First Generation American Small Business Owners say: "Donald Trump is Not Who We Are"

First Generation American Small Business Owners say: "Donald Trump is Not Who We Are"

As a member of the Brooklyn First Generation American Small Business Owners, I invite all members of our community to stand together against the racial, religious and other intolerance that Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric promotes. There is no place for this kind of discrimination at my business Greenwood Grape & Still, our Brooklyn community or anywhere else in America.

As a community, we affirm the values that make us who we are: diversity, openness and compassion.
As a first generation American and a proud Brooklyn retail business owner, I want to invite all my fellow business owners, customers, friends and family to stand up against the racial, gender, national origin and cultural bigotry perpetuated by Donald Trump through his words and policy proposals.

Trump's hateful policies fly in the face of everything a successful small business owner should hold dear: respect for diversity, freedom of expression, tolerance and loving your neighbor as yourself. These should be universal U.S. values but they are especially sacrosanct here in Brooklyn, arguably the most vibrant melting pot in the world and a place I am proud to call home.

Trump’s divisive fear mongering is putting so many of our valued community members at risk for discrimination and stereotyping including our Latino, disabled, Muslim American, LGBT and new immigrants. These folks are our friends, employees, customers, family members and neighbors and they add so much to Brooklyn and America. As a first generation american, these issues are very personal to me.

There is no place for Trump's brand of hate in Brooklyn and America. As a business owner, loving husband, father and son, I try to promote our community's central values everyday and I encourage my employees and customers to do likewise. Donald Trump stokes fear, anger, bigotry and misguided stereotypes and we must take a strong stand against his policies.

Join me in saying: Donald Trump is not who America is and he doesn’t represent our values.

Why is this important?

I am the proud son of two immigrant parents from Russia and Argentina who came to America seeking a better life for their children and who rejected the politics of xenophobia, fear, dictatorship and social intolerance which sadly still prevail in Russia and which Donald Trump seems to celebrate through his support of Vladimir Putin!

I run a business that values diversity, inclusion and tolerance and I try to instill these values to my family, employees and all members of the Brooklyn community. Now we must show that these values are worth standing up for so ensure that Donald Trump's hateful vision for our country never comes to fruition.

Andrei Finocchiaro
President, Greenwood Grape & Still.

The views expressed in this letter are solely those of the individual author. They do not express the views or endorsement of any named organization