Forty Under 40
BY Advocate Contributors
April 24 2012 1:56 AM ET
Matthew Baumgartner • 38
Owner, Bombers Burrito Bar
New York state senator Roy McDonald is one of only a handful of Republicans who voted in favor of marriage equality when the legislature approved it last year. When he was still wavering, a large billboard loomed over his drive to the capitol in Albany, which read, “To Senator McDonald. Please support marriage for ALL loving couples.” The message came from Bombers Burrito Bar and its gay owner, Matthew Baumgartner.
“A lot of my friends for the gay cause are unaware of how the local politicians vote,” he says. “When they saw a billboard about it, they got involved and called his office.” The billboard cost Baumgartner $5,000 to run for a week. And he wasn’t worried about losing business.
“People weren’t going to stop eating there because of a billboard,” he says. “And if they did, quite frankly, they’re not really the kind of customers I’d like there anyway.”