Tea Party Flashback! Babcock Of The Walk, or, Give Me Zoka Or Give Me Death!
The year was 2003. Norah Jones pervaded each and every Starbucks across the continent, Kelis brought untold millions of milkshakes to the yard, and 50 Cent’s “Get Rich Or Die Trying” bumped at high volumes from suburb to shining suburb. Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines gave us all a reason to live. On the soggy shores of the Puget Sound, Initiative 77 threatened consumers with a 10 cent tax on coffee beverages, and only Zoka Coffee’s Jeff Babcock had the balls to don a silly costume and make a public spectacle of himself.
“What do we want? Cof-fee! How do we want it? Tax free!” they chanted, some dressed in Colonial-style garb.
Sandi Chelan marched with her husband, Nathaniel Jackson, part-owner of Cafe Allegro in the University District.
“The proponents of this tax are characterizing espresso drinkers and sellers as wealthy,” Chelan said. “We have homeless people who drink coffee in our cafe. We have students and artists, carpenters. …
“It’s a coffee house. It’s not a money machine.”