On Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took aim at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez among others for creating so much unrest about Amazon’s plans to build an 8,000,000 square feet campus that would have brought an estimated 25,000 jobs to the city that Amazon pulled out of the deal.
Cuomo issued a statement in which he said, “A small group politicians [sic] put their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state’s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who was one of the leaders of the charge against the Amazon project, celebrated the demise of the project on Twitter, writing, “Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.”
She was joined by state senator Michael N. Gianaris, who chortled, “Rather than seriously engage with the community they proposed to profoundly change, Amazon continued its effort to shakedown governments to get its way. It is time for a national dialogue about the perils of these types of corporate subsidies.”
Mayor Bill De Blasio decided to blame Amazon rather than alienate Ocasio-Cortez, despite the fact that the project would have created over $10 billion in revenue over the next 20 years. He stated, “You have to be tough to make it in New York City. We gave Amazon the opportunity to be a good neighbor and do business in the greatest city in the world. … Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity. We have the best talent in the world and every day we are growing a stronger and fairer economy for everyone. If Amazon can’t recognize what that’s worth, its competitors will.”
Cuomo’s complete statement read:
Amazon chose to come to New York because we are the capital of the world and the best place to do business. We competed in and won the most hotly contested national economic development competition in the United States, resulting in at least 25,000-40,000 good paying jobs for our state and nearly $30 billion dollars in new revenue to fund transit improvements, new housing, schools and countless other quality of life improvements. Bringing Amazon to New York diversified our economy away from real estate and Wall Street, further cementing our status as an emerging center for tech and was an extraordinary economic win not just for Queens and New York City, but for the entire region, from Long Island to Albany’s nanotech center.
However, a small group politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state’s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state. The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity.
The fundamentals of New York’s business climate and community that attracted amazon to be here – our talent pool, world-class education system, commitment to diversity and progressivism – remain and we won’t be deterred as we continue to attract world class business to communities across New York State.