentioned, Adelante Mujeres has decided to buy its coffee elsewhere. We hope you’ll join us.

Adelante Mujeres is a Forest Grove nonprofit that educates and empowers low-income Latina women and families.

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