Houston Restaurants Take Stand For Immigrants

In response to some of President Donald Trump’s policies, a local initiative called “Dining for Democracy” is raising money for the ACLU.


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Benjy Mason, director of operations at Treadsack, pictured at Hunky Dory restaurant, started ‘Dining for Democracy.’

Twenty-seven restaurants and bars are participating in "Dining for Democracy." Since March 8, they have been offering special dishes or drinks and donated 15 percent of the proceeds from those to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The idea was conceived by Benjy Mason, director of operations at Treadsack, which operates five bars and restaurants in the Heights, as a response to President Donald Trump's first travel ban.

"The diversity of dining options in this city is something that is built on immigration and people coming from all over the world," he told News 88.7.

Mason said he usually doesn't mix business with politics but felt that enough was enough and it was time to take a stand.

So how has it been perceived by diners?

"I had one angry person call and yell at my hostess," he said. "And other than that I think the vast majority of the people have either just not, it hasn't registered, or a lot of people have come in specifically and said, thank you so much for doing this."

The initiative ends on Wednesday. Mason said he will then reach out to the other restaurants to see how much they raised.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is the News 88.7 business reporter and also covers criminal justice, guns and shootings.Florian's stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of...

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