David Canepa

David Canepa

Chick-fil-A plans to open a new location in Redwood City, but at least one local official believes the fast-food chain has no place in San Mateo County because of its anti-LGBTQ agenda.

“Chick-fil-A’s values don’t represent our values,” said San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa. “The logo might as well say ‘we hate gay people.” 

Chick-fil-A has been a subject of controversy since 2012 when the company’s president and chief operating officer, Dan Cathy, publicly disagreed with same-sex marriage. The company has also been criticized for donating to groups and causes widely perceived to be anti-LGBTQ.

Chick-fil-A restaurant openings have sometimes been met with protests and communities around the country have decided to ban the controversial, but also very successful chain. 

Canepa hopes for a similar outcome in San Mateo County and plans to write a letter to the company discouraging it from setting up shop in Redwood City.  

“I expect demonstrations and protests,” he said. “My goal ultimately is that they withdraw their permit and not do business in San Mateo County.”

Redwood City resident Merrilly Robinson echoed Canepa’s position on the restaurant. 

“I’m really disappointed that our city that says they believe in honoring diversity allows a company with this reputation to come into town,” she said. “It’s a company that promotes hate and discrimination and I don’t believe in financially supporting a company [like that.]”

The Georgia-based purveyor of chicken sandwiches has obtained city approval for renovations and will replace the McDonald’s at 536 Whipple Ave., city spokeswoman Meghan Horrigan confirmed last week.

Chick-fil-A would not confirm a Redwood City location, but issued a statement in response to the above concerns.  

“Chick-fil-A aims to be a great neighbor in every community it serves and is focused on serving guests delicious food in an environment of genuine hospitality,” according to the statement. “Everyone is welcome at Chick-fil-A.”

The Redwood City restaurant will be in addition to about a dozen existing Bay Area Chick-fil-A locations and more than 2,300 locations in 47 states, all of which are closed on Sundays. The next closest Chick-fil-A is in Sunnyvale.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102

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(49) comments

SMC citizen

Mr. Canepa never once came up to me and asked me about my values. I'll have the spicy chicken sandwich meal, diet coke,with chick fil a sauce. It's interesting why Mickey D's is packing up. will the 40-50 currently employed there be able to secure a job with chick fil a? probably. will they find that working there is against their values? probably not.

Refking

In America we have free enterprise, let the general public decide if they want to eat there or not! I personally would love to try there chicken sandwich .

MiddleOfTheRoad

So you see how the discussion has died out. I think what a Bernie Sanders supporter said to me sums this whole thing up well. When I told her about a Chick Fil a opening up in Redwood City she said, “I love that place!†When I told her about the article in the paper she looked puzzled and said, “wasn’t that like ten years ago?†This is what will happen: Chick Fil a will open, there will a protest involving a small group on opening day, and for years to come we will have a decent fast food restaurant that will serve healthier food than the previous restaurant that was there. Chick Fil A provides healthy food and treats their employees well be they straight or gay. This is why Trump won in 2016 and may win again. It’s because of the “stands†that politicians like David take. The Democratic party needs to start focusing on issues that actually matter to working peoples’ everyday lives not old dusted off issues of identity politics. I think may have been a learning experience for David; let’s hope that he learns or we will replace him with someone that really speaks for the working people of this community. Peace out.

Concerned

This company does not discriminate at all in its operations. The leftist crowd simply wants to force everyone to a group think position and refuses to allow freedom of opinion. These politicians are the ones we need to remove from our county until they support free speech and freedom of thought.

Christopher Conway

Can anyone tell me why characters in conservative comments are being added that garble the message. Anyone else noticing that? characters with an A (a) and other odd symbols.

MerryWidow

Mr. Conway, it appears the random characters that have appeared in comments do so when an apostrophe is used whether it's a conservative comment or not.

SMC citizen

wow I thought folks were purposely entering that text. censorship? oh my,

LittleFoot

Basically these two are saying all Christians are terrible people and dont deserve the same rights as they do. Typical hypocritical liberals.

SMC citizen

Don' t forget the big stink boycott attempt concerning IN n OUT Burger. Heaven forbid a company contribute to their political party of choice. (they donated to Dem and Republican ) conservative: I do what I want liberal: You do what I want

Mr. Canterbury

I'd really like to know what country Mr. Canepa is living in. If I remember correctly in my country "The United States of America" we don't stiffel Free Enterprise. I've lived in San Mateo County my entire life and I don't remember asking him, or voting for him, to represent my views. In my opinion the recall shouldn't be for Chic-fil-a and it's permits, it should be for Mr. Canepa and his bigoted ways. Chic-fil-a sounds like a decent company and for standing up for their values and in the American way should be allowed to open a store wherever it would like. Let the people vote with their pocket book and if enough people don't eat there let that be the decision.

jimm55

The sad truth is that this area is actually incredibly intolerant and narrow minded. I had to laugh at the quote above, “I’m really disappointed that our city that says they believe in honoring diversity allows a company with this reputation to come into town,†Honoring diversity? You mean as long as that diversity coincides with YOUR opinion. Having a different opinion is actually quite intolerable. Here’s a suggestion....if you don’t like Chick fil a....don’t go there! Spend your money with paragons of virtue like McDonalds.

Mr Eddy

This is just wrong, it's censorship and the government shouldn't decide on what restaurant people should and shouldn't eat, just because you don't like the political views of Chick fil-A, you should just don't go and let the customers decide. We do not want Big Brother to tell us what restaurants we should not be eating from. All I care for this restaurant, is they're good people that provide good customer service and your meal ordered well.

craigwiesner

The government, in this case, is not deciding where people should eat. A leader in the county is raising awareness, taking a stand, things we can and should expect our leaders to do. Those who oppose this business, because of the millions of dollars their CEO and foundation have given and continue to give to organizations that have caused real harm to LGBTQ people, can and should let their neighbors know why they oppose that company. And then, yes, each person can decide whether they want to eat there. Speaking out, raising awareness, boycotting or spending money, protesting against or rallying in favor, voting for or against something are the tools that we have in our democracy. Every time we open our wallets and spend money we are voting for the kind of world we want. When I shop I try to know where the products I'm buying come from and how my money is being used. I vote with my wallet every day. We all do, whether we realize it or not. Our purchasing habits are not neutral. They matter.

Mr Eddy

That's not creating awareness, it's just being very selfish and intolerant over people's choice to eat, we shouldn't dictate that. I have gay friends that like Chick-fil-A, and they ate there in L.A. they weren't being discriminated there, the employees still treated them respect, the company is just conservative, there's nothing wrong with a chain having conservative views and you don't have to go there. Does everyone else have to suffer because of a certain group of people don't know how to make a decision on what they food they can eat, what are we the food police? It's none of your business to tell other people that they can't have the option to eat at Chick-fil-A, let other people decide, not the government. Same with other products like video games, some games are made by conservative developers, I'm not going to attack game companies just because of their political views, let gamers have the option to buy the game, stop with the censorship. The government should stop being Big Brother, let the consumers make their own decisions.

Mary V

I understand that people have different opinions however, pushing your agenda on all citizens as a representative of the county is not ok. It’s very convenient that timing of this article is during LGBTQ month. Why was it not published a week earlier? Being a bully to keep a business out due to nothing but political reasons is disgraceful. People talk about tolerance, yet it only applies if they share the same views. You are saying that support of LGBQT is required but support is Christian’s is not. It’s very hypocritical. It’s a food chain that makes great food. If you don’t like the food you have the choice to not eat there. I do support same sex marriage and the LGBTQ community however, I don’t expect everyone to be on the same page and I don’t believe pushing my views on others will change anything. Why can’t both coexist without it being some big political issue. You can’t push your views on others and expect that everyone will be on board. All you do is exclude a larger group and create more intolerance. Nobody wants to be forced into anything. We can all coexist.

LarsinD

I only avoid businesses that openly flaunt or make politics part of their message. That is not the case here, and people are openly protesting a statement from over a decade ago by an individual and making it an issue when it is not. The food is good and my family will enjoy stopping in. If Chick-fill-A as a business was openly promulgating a message of division, hate of any group (gay, straight, black, white, latino, whatever) then I would agree with David... but that is not the case.

Fr0hickey

I would patronize this restaurant, if it ever opens in Redwood City. The other locations I have visited have been well maintained, offer good value for the food and a pleasant eating environment.

Lou

Chick-fil-a has endured tremendous criticism despite being very successful and serving top quality, delicious food with great service. And making positive contributions to the community (in addition to paying taxes). Similar to a legal motion just filed today (San Antonio airport), Mr. Canepa's motives to exclude them are unlawful and discriminatory. Contrary to his remarks, Chick-fil-a does represent the values of many residents across the nation including Bay Area and Redwood City, plus sought after food. I know people who's first request for take-out is Chick-fil-a......people who know nothing of this controversy, who just want good food. Welcome!!

Mary V

Agree

craigwiesner

I’m glad to see that people are paying attention to this and voicing their concerns. Given that we have over 60,000 LGBTQ people living and working in San Mateo County, having a business like this at the heart of our county, a business whose brand is synonymous with discrimination, really sends the wrong message.

Mary V

There are also many more that are not LGBTQ living in the community who don’t think everything needs to be a political stance. We could also argue that by banning them is discrimination against Christians and their values. Do you see where this is going? This is a very slippery slope. We can all coexist. If you don’t want to eat there, it’s very simple, don’t go.

MiddleOfTheRoad

I meet with David on a semi regular basis. He has a genuine concern for the residents of San Mateo County and working people in particular. But on this I have to disagree with him. Members of the LBGQ community are free to eat and work at Chick Fil A. I don't think that a comment made by a CFO twelve years ago should affect whether a restaurant that serves decent food (some quite healthy) should be discouraged from coming to our town. I hope it come soon!! Where does this type of thinking end? Shall we research comments made by all the CFO's of the chain stores around here? What about In and Out? They are owned by Christians. They even have Bible verses on their cups. What about Whole Foods? Didn't the CEO speak out against Obama Care? This issue seems like a throw back to about ten years ago.

Mary V

Agree

MerryWidow

Can you say “holier than thou� Mr. Canepa and Ms. Robinson should look up the meaning of bigotry. They will find they are practicing exactly what they are accusing Chick Fil A of doing.

Mary V

Exactly

Jonathan

I believe the location is in the city limits of Redwood City. So county supervisors would not have a say. If the location they are talking about, it is a commercial & restaurant zoned and would not need city counsel or planning commission. This could be done by administrator.

Thomas Morgan

According to the article it sounds like the CFO made the comment, not sure it's fair to label the entire company. I am sure there are many good people, including members of the LGBT community who work at Chick-Fil-A. Not sure the County could afford let a good sales tax generating businesses. If we want to label then this implies all the County Supervisors are against the restaurant, and also against all of the causes Measure K and sales tax funding supports (housing, transportation, early child hood education,etc.). It would also mean the Supervisors are against all future sales tax measures, and that voters should not support new sales tax measures.

TJC

[censored] Looks like somebody drank, from the liberal socialist Kool Aide, let the people decide if the Chicken Business is successful or not, if you don't like their product or politics mr. canepa , that's your own problem, not ours ..

Mary V

Exactly

Typical from a left winger. If they don't like something, rather than keeping it personal and not participating in something or not visiting a business they disagree with, they seek to ban it for everybody. They are always the ones to call others Nazis, (an overused land abused label), but honestly, who acts most like a Nazi? Is it one who wants compliance from everyone to their way of thinking or is it someone who simply chooses for themselves and leaves others to their own decisions?

Mary V

Agree. Too many people thinking they speak for everyone. It’s either agree with me or you are labeled. Not everyone in Ca is Liberal

Terence Y

All hail King Canepa! I hope he has an aversion to vegetables and decides to write a letter to all grocers asking them to not sell vegetables. Maybe he can write a letter to all Catholic churches saying he does not want them in Redwood City, or elsewhere. Maybe King Canepa can tell that idiot Becerra to sue the Trump administration for this outrage to society. I think I will write a letter to King Canepa to tell him to go cluck himself.

Mary V

Agree

Myresponse

Well put Terence Y. David Canepa certainly seems to think he speaks for all of us, but not so. So easy to pronounce those who disagree on moral grounds to be bigots. How fearful David Canepa must be that Chick fila will be a success, and that those who CHOOSE to eat there will enjoy themselves.

Hawkeye

I didn't know that the members of the Board of Supervisors were also the thought police? If the consumers of Redwood City strongly disagree with the positions of the ownership/management of Chick-Fil-A, they won't patronize the restaurant and it will fail. What's the next step Mr. Canapa, Republicans, Independents and people of faith won't be allowed into your County? You're starting to sound a lot like what was being said in Germany in 1933..

Mary V

Exactly

Lonbo

Thrilled for the position the supervisor has taken. I cringe every time I see one of these chains pop up in our wonderfully diverse and inclusive state. I’ve never eaten at one of them - and never will. Chick-fil-A: please get the ‘cluck’ out of the Bay Area!

bearsbox

With all the changes I've seen in RC over my 6+ decades,I'm thankful to see this ultra conservative-right(chicken) wing business meeting opposition to establish themselves in town. Thanks Supervisor Canepa for speaking up to oppose this Georgia founded and based corporation.

Mary V

Son it’s not an issue if they are a Liberal left wing business? Just so long as they share your values? Isn’t it tolerance you are asking for, yet don’t want to give?

Myresponse

@ Mary, Do you not know that the new morality is that we only tolerate opinions with which we agree? No room for those who have a different moral compass. We are obsolete.

philf

While I think this food chain is wrong for it's stance on LGBTQ issues, I can't see not letting them open a place in San Mateo county. Canepa or anyone else doesn't have to go there to eat. If they are not wanted there people won't go and they will be closed in less than a year. Look what happened to Steak and Shake in Daly City it lasted less than a year. Canepa is trying to score points by taking a stand on this, I say let the residents decide. Maybe he's trying to make up for supporting SB50?

Christopher Conway

Hey Supervisor Canepa, please stay way away from our part of the county. No one voted for you outside your district and don't care what your position is. Look forward to having a great chicken sandwich in RWC.

Pacman

Always get a kick out of reading your comments!

Christopher Conway

Not as much of a kick as I get from writing them.

Kris Johnson

He is a “County†Supervisor and represents all the residents of San Mateo County.

Christopher Conway

Doesn't represent me. Not in the slightest.

Mary V

He doesn’t represent me. I don’t agree with his bully tactics. Where does it end? This is a very slippery slope.

Myresponse

He did not solicit my opinion Kris, and his bloviating is tiresome.

MerryWidow

I don't often agree with you, Mr. Conway however in this instance I am right there with you.[smile]

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