New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo is aggressively working to bring Amazon back to New York after Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) played a role in derailing Amazon’s plan to bring tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity to New York 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,” The New York Times reported. “In those calls, Mr. Cuomo said he would navigate the company through the byzantine governmental process.”
While a source said that Cuomo did not specify a new location for Amazon, he did guarantee support for the project, which he later alluded to in an interview on Friday, saying there were “other ways that the state can get it done.”
The Times notes that the push to get Amazon to come back to New York included a full-page ad in The New York Times on Friday that was signed by more than 70 supportive unions, local businesses, business leaders, community groups, and elected officials. The letter states:
Dear Mr. Bezos:
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—sometimesstrident. 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 MayordeBlasio will work together with the governor to manage the community development process, including the workforce development, public education 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.
NewYorkattracts 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.
Ocasio-Cortez helped undermine the deal’s alleged economic efficacy because she did not understand how the $3 billion in proposed tax incentives worked.
“If we were willing to give away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district ourselves, if we wanted to,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We could hire out more teachers. We can fix our subways. We can put a lot of people to work for that money, if we wanted to.”
In an interview on MSNBC, New York City Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio explained: “And that $3 billion that would go back in tax incentives was only after we were getting the jobs and getting the revenue.”