Amazon Broke Up With New York…On Valentine’s Day
Image Source: Slate
Amazon has us all shook. On Valentine’s Day, the e-commerce giant announced that its plans to build new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens were cancelled. So, what exactly happened? To put it simply, CEO Jeff Bezos — AKA the richest man in the world — decided he didn’t want to do it anymore because New York was mean to him.
It’s true. There was quite a bit of opposition. To most New Yorkers, Amazon moving-in meant bigger crowds and higher rents. Several politicians and community organizers expressed their concerns about the project as well. A few of the biggest critics included: City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, State Senator Michael Gianaris, and Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. They felt the company’s corporate greed would be detrimental to the city and its residents. They pushed back on the $3.4 billion in federal and state funding that Amazon was promised. In their eyes, why should NY pay to build Amazon’s empire? According to a statement made by Jimmy Van Bramer, “When a corporation is anti-union, pro-ICE and seeks billions in corporate welfare, we must fight back.”
However, on the flip side, the majority of Queens’ residents and local businesses were depending on Amazon’s deal to boost the economy. Plus, Amazon promised them 25,000 new jobs. Governor Cuomo agreed in his statement last Thursday, “A small group of politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state’s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state.”
I think everyone can agree that there are valid points to both sides of this argument. But what remains unclear is why Amazon and New York couldn’t work it out? Why couldn’t they meet somewhere in the middle?
I guess the only thing left to say is… “Alexa, tell Jeff we’re sorry.”
Posted by Abby