February 14, 2019
SumOfUs: Says This “Is Good News for New Yorkers,” Proof that Amazon Cares More for Money, Than Harnessing Local Talent and Improving Communities
NEW YORK -- Earlier today, Amazon announced that it is pulling out of a planned New York City campus after fierce backlash from local lawmakers and advocates over the nearly $3 billion provided in government incentives.
In reaction to the announcement, Jamila Brown, the New York City-based communications director for SumOfUs, an international consumer watchdog organization, issued the following statement:
“Amazon’s announcement that it will forgo its planned New York City campus in the face of public opposition is an incredible victory for communities across the country who have been resisting this corporate behemoth since day one. If elected officials in Nashville and Northern Virginia have learned anything from this fight, we hope it’s that offering corporate welfare to giant companies with highly questionable records of social responsibility is a mistake.
“Jobs are important, but not if they come at the cost of people who are struggling to get by. New York should take the more than $3,000,000,000 in tax incentives it would have given to Amazon and invest that money in our communities. Similarly, we support the resistance against Amazon’s HQ2, because we believe in a safe and sustainable future for US cities that we know Amazon is at odds with.
“This victory is about more than New York; it’s about local communities demanding accountability from giant corporations. While Jeff Bezos continues to earn billions at the expense of his employees, people color, immigrant families, and women, in Arlington, Virginia and Nashville, Tennessee are on the front lines demanding that Amazon provide basic necessities such as adequate and affordable housing, stable jobs, and reliable public transportation.
“Instead of proving themselves as a responsible corporate neighbor willing to work with the city, Amazon fled the moment their massive giveaway was at risk. This should be a warning sign to other cities - Amazon isn’t interested in strengthening your community or harnessing local talent, they’re interested in your money.”