Heard on the Hill

Ex-Staffer Launches Petition to Save Cups

‘Cups is very life-giving’

(Courtesy “Save Cups”/actionnetwork.org)

The Capitol Hill Twitterverse was not pleased to see the news that Cups & Company in the Russell Senate Office building could lose its contract and have to end services. One woman is taking action.

All the way from New York, where she now lives, Rebecca Christopher has started a petition. She left Capitol Hill in 2009 where she most recently was a press assistant to Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin.

“I really have, like most, I assume, people in D.C., had been kept alive by Cups for many years,” Christopher said. “You guys broke this Cups story and I, as someone who has a lot of my Hill memories attached to Cups, was mad about it.”

[Cups Could Be No More]

The fact that Durbin’s Whip office is in the Capitol, where there aren’t as many food options as inside the Senate Office buildings, helped establish her Cups love.

Hill Reacts to Possible Closure of Beloved Coffee Shop

“The Whip office has a little nook in the actual Capitol basement. That part of the Hill is a complete impossible-to-get-coffee desert,” she said. “And it’s freezing there so Cups is very life-giving.”

She started her petition, Save Cups, through the Action Network. As of Thursday afternoon, it had seven signatures.

“If democracy is sacred to us, Cups is one of the most authentic places of its worship - from a moment of quiet contemplation about a draft, to the true bipartisanship of a shared wince between strangers when someone spills boiling hot coffee on themselves,” the petition reads. “Cups is where our laws are written, our values are affirmed and questioned.”

Christopher said if it gets at least 10 signatures, she will send it to the Architect of the Capitol’s office, who is in charge of deciding if Cups gets to keep its contract.

“We’ll see what actually happens with that,” she said. “I’m sure that the Architect of the Capitol’s evaluation process doesn’t have room for an online petition. If it’s 10 [signatures], that’s not pathetic, it’s at least funny enough to do, honestly.”

She may have started the first effort, but probably not the last, to keep Cups in the Capitol.

“It seems like one of those things that someone eventually was going to do,” Christopher said, adding that she’s “like a lot of people in D.C., the second you’re mad about it, you make a petition.”

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