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.