Amazon officially announced its decision to locate its second and third headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, and Arlington, Virginia, today. Multiple publications including the Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the news, indicated the announcement was coming on Tuesday morning.
In New York City, many elected officials, particularly those representing Long Island City and the surrounding neighborhoods, are opposed to the decision. So far, City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer and State Senator Michael Gianaris have both come out against Amazon, saying “offering massive corporate welfare from scarce public resources to one of the wealthiest corporations in the world at a time of great need in our state is just wrong.” You can read their full statement on Twitter.
Joint statement from @SenGianaris & I regarding Amazon #HQ2 LIC deal: pic.twitter.com/Ipj9L2kMJW— Jimmy Van Bramer (@JimmyVanBramer) November 11, 2018
While these elected officials aren’t against Amazon opening its second headquarters in New York City per se, they are against it bypassing the city review process. City Council member Brad Lander had this to say about it:
Problem is not only Amazon's ULURP-evading assault on LIC, closed-doors #AmazonCuomo process to extract NYS tax breaks, or self-serving, secrecy-requiring bidding process. It's the whole corporate practice of forcing cities into a war-of-all-against-all: https://t.co/qNuKmwpJqL— Brad Lander (@bradlander) November 13, 2018
The New York Times noted on Tuesday that a group of six elected officials including Van Bramer and Gianaris had sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos last year in support of the company opening a second headquarters in NYC. Both officials clarified their position on Tuesday saying they never supported the new location without a thorough community engagement process.
Other officials have also chimed in including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the U.S. Representative-elect for New York’s 14th Congressional District:
We’ve been getting calls and outreach from Queens residents all day about this.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 13, 2018
The community’s response? Outrage. https://t.co/Jl4OIfa4gC
New York State Assembly member Ron Kim and former New York Attorney General candidate Zephyr Teachout both came out against the retail giant last week, writing in a New York Times opinion piece that NYC should “not offer incentives and giveaways to an internet giant known for squashing small businesses.”
Van Bramer and Gianaris along with groups like New York Communities for Change plan to hold a rally in opposition to Amazon on Wednesday, in Long Island City.