NYPAN Issues Statement Regarding Amazon HQ2 Withdrawal
Today, Amazon, the richest company in the world, led by the richest man in the world, had a tantrum and pulled out of its deal to open up a second HQ in Queens.
Even though Amazon paid no federal taxes over the last few years, it demanded as a condition of the deal that NYS & NYC provide it with massive local tax relief and other incentives. It also demanded and received (or so it thought) an unprecedented exemption from the entire normal democratic oversight process normally conducted by elected officials (including the NYC Council, local community boards, etc) into land use and the environmental and community impact of such a massive deal.
But even having extorted these obscenely huge conditions, Amazon would not budge from its anti-union policies, its refusal to democratically engage the local community through its elective leaders, and its cozy anti-immigrant cooperation with ICE. And then it wondered why it wasn’t warmly received?
Well, we in NYPAN say to Amazon, “good riddance”: NYC is a democratic, union-supporting town, made up of immigrants, and cherishing democratic and community input; if that is not valued by Amazon, we don’t want or need them.
NYPAN would like to applaud the principled grass roots opposition to the Amazon deal and the key roles played by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Senator Michael Gianaris, and NYC Councilmembers Jumaane Williams and Jimmy Van Bramer, who demanded that Amazon do the right thing. They refused to be bullied or cowed by this behemoth despite enormous political risks and pressures.
Finally, we call on Sen. Schumer and other federal elected officials to use the much-overlooked and underutilized anti-trust laws to break up predatory monopolies like Amazon. It’s time to protect the good, tax-paying and hard-working citizens whom they need to represent and not freeloading, irresponsible monopolies.