Gov. Cuomo also made a “personal pitch” to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Unions and Democrat politicians asked Amazon to come back to Long Island City, Queens, in an open letter in The New York Times. They wrote:
New Yorkers do not want to give up on the 25,000 permanent jobs, 11,000 union construction and maintenance jobs, and $28 billion in new tax revenues that Amazon was prepared to bring to our state. A clear majority of New Yorkers support this project and were disappointed by your decision not to proceed. We understand that becoming home to the world’s industry leader in e-commerce, logistics and web services would be a tremendous boost for our state’s technology industry, which is our fastest growing generator of new jobs. As representatives of a wide range of government, business, labor and community interests, we urge you to reconsider, so that we can move forward together.
We know the public debate that followed the announcement of the Long Island City project was rough and not very welcoming. Opinions are strong in New York—sometimes strident. We consider it part of the New York charm! But when we commit to a project as important as this, we figure out how to get it done in a way that works for everyone.
Governor Cuomo will take personal responsibility for the project’s state approval and Mayor de Blasio will work together with the governor to manage the community development process, including the workforce development and infrastructure investments that are necessary to ensure that the Amazon campus will be a tremendous benefit to residents and small businesses in the surrounding communities.
NewYork attracts the best, most diverse talent from across the globe. We are a dynamic new center of the country’s most inclusive tech economy. We all hope you reconsider and join us in building the exciting future of New York.
Here are the people who signed it. It includes AFL-CIO and top Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries from Brooklyn:
The letter comes a day after The New York Times reported that Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo made a “personal pitch” to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to build in the city:
The governor has had multiple phone conversations with Amazon executives, including Mr. Bezos, over the past two weeks, according to two people with knowledge of the efforts. In those calls, Mr. Cuomo said he would navigate the company through the byzantine governmental process.
Mr. Cuomo did not offer a new location but rather guarantees of support for the project, one person said. Amazon executives gave no sense the company would reconsider.
On Thursday, Cuomo told reporters that he spoke to Amazon, but also applied pressure to the State Senate to approve the Amazon buildings:
“I’ve had many conversations with Amazon. I hope that they reconsider,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters at an unrelated event Thursday on Long Island. “It would be helpful if the State Senate said that they would approve it; that would be helpful. But in the meantime I haven’t heard any changes.”
Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Democratic majority leader of the State Senate, said in a statement that she had indicated her “willingness to work” with Amazon. “I have always been clear that I support job creation and was disappointed with Amazon’s decision and hoped they would reconsider,” she said.
An Amazon spokeswoman declined a request for comment.
CBS New York spoke to local restaurant owner Josh Bowen, who expressed anger and frustration over Amazon’s decision not to build in Long Island City, Queens. Bowen flew to Seattle and landed a “meeting with John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president for global real estate and facilities.
Bowen told the network, “Never say never is the words that were spoke to me. That’s not a confirmation, but for a New Yorker, that means we got work to do.”
In mid-February, Amazon announced it wouldn’t open its second headquarters in New York City “after a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.”
It was a victory for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), but others quickly turned against her because Amazon would have brought over 25,000 jobs to the area. Not only that, but it would have boosted property value and drawn other businesses to open. You know, trickle down economics.DONATE
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