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90 Community Groups Write Joint Letter Critical of Cuomo’s Plea to Lure Amazon Back

Community Groups Protesting Amazon Deal at Steps of City Hall

March 2, 2019 By Christian Murray

The fierce debate over Amazon show no signs of abating.

More than 90 community groups penned an open letter yesterday critical of Governor Andrew Cuomo and business leaders who are urging the e-commerce giant to reconsider its decision to no longer build HQ2 in Long Island City.

The letter was in response to a full-page advertisement placed in the New York Times yesterday that urges Jeff Bezo, Amazon’s chief executive, to revisit his plans to build its proposed campus in Long Island city. The advertisement—a letter—was signed by 70 leaders, including elected officials, industry leaders and community groups.

Signees included Congressmembers Carolyn Maloney and Hakeem Jeffries, 32BJ SEIU, and leaders from the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, Queensbridge Houses and LIC Partnership.

Cuomo said on Brian Lehrer Show on Friday that he has had many conversations with Amazon in hopes that they will reconsider their withdrawal.

The strong push to get Amazon back prompted a strongly-worded letter from community groups that continue to oppose the plan.

“Cuomo’s plea for Amazon to come back to New York and the open letter that appears in the New York Times today [Friday] does not accurately reflect the desires of immigrant communities, working class communities and communities of color,” the letter reads. “Amazon left the first time around because of fierce vocal opposition, and that opposition remains. We defeated them recently and we will do it again.”

The group cited the same arguments that have been made since the proposal was first announced. “It was a backroom deal that cut out communities and handed a $500 million grant and $2.5 billion in future money to the wealthiest man in the world.”

The letter was signed by 94 groups. The Hunters Point Civic Association and the Long Island City Coalition were among several local groups to have signed on, along with the Justice for All Coalition and Primed Out NYC. No individuals signed the letter.

 

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42 Comments

BoroughsforBusinessAltRight

Another ad for a petition to be filled by fake signatures just appeared. Paid for by a mysterious group called Boroughs for Business. Probably another group associated with alt-right like JCN.

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Amazonbotshavegreatimagination

“I think it is safe to assume that the government will go the extra mile to make sure the infrastructure in LIC can support the new HQ and residents.” Really? What drugs are you on?

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Trump 2020 cakewalk

trumps gonna have a field day on election day.
strong economy and jobs or socialist, pot smking make everything free BS

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Caucasian Rascal

Can’t wait to see the comments when the Western Queens zombie electorate walks into the voting booth and blindly votes the Democrap row thereby ensuring Gianaris’ reelection. HAHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAA! Fools!

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Caucasian Rascal

I love, love, love, LOOOOVE watching the left eat each other over this! Let’s hope to G-d that this is the beginning of the end of the Democrap Party!

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stan chaz

Alas “poor” Jeffrey, we hardly knew you. Or more accurately, we know you too well, and your recent actions belie that fact.
Bullly Bezos can’t stand a little heat. He can’t stand people scrutinizing his business practices. He can’t stand some lowly peons talking back to his majesty –so the big bully takes his ball and walks off in a huff.
Instead, arrogant Scamazon wants secret backroom deals with 500 million dollar grants to the richest person in the world. If Bezos doesn’t want to play by our rules, if Jeff does not want to deal with all the stakeholders in our communities, then don’t let the door hit you too hard Jeff, as you turn tail and run.
Jeff wants a city that he can manipulate, that he can run roughshod over, just like he does to his employees and their attempts at unionization, just as he squashes mom & pop businesses, just as he ruins affordable housing for ordinary working people in his wake.
New York doesn’t need your kind of uncooperative & irresponsible company, neither as a partner nor a neighbor. Instead of catering to Jeff’s every whim and demand, behemoth Amazon should be broken up, just as the trusts were busted in the last century – and for the very same reasons.

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In Advance of Antitrust Split

That’s the reason for alternate hqs to be set up and functional before a court ordered split.

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Jay

Let’s imagine Amazon moved in and what it looks like in 5 years.
– Housing Vacancy is is 1%.
– only tech workers can afford the new high baseline rents not only in LIC but rest of queens.
– trains are packed which impacts not just LIC but rest of queens. People living close to LIC will not be able to board train because once it gets to them it will be packed.
– Local restaurants close due to high rents. Diversity of restaurants disappear.
– New businesses that open are bank branches because they can afford high rent.
– Big box stores open (target, Walmart, etc) displacing small businessses who can longer afford rent.
– Current sewage infracture cannot keep up with increased population in LIC.

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JRo

-NYC’s historical vacancy has always been 2% to 3%, not sure 1% is even physically possible since Downtown Brooklyn, Midtwon-west and LIC have so much product coming on line.

-I don’t see the rest of Queens seeing a major change in rents. Many of these workers will probably move to LIC, Northern Brooklyn or Manhattan where rents are already high.

-Some restaurants that have short term leases and are unable to cater to the changing demographics will probably close. However, restaurants and retailers with long term leases, with experience and a successful track record will flourish. I think Manhattan and Williamsburg are a good examples of this.

-If people move to LIC to work at Amazon they will not be using the subway and if the they move to Manhattan they will have a reverse commute. If they move to Northern Brooklyn they will probably bike, take the ferry or take the G.

-Banks an Pharmacies have reduced their expansion in NYC because the have already saturated the market. This is one of the reasons why retail vacancies are so high. Landlords are starting to realize that they can’t count on a bank to come in and take their vacant space. Banks are also being affected by e-commerce.

-Walmart usually looks for very cheap rent which disqualifies LIC. Plus the demographics will not be a fit for their business model.

-Seeing how the Governor and the Mayor are twisting themselves backwards to have Amazon come back, I think it is safe to assume that the government will go the extra mile to make sure the infrastructure in LIC can support the new HQ and residents.

While I agree that Amazon will affect rental prices in the immediate area it will also spark the growth of an industry that will bring billions of tax revenue and jobs to the city which will allow the city to create more affordable housing for the rest of the city. It is naive to think that a deal needs to be perfect in order to happen. Its like treating an illness, you need to choose the best medicine to fight the illness knowing that there will be side effect. The illness we need to fight is a looming recession and our dependency on the financial sector.

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Orianna Webb

The statement that only 2 of the groups are “local” is misleading if not entirely false. Many of the groups that signed the letter literally have Queens in the name, so it’s not hard to assume that they represent and comprise Queens residents. A little basic research shows that other groups are also Queens-wide, such as Chhaya CDC. Others are NYC-wide, but are very active in Queens, such as Make the Road NYC, which is currently constructing a new facility in Corona after many years serving Queens immigrant communities, and Jackson-Heights based DRUM (Desis Moving Up and Rising.) Some focus on specific neighborhoods in Queens, such as Centro Corona. My own group, PrimedOut NYC, while technically open to any who oppose Amazon is in actuality made up of Western Queens residents, which is about as local as it gets. This doesn’t count other NYC-wide groups that signed – are they not local? This statement should be corrected.

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Jenastoriat

Very disappointed to see that letter signed by Carolyn Maloney and Hakeem Jeffries. Considering Amazon’s anti-union position, why 32BJ SEIU would sign on is a mystery. All Amazon would do for the surrounding neighborhoods is cause rent and shop prices to rise, and put taxpayers on the hook for the impact on the MTA. If they really wanted to give jobs to underserved, then go farther east in either Qns or Bklyn, but Amazon is not going to do that. It was always a bad deal.

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Bernie Pol Pot Sanders

Everything in NYS must be free. End all work. Abolish money. Tax the rich at 1,000,000%. Then kill them.

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President BDB

Sadly, people are so gullible. Yankee Stadium was supposed to bring jobs too – and they never materialized. The city is losing over $40 million per year for empty parking garages they guaranteed revenue. How many of you actually read the proposal? You think Amazon and politicians didn’t know you’d be wowed by the headlines? Devil is in the details. This is just one of many boondoggles that anyone not directly benefitted would be paying for, especially neighborhoods other than surrounding the Amazon building. See also the Tesla Buffalo super power plant. This is all a dog and pony show. https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/29/18027032/foxconn-wisconsin-plant-jobs-deal-subsidy-governor-scott-walker

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JH resident

I still can’t figure out why developing Queens (which is stagnating as a borough) and creating jobs is a bad thing, what am I missing?

The people complaining should wake up and realize these jobs would have created more taxes to fund the handouts they live on (food stamps, Medicaid, etc.) Morons.

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To 80 ppl who signed open letter with Mr.Cuomo

…“Group of 80 elected officials, unions, civic leaders and business executives and owners signed on to an open letter urging Bezos to reconsider “so that we can move forward together.” Signees include Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney, chief executives at Silvercup Studios and Goldman Sachs, 32BJ SEIU, and leaders from the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, Queensbridge Houses and LIC Partnership.”

>>>Would all 80 of you take your time and explain to all of us how you feel about this article bellow …
Amazon Will Pay a Whopping $0 in Federal Taxes on $11.2 Billion Profits
http://fortune.com/2019/02/14/amazon-doesnt-pay-federal-taxes-2019/

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Stop morons

All you idiots who keep saying this is a good thing and swear they’re right just end up looking even more stupider.

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education is good!

learn proper grammar and try again, before you end up looking like the stupidest one on the board.

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Mr Squeegee

You got that right…and it aint gonna get better anytime soon! Where’s the homeless shelter, squeegeemen, bike lanes prostitution and needle distribution points. I was promised. Let’s get cracking and raise them taxes!

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Jon

THIS IS EMBARRASSING!!! They are not coming back! DEAL WITH IT! MOVE ON!!! People wanted this to happen, people didn’t want this to happen. You people keep pointing fingers at each other over this nonsense when both sides completely screwed it up.

Find another plan and move the f*** on.

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more freeloaders

Let me guess all non for profit organizations that don’t pay taxes and rely on public funding to survive

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Fact Checker

Not for profit and government subsidized are 2 different things. The Ford Foundation is a non profit. The Rockefeller Foundation is a non profit.

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Mad Cow Bowen Steakhouse

Mad Cow Bowen and Amazonbots who make crap up like you don’t represent ‘us’ either

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LIC resident FOR HQ2!

They forgot to include Marcians against Gentrification and Insomniacs Against Starbucks.

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NYS Taxpayer

All NYS taxpayers would have had to contribute to the $500,000,000 grant to the corporation that pays no taxes. That’s why the NYS governor, a week after the election, announced the backroom deal that he is pretending that he thought his constituents would have approved.

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Runner

Best Amazon not come to NYC. This city is full of complete A-holes. NYC does not deserve Amazon. What a shame, don’t know a good thing. Yeah, more taxes, bike lanes, & socialist bullcrap.

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Get over it

Nobody gives a fuck about your opinion. You look like those little bitches who cries on the internet, what happen someone hurt your feelings in NY? 😂❄❄❄

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Ed Parkin

Audits, lawsuits, never-ending protests from over 57 activist groups and the prospect of workers unionizing. This is what awaiting Amazon in NYC. So I guess no, they would not be pursuing any plans to build a campus here anytime soon.

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NYS Taxpayer

All NYS taxpayers would have had to contribute to the $500,000,000 grant to the corporation that pays no taxes. That’s why the NYS governor, a week after the election, announced the backroom deal that he is pretending that he thought his constituents would have approved.

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Other Considerations

Lawsuits follow Amazon wherever its crap labor practices save more than the lawsuits cost. More likely they jumped behind the smokescreen of protest to flit while the overblown projection of 50,000 new employees faded from the headlines

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LIC DIRECT

Conduct a survey how many of this activists have jobs? How many live off the public dole? How many are adults, live and still sponge off their parents hard work unwilling to face the world? 90 cummunity groups but not the majority in LIC and Sunnyside. Just ordering my dog food for my pooch on Amazon will be delivered within 3 hours. No stopping Amazon, JVB and Gianaris can’t see this? Retail is dead, Artificial Intelligence will displace thousands of jobs best to have the tech hub in LIC and welcome Amazon, but JVB is on the wrong side of this issue.

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Orianna Webb

Why do you think activists don’t have jobs? Everyone I know who is an activist does it on top of a full time job – many also have kids. A few have full-time employment as community organizers. This is a common criticism of activists that is the opposite of what is usually true – most activists are really hard-working, motivated people.

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or not, where's the data?

hard working motivated people do not have time in the middle of a work day to organize and protest.

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Reader

That’s why a lot of activism and organizing takes place during non-work hours, evening or weekends or what have you depending on a person’s work schedule. It’s also why the number of people you see at a weekday rally or protest is a small fraction of those who are actually engaging around an issue – it’s those who have the day off, or are retired, or are full-time students with no classes at that time.

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Stop the Madness!

The letter was signed by 94 groups but ONLY TWO LOCAL GROUPS SIGNED ON.
These outside groups do not represent us. The majority of us, including Queensbridge housing and LaGuardia college are in favor of the 25,000 Amazon jobs.
We need to stop these oustsiders from telling us what’s best for us.

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39th Ave

I’ve said this from day one. The majority of the Amazon protesters were not from our neighborhood.

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