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2/3s of Voters Say Amazon Pulling Out Of LIC Was Bad for New York: Poll

Prop boxes at the “Say No to Amazon” rally on Nov. 14, one day after the company officially selected Long Island City for its campus. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

March 18, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

A majority of New Yorkers say that Amazon’s decision to scrap its plans to come to Long Island City was bad for the state, according to a new Sienna College poll of New York State registered voters.

Sixty-one percent of respondents would support the deal–including the $3 billion in state and city incentives– if Amazon were to reconsider and bring 25,000 jobs to the city.

The poll was conducted between March 10 and March 14 by telephone calls conducted in English to 700 New York State registered voters.

“At least 63 percent of Democrats, Republicans and independents, upstaters and downstaters, men and women, young and old, black and white New Yorkers agree: Amazon pulling out of Queens was bad for New York,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

“Even 56 percent of self-described liberals think it was bad for New York. While some may have celebrated Amazon’s announcement to pull the plug, the vast majority of New Yorkers of every stripe thought it was bad for the Empire State,” Greenberg said.

Blame for the deal falling apart was placed on all those involved, including Amazon, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, the State Senate, and local Queens activists.

The biggest villain, according to those surveyed, however, was Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Only 12 percent of respondents called her a hero, while 38 percent said she was a villain.

Ocasio-Cortez was an outspoken critic of the Amazon deal since its inception.

“Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter last November.

Despite the criticism from local officials and activists when the deal was first announced, the poll shows strong support for the Amazon deal, with a large majority of respondents supporting Cuomo’s attempts to get the tech giant to reconsider.

“There is an overwhelming feeling that its cancellation was bad for the state,” Greenberg said. “And there is strong support—among all demographic groups—for Amazon to reconsider and move forward. Clearly, jobs outweigh the cost of government incentives in the minds of most voters.”

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64 Comments

fagabeefe Bowen

not as scary as a Mad Cow Bowen chasing after the Amazon execs with piece of meat in his mouth

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Henry

Many of you seem to be upset over the “deal” Amazon was getting. If you want to bitch about deals that impact NYC, take a look at the deal that Dubai on the Hudson was given.

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LIC Direct

AOC is a newbie and still not corrupted by money like Jimmy Van Bramer and Michael Gianaris. She is not yet a politician and not accustimed to lying like JVB. She is not cynical like Jimmy Van Bramer. Still not in the pocket of developers like JVB. JVB and Gianaris got scared when Joe Crowley lost to AOC, they then flipped and killed the Amazon to LIC deal believing that everyone would support them, like they supported AOC against Crowley. Well Crowley forgot where he came from, he took us for granted and now we have AOC as our representative. I support her, she is real and not yet corrupted even though she is not that smart, but real.

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She has to make a choice

She’s immature and not serious. More interested in tweeting than actually learning. Her big idea – have the government pay for people “unwilling” to work. How ridiculous is that. Maybe she’ll mature with time, I hope so, but right now she enjoys the spotlight a little too much. She has to choose, does she want to be a politician or a celebrity.

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makes sense

“I would never vote for a celebrity”

— People that voted for a reality tv host for president

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Jvb sux

she may not be corrupted, but she is definitely an idiot, a child, and a bit delusional. Her Green new deal is moronic her twitter is stupid and i hope her idiocy is identified soon by those who voted for her the first time so we can avoid this mistake the next time around.

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Speculation Side Effects

It’s actually quite simple. A lot of people i.e. property owners, business owners and RE brokers are upset because they speculated an increase in property values. Now that Amazon left, they are touting this “bring jobs back” I call BS. This was never about Jobs and tax revenues to Queens. This was a speculation gone wrong, and the scape goats are now the JVB, Ginaris and AOC. This political spin is yet another smoke screen. Now Cuomo is begging Amazon to come back? At the end of the day Amazon could have stayed, they just never wanted to. It’s their fault. Now get over it and move-on.

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Sara Ross

What should get New Yorkers angry are the greedy landlords in this city who put small business owners out of business. Small businesses are what made this city! Immigrants that came here through Ellis Island sold everything from ice to apples on pushcarts (street vendors of today) and small mom and pop stores made neighborhoods what they used to be. People wanted Amazon to come here because they thought they were all going to be making 5 or 6 figure salaries. Nope. Let’s give small business owners or start-up companies help with rent and other expenses.

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Demetrios

A poll conducted via landlines(how many millenials have landlines?) but also cell lines from within New York STATE. If anything this was a poll for the 5 boroughs(Queens more than anything) not NY State which we know holds traditionally a lot of conservative pockets outside of NYC.

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Land Line

I’m a millennial and I have a land-line. Don’t make assumptions or try to imply that having a land-line means someone is out of touch. Some people have only a land-line or only a mobile or both. Land-lines come with the cable/internet package and don’t cost that much more.

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Why Don’t People In LIC Understand Basic Economics?

The upset crowd are peoperty owners and business owners who thought they were foing to get trickle down Amazon wealth. The kind of jobs Amazon would have were never for the average LIC/Astoria/Sunnyside resident where the average incime is around 55k. Less than 30% of people in this area are homeowners. Potentially 70% of residents (renters) would have end up displaced by skyrocketing rents.

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Trash

Too bad Amazon didn’t move in. Rents would have increased and the low-life uneducated trash would have moved out.

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MikeM

Be mad at Amazon. They’re what caused all the strife and refused to play fairly. Like a childish bully, when they didn’t get everything their way, they dishonored their agreement. Bravo to the local reps who took the hard choice and wouldn’t let the shopping monopoly bully us!

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WooHoo!

Yessss! We are ecstatic now that 25,000 jobs and billions in tax revenue are gone. Let’s build more “affordable” housing and convert more hotels into homeless shelters that charge inflated astronomical rates.

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About upstate folks

They usually do well out of NYC revenues. Check disproportionate allotment of taxes paid by NYC residents to NYS expenditure on NYC schools. Upstate infrastructure doesn’t crumble from over-use, and the schools and hospitals aren’t overly crowded. Too bad it’s difficult to attract business there. Why is that?

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Evelyn

700 is a very small sample of state-wide voters. Do we really care what upstate voters think of Queens? And as the article mentions, Amazon is an abusive employer. I read an article where a man working for Amazon had to pee in a bottle because he wasn’t permitted to go to a restroom.

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c

Bezos already robbed the entire country of 11 billion on his taxes this year, what’s another 3 billion more from NYC? Let’s just keep the gap between the rich and the poor as large as it can be and completely eliminate the middle class. Let’s keep giving the richest man in the world all the government handouts he needs, because he certainly NEEDS them, so he can keep lining his pockets and not paying his workers. He pulled out after Union talks, because he realized he’d have to pay people a living wage and give benefits over what he had already proposed. THESE WERE NOT 25,000 JOBS AT 150K/YEAR SALARIES. THAT WAS THE “AVERAGE”. So you got one guy at the top making 1 mil/year and the rest make minimum wage. That’ll give you that average.

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Most of the blame should go to Gianaris

AOC surely didn’t help, but most of the blame should go to Gianaris. Gianaris was supportive of the deal at the onset, but then after the announcement he flipped. The worst part is that after he flipped, he was categorically against HQ2 without exception. He publicly stated that he would never support HQ2 – no matter what! He wasn’t even willing to negotiate or take a phone call. How asinine and obtuse is that?

So, if Amazon said they would consider doing HQ2 with zero tax breaks, he would have said no. If Amazon said they would give the state $3 billion instead of the other way around, he still would have said no!

Then, the Dems in Albany put him on the PACB. You put a guy like that on the board responsible for approving the deal, and I don’t blame any corporation for backing out. But, the Dems had really no choice than to put him on the board because he represents our district – which leads me to another point.

It’s so obvious from the polling data and general sentiment around here that the vast majority of residents were supportive of the deal. Aren’t our elected officials supposed to represent us and fight for what the community wants/needs? In that sense, AOC, Gianaris and JVB are in breach of the social contract they signed with us when we elected them into office. What they have done is absolutely undemocratic and irresponsible. AOC doesn’t even represent our district! And where is Carolyn Maloney in all this? She should be held equally responsible for not doing her job.

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Anonymous

“Villain”? How about the more accurate word “critic,” LICPost? Using such loaded, hateful language like “villain” when referring to AOC is what I’d expect from a far right-wing partisan media outlet, not a neighborhood blog.

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ya'll haters

i’m still very confused. why do ya’ll think we lost out on 25,000 jobs? when the majority of those jobs would of been filled PRIOR to the company’s move to LIC. Those jobs would of gone to people who don’t live in Queens. Any job that would of been for us, would of been small jobs, inventory, stock, hourly positions. Not the high paying jobs. I mean, a good percentage of people in the surrounding areas already work. so who exactly would be getting those jobs? we didn’t need the horrific congestion all those new employees would of caused by moving to queens. the 7 is barely keeping it together during morning rush hour, queens blvd is horrible with car traffic and some of ya’ll wanted this huge company here? it would of drove out many people by increasing the rent higher for those looking to live here. i mean they have that building on the corner of 49th and queens blvd across from pep boys renting out to low income families a 1 bedroom for 2700 dollars….$2700!! for a one bedroom! ONE BEDROOM. the percentage of people who fought against amazon was enough to keep amazon from coming in, where are these so called 700 NYS residents exactly? upstate? not living in sunnyside or LIC or astoria or woodside i bet, but really, 700??a good poll needs to be well over 1000 uniquely polled individuals.

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Joe

No one polled me. I wasn’t against Amazon in general, but I was against the backroom deals, the breaks for the richest corporation in America, and the bypassing of general land use procedures. They are gone and are not coming back. If they wanted to stay, they would have dealt with a little bit of push back. Let it go.

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ann

Who care what registered voters in New York STATE think? At a vast distance, the fake claim of 25,000 high-paying jobs sounds good. With no downside, since they don’t face any. For people in the neighborhoods who already can’t get on subway trains or find reasonable housing, it would be a disaster. Plus local people were aware of the secrecy, the backroom deals, and the complete bypassing of normal approval processes by DiBlasio and Cuomo. Add Amazon’s terrible labor practices and their greedy demands for tax breaks, the entire deal stunk. Glad Amazon took its marbles and went away.

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Luis

NO to JOBS!
YES to Homeless Shelters that overcharge taxpayers!
YES to neighborhood Jails that’ll house dangerous criminals in your backyard!
Vote Mike Gianaris & Jimmy Van Bramer

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Joseph

Little Jimmy Van Bramer will pull out his victim card so he can deflect from this mess.

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BoroughsforAmabozos

all 700 polled also regularly ate mad cow steaks’ at Bowen Steakhouse

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LIC Direct

We will start small. And 9 out of 10 voters who live in Jimmy Van Bramer’s District will be voting for someone else for Queens Borough President if he insists in running for that Public Office. Then vote out Giannaris. We will never forget the diservice to your community Jimmy.

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Vote out van bramer

Well said!! We need to send a message to all of the politicians who decided (Van Bramer, Giannaris, & AOC) it was a good idea to drive away billions in future tax revenue and jobs. Scaring away amazon is already keeping away other businesses from wanting to open up and create jobs in Queens. Remember this moment when the next recession hits.

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John O'Reilly

For shame, another threat for the police to investigate! Stop trying to exercise your right to voice an opinion about elected officials, or else!

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BoroughsforAltRight

“conducted in English to 700 New York State registered voters.” Yep. That’s sure an accurate representation of New York.

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Susan McLaughlin

A villain? Please!! I can’t believe the harsh criticism of a woman who hasn’t even had her 30th birthday. Are we all really that threatened? For me, I think she’s lovely and I’m glad she’s here fighting the good fight! Keep it up AOC.

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Frank

You are right…she is too young to be a villain. She is just an idiot. An idiot who cost this neighborhood, the City, and the State a ton of money.

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Anonymous

Frank, AOC’s influence in Amazon’s decision is wildly overexaggerated. Turn off Fox for a few minutes. All she did was give her opinion about the proposed plans, and many of us in her district agree with her points, rightly or wrongly. That’s America for you. She had nothing else to do with it. Amazon saw that the neighborhood and city weren’t going to be showering them with roses when they waltzed in LIC, they got cold feet, and bailed. It’s done. Move on.

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Anonymous

Do all of your really think that a handful of protesters drove the richest man and company in the world away? If they wanted to be here, they would have stayed.

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Katty

It was dealing with Unions that drove them away. If they had accepted it, other parts of the country wouldve followed & they ran for the hills

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Brian Callahan

The fact that she’s young isn’t the whole point. It’s also that she is inexperienced and immature, yet she has a opinion on everything. Where does that certainty come from? Confidence does not mean she is competent. Her big plan is for the government to pay people who are “unwilling” to work, yet she is against something that would have created more than 25,000 jobs. Is she a serious politician or a celebrity.
I don’t know if she is serious or just a flash in the pan. She doesn’t seem to act seriously. Spends most of her time either tweeting or responding to tweets, like Trump. The media may have created her, but she doesn’t do anything to discourage it.

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MRLIC

She is a Socialist Communist (AOC). She is also an IDIOT. The USA will NEVER become a Loser Socialist Country. Socialism does not work anywhere. Are you listening Bernie Sanders. Our Constitution was not built on Socialism and never will be. Men and women did not die for our country to defend Socialism. Idiot millennials and other Socialists don’t know American History because they don’t teach it in schools anymore. It figures NYC is becoming anti-American, many DUMB people here. Don’t forget Minn ANd Michigan Reps Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Racist Democratic far left losers like AOC.

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Caucasian Rascal

Meh. Get over it already. Who cares? Anyone that thinks Amazon was going to come here and hand our six-figure jobs to projects kids like Halloween candy is delusional anyway. We ain’t missin’ nothin’.

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ebeth

Precisely. Even the “good” jobs at Amazon still suck. They are a crummy employer- and New York has oh… let’s see – Verizon/Chase/MetLife/Citi/Goldman/MS/Amex/ TimeWarner/Travelers/ABC/NBC/CBS/Loews/ConEd/JetBlue/Marsh/KKR/BlackRock/Blackstone/Apollo/Carlyle/Icahn/McKinsey plus a few thousand restaurants, retail ops, family offices, VC funds, tech startups, dog walkers and a sesame seed BUN. Amazon should be in Baltimore or east Kentucky, end of story.

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lier lier

Which brings us to the question. Van Bramer said that his constituents were against Amazon 2-1. Now it’s clear that he was lying. but we all knew that anyhow. If any good is to come out of this, its that Van (killjob)Bramer’s political career is over

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Rosie Palm

I don’t believe it…that’s impossible. The poll must have been taken by the trumpster to embarrass AOC, JVB and Gianaris. We all know only the residential towers get the tax abatement. We will get a lot more jobs in the service industry if we legalize marijuana and prostitution, and build more homeless hotels. Why is this so difficult a concept to understand?

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Know the facts

I don’t think you understand the economics that were behind the deal. Amazon wasn’t getting money, they were going to receive tax breaks. The tax breaks would have been recovered from the taxes that the new jobs would have created. Not just the jobs Amazon created, but the additional jobs that would have come from other companies that would supply and support Amazon. The tax breaks were temporary, but the jobs would have been permanent and would have increased. Not understanding something but having an opinion on it is something that Trump does.

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MRLIC

Now I know why people outside of NY consider New Yorkers so dumb. Many comment against AMAZON also, people forget. Most New Yorkers don’t know all the facts about the” BACK ROOM” deal and we still don’t know everything that was said. Amazon is anti-worker and anti-union, that is a fact. Why go around the City Council if it was such a great deal?A mega -rich company don’t need any tax breaks or a helipad.

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Anonymous

A few people in the neighborhood, including pro-Amazon business owners and a prominent real estate agent EB, are running around with their heads on fire because they weren’t able to strike it rich by renting or selling their overpriced broom closets to the Amazon twits. That’s what’s going on here. There really is no other meaningful opposition to Amazon’s pullout among the “normal” population of LIC.

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Jvb sux

how is this any different to a few butt hurt politicians running around with their heads on fire because they werent invited to the deal making table, and so they couldnt “strike it rich” from the backroom deal like they do so many other deals made in our communities (looking at you JVB). There was no meaningful opposition to Amazon coming to LIC in the first place, among the “normal” population of LIC, just irrational fear mongering by some children (yes, the politicians who are supposed to represent the community) that allowed the unemployed morons in our community to join in and caused a very profitable deal for NYC to fall flat.

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Susan McLaughlin

I’m saddened and angry about the names being slung at AOC. She’s a young, outspoken woman who doesn’t deserve being scapegoated and criticized the way that she is. We are so lucky to have this bright force-of-nature in our Congress bringing strong opinions, fresh ideas to a stogie system.

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Anonymous

Simply because she is a “young outspoken woman” is EXACTLY WHY the Trumpers hate her. And if you include the fact that she is a minority, a millennial, and smart, well, she may as well be Public Enemy No. 1 in their hate-filled, shriveled up brains.

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not a "trumper" - an educated professional woman, who leans slightly left.

Minority – Yes
Millennial – yes ( but this is not a good thing in her case)
Smart – absolutely not, but she sure thinks so!
I sure hope all you delusional supporters of this immature, celeb wannabe, socialist get wise soon.

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James MacQuade

She’s an idiot and you might just be as well if you’re really supporting this moron

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She's not fragile

She’s not some fragile glass statue that needs to be protected.. If she can’t take the criticism then she is in the wrong career, and she sure as hell shouldn’t have been against something she knew nothing about. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

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shawn

she knew exactly what she was getting into. which was why she as against it, but ya’ll need to stop pretending AOC had the power to stop amazon from coming here. it was all the outspoken people who live in the neighborhood who were against it and stopped it. AOC was vocal, sure. but she had no power. queens residents spoke out and amazon heard and they left. simple.

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Anon

She’s an imbecile, always confident and never correct. Did you explain that there is no three billion dollars to her yet.

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