Connect with us


Amazon just threw New York City politicians under the bus



Amazon took a jab at New York City’s local politicians as it broke the news that it was cancelling its plans to build a major office expansion in the city.

In its Thursday blog post announcing that it was cancelling the so-called HQ2 plan, Amazon said, “the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term.”

Amazon said it wasn’t receiving that kind of support from many New York City politicians.

“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,” the company wrote.

Amazon noted that this opposition from local officials came “while polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment.”

Without mentioning his name specifically, Amazon was likely referring in large part to New York City Council speaker Corey Johnson, who vehemently opposed the plan. Johnson has been critical of Amazon for circumventing the City Council in early discussions around land use and for the tech giant deciding to accept state tax breaks totaling $3 billion.

“I think [the Amazon executives] were surprised. I think they thought they were going to be welcomed with open arms,” Johnson told Business Insider last December regarding the mounting opposition. “I think they thought, ‘Oh my God, when this is announced it’s going to be, you know, like a birthday party.'”

Other politicians who spoke out against Amazon’s New York City plans included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, state Sen. Michael Gianaris, and New York City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer.

“I was not elected to be a cheerleader for Amazon,” Van Bramer said in a city council meeting last December.

Read more:This isn’t a done deal’: New York City Council speaker Corey Johnson lays out his plan to avoid being ‘played’ by Amazon

Amazon didn’t go after all the local politicians it had been working with on Thursday.

In fact, it praised New York state governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for working “tirelessly on behalf of New Yorkers to encourage local investment and job creation, and we can’t speak positively enough about all their efforts.”

Amazon said it does not plan to reopen its HQ2 search at this time and that it will move forward with its expansion in Northern Virginia and Nashville. The company employs 5,000 employees in New York currently, and appeared to try and leave the door open for a second run at the nation’s largest city at some point in the future.

“Thank you again to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and the many other community leaders and residents who welcomed our plans and supported us along the way,” the company said. “We hope to have future chances to collaborate as we continue to build our presence in New York over time.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job