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Unions, Democrats Plead With Amazon in Open Letter to Return to NYC

Unions, Democrats Plead With Amazon in Open Letter to Return to NYC

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.


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2nd Ammendment Mother | March 1, 2019 at 11:11 am

Has anyone seen anything about what’s happening with property values in Long Island City and the surrounding area after the cancellation? I’m certain speculators jumped in and bought up properties pushing up valuations… I haven’t seen anything on that front – which is a major economics issue affecting the owners in that area.

Personally, I’d tell them “pound sand”

Amazon needs to consider which will be more important to it in the future: a win or a loss for AOC

A ‘win’ for her means it’s a campaign issue next election and could help drive her out if used appropriately

A ‘loss’ for her means that Amazon moves back in and this is all forgotten and she could be re-elected. That means a future vote to eventually stick it to Amazon, much worse than a typical politician who would accept campaign donations.

So I wonder how the population of the area falls in the NIMBY, BANANA, and NOPE spectrum.

NIMBY: Not in my backyard.

BANANA: Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anybody.

NOPE: Not on Planet Earth.

Amazon should agree to relocate to New York only if Ocasio-Cortez personally sweetens the deal with an additional $5 billion in cash.

There is no business reason why the Amazon headquarters has to be in New York.

Our stock exchange is no longer located in New York.

the country’s most inclusive tech economy.

Ahh . . . is this intended to be a selling point?

    n.n in reply to tom_swift. | March 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Diversity or color judgment, including racism, sexism, genderism, etc., is a selling point for the progressive liberally-minded. Inclusive refers to “color”, not people, informed by their Twilight faith and Pro-Choice religion. In Stork They Trust.

I would have thought that Amazon was smart enough to have learned it’s lesson after trying to operate in Seattle. Progressive Seattle politicians repeatedly attempted to exploit Amazon for tax dollars, hindered development through excessive regulation, and have destroyed the desirability of a Seattle location by encouraging / allowing large filthy camps of bums, druggies, and crazies. New York City (the near-absolute rulers of New York state, thank you Bollinger) is Seattle on steroids.

    alaskabob in reply to iconotastic. | March 1, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Wonder if they forgot the “fool me once, fool me twice” in their negotiations. They would prefer to entrench the Left but avoid enriching them too much.

    The productive person is the worker drone of the Left.

    healthguyfsu in reply to iconotastic. | March 1, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    They are smart…you don’t get to where Amazon and Bezos are by being stupid.

    They aren’t ethical, though, they can use their clout to push back and create crony capitalist conditions that benefit them and crush small competition.

    Seattle tried to take them on and got smacked on the hand. That leads the proggies to take money from other businesses that can’t fight back like Amazon, weakening their competition.

      They are amoral. They’re ethical, which is a circumstantial, “living” behavioral protocol.

        healthguyfsu in reply to n.n. | March 1, 2019 at 4:01 pm

        Fine…put another way, then.

        They can use their significant means to influence policy and limit free market entry and sustenance for other smaller businesses as it helps their bottom line.

Starting to think this whole thing is staged. Sometime soon, Cuomo will triumphantly announce the return of Amazon, detracting from the collapse of the state budget. Maybe paranoid speculation but this is a comments section.

This sweetheart Amazon deal must be pretty sweet for Amazon. While New York state ranks pretty good for low corporate tax rates, its high individual, property, and sales taxes are driving a population exodus which should frighten a Pharoh.

I find it curious that NY Mayor DeBlasio isn’t included in this collective asskiss on Bezo’s butt.

Amazon in NY looks a bit like Trump in Vietnam.

    Liz in reply to Petrushka. | March 1, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Yup, it is amazing what happens when one party to a negotiation says that the deal is not good and walks away.

    But, Amazon is expanding in many states to improve delivery. They are going to open their third warehouse/sorting/delivery place in OKC and apparently have one planned for Tulsa.

    So, perhaps they are rethinking operations and will first build the NoVA place and then decide where the next place goes. Or, they could be playing NY & NYC for more incentives.

Can’t trust them. That is the problem. Amazon just cancelled occupation of its 58 story building in Seattle. Because it could not trust the city council not to impose a targeted tax after it settled in.
Now remember, Bezos is a liberal Democrat and encourages these nut cases…but only for others. Like many Democrat billionaires (the vast majority of the super rich profess to be Democrats), they believe they can buy peace. The fail to understand that the young Democrats and their aged mentors are totally serious about destroying them and America.

    Massinsanity in reply to puhiawa. | March 1, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Captures the key consideration for AMZN… if the local NY pols behaved this badly before you even broke ground just wait until how you are treated once you have moved in and there cost of relocation is exorbitant.

    Just stay away AMZN.

As a proud Seattleite, I must agree with Iconotastic’s view of the city. The hard left has taken over the local government. Thankfully, their attempt to strong-arm Amazon collapsed. Amazon’s position toward New York City should be “drop dead.” There are other more deserving cities.

    MajorWood in reply to Guahan. | March 3, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    The same has happened in PDX. The business taxes are so high that all of the companies that can are relocating in the burbs. I have a friend who rents office space in Beaverton simply to have an address there. A smart person would build an office park with 100 addresses that each have a mailbox and 40 sq ft of actual office. They would be sucked up in a second at $500/mo.

The way to let business know they are welcome would be to start electing better representatives. And that will never happen.

Will the Gidget Cortez Show get canceled?

I don’t know what is, but it’s pretty clear that corporate tax rates aren’t the prime factor in Amazon’s decision. Otherwise they would be moving to North Carolina where “The state income tax rate for corporations is 2.5 percent. This is the lowest corporate tax rate among all the southern states and among any of the states collecting corporate taxes.” If I’m not mistaken, the corporate income tax is over 8% in NY.

They’re all gonna get on Breakfast Club Evita’s list

Personal what to Amazon?

“Opinions are strong in New York—sometimes strident. We consider it part of the New York charm!” Except when Trump does it.

I hope Amazon takes the deal, they deserve each other.

The Friendly Grizzly | March 1, 2019 at 3:37 pm

I warns my heart to see – among the other usual suspects – the AFL-CIO, and the thugs at SEIU begging.

The Friendly Grizzly | March 1, 2019 at 3:44 pm


One, they may have “turned on” Cortez, but they haven’t laid a glove on her. Not even one finger.

Two, I thought the real problem was the NYC city council working Amazon over to extract additional… can we call them concessions? I’ll call them concessions for the sake of argument.

First off you can’t believe a single thing a Democrat says. Nothing. Bezos knows that, since once he announced the project all he heard was negatives, even from the leader of the State Senate. He’s not going to change his mind.

Phil Knight can probably teach him a few things about dealing with local liberals, or, maybe he has.

“Amazon [please] return to New York”


An ordinary commercial transaction. NY wants to buy something of tangible value, Amazon doesn’t want to sell at the price being offered. So, if what Amazon has is worth it, NY needs to increase its offer.

This is not at all unusual for any company which reaches about two percent of the size of Amazon. Corporate facilities (factories, warehouses, mines, offices, and jobs large & small) are pure money to towns and cities.

I like watching the idiots on all sides having problems.
Amazon isn’t the greatest company to white knight in this cluster flack. I say let them pour out all the hate in their hearts that they can.
Bezo has enough billions that not much is going to really harm him.
I say spend slots of money in this fight, leaves that much less to spend against conservatives. Remember coumo just signed another infringement on the Second Amendment.