Some prominent New Yorkers are after Amazon to reconsider its abandonment of the Big Apple.
The company, which had announced the opening of a second headquarters in the Queens, Long Island City area of New York, shifted gears in early February in response to community protest over the generous tax breaks the state offered the e-tailer.
But in a letter signed by 40 CEOs (including the heads of Goldman Sachs, Hearst, Jet Blue, Citi Group and Deloitte), politicians (including three New York members of Congress) and the presidents of New York University and the United Federation of Labor, they ask Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to change his mind about pulling out of the city.
The ad is posted on the New York Times website, which is running the ad Friday.
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“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,” the letter states. “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…we urge you to reconsider, so that we can move forward together.”
Amazon had initially announced plans to open two new headquarters and chose New York and the Washington, D.C., Virginia area.
But protests to Amazon’s move, led by newly elected Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, stalled it, with many balking at the $3 billion in subsidies promised by the state. In the face of a public protest, Amazon decided to scrap its plans. The company said it would pass on N.Y. but continue with Virginia.
“We know the public debate that followed the announcement of the Long Island City project was rough and not very welcoming,” the letter says. “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.”
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