You are reading

Public Advocate Candidates to Talk Amazon HQ2 in Neighborhood Forum Tonight

via Facebook

Feb. 12, 2019 Staff Report

A lineup of public advocate candidates will be in Long Island City tonight at a forum geared towards Amazon’s plans to build part of its second headquarters in the neighborhood.

The forum will be held at the New York Irish Center at 7 p.m., and is organized by a cohort of Western Queens groups that will take turns asking the eight confirmed candidates in attendance all things HQ2.

The five event sponsors—LIC Coalition, PrimedOutNYC, Sunnyside Woodside Action Group, Hunters Point Civic Association and Hearts Across Queens—have organized to varying degrees around Amazon’s planned campus buildout and the city and state deal that brought the company to Long Island City.

While the contenders will have a chance to expand on their platforms, the organizers emphasize that the focus will largely be on Amazon’s project at Anable Basin. The groups, for example, will ask candidates to describe an “Amazon action plan” during their first 90 days in office.

Candidates to appear at the Long Island City forum include Council Members Raphael Espinal Jr. and Jumaane Williams; former Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Assembly Members Ron Kim and Daniel J O’Donnell, Nomiki Konst; Dawn Smalls; Ify Ike and Ben Yee.

The majority of the candidates at tonight’s forum also spoke to their approaches on Amazon in NY1’s special election debate last week. Mark-Viverito and Williams, who signed a letter in 2017 urging Amazon to come to New York City, have since reversed course, like many.

Mark-Viverito said she doesn’t feel Amazon should be in New York City, but that the deal on the table should be scrapped and started anew. When asked why she signed the letter after stating the company shouldn’t be in New York, Mark-Viverito said it was under the guise of local public review.

Williams, meanwhile, said the letter was signed to begin a conversation on the planned headquarters, and did not imagine that the process would unfold as it did. “This deal should be squashed,” he said.

Konst, a former reporter, said the criticisms now heard against Amazon by many who signed the letter have been known for some time, and doubted that a career politician could serve as public advocate.

Espinal Jr., who did not sign the letter, said anyone who signed the letter should not be the public advocate. “I did not sign that letter because I did my homework,” he said.

The forum will be held at the New York Irish Center, located at 10-40 Jackson Ave., at 7 p.m. on Feb. 12. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The event will also be live-streamed on the Facebook pages of the Hunters Point Civic Association and  Hearts Across Queens

email the author:


Click for Comments 
Good Luck Mr. Landlord

Sorry Mr Landlord or Real Estate -you wont make quick buck here in LIC …
i guess you didn’t attended this meeting last night..
ALL OF THEM SAID .. NO GO To AMAZON!! –i’m proud of each one of them,!
There is no $$$ attached to them ..they see the same was as rest of us!
Raphael Espinal Jr.
Jumaane Williams
Melissa Mark-Viverito
Ron Kim and
Daniel J O’Donnell,
Nomiki Konst
Dawn Smalls
Ify Ike
Ben Yee.
Someone posted this article yest ..maybe you should read it
“How Amazon Swallowed Seattle”


Reading the link you cite, I would say that Amazon improved Seattle drastically. I hope it is able to do the same for LIC.

LIC neighbor

How do we get rid of Gianaris and Van Bremmer?
All polls say people are for the deal, so they are clearly not representing their constituents.
Someone please tell me when they are up for election so that we can vote them out and be done with their whining. Hopefully before they can kill the deal and ruin this for everyone?

Reality Check ..

“For Amazon has killed Seattle and gotten away with it. The counts of worse traffic, longer hours, higher costs of living, greater income inequality, and lower quality of life have no other suspects and few co-defendants. Amazon is guilty. But what little outrage there is has been mild. Anger dies out and Amazon lives on, untroubled and too big to fail. The mainstream is for Amazon, because Amazon is for the mainstream.

Increasingly, Amazon is the mainstream, flooding markets with ruthless efficiency and washing Seattle clean of the grit of independent lifestyles and small businesses. Amazon explicitly aims to eradicate these. A friend works in pricing; he told me Amazon has scripts to scrape prices from competitors’ websites and undercut them, even at great marginal loss. This is the essence of anti-competitive behavior”


Unfortunately, there are many good people out there that are not very clear on the terms of the deal, such as performance based tax incentives. There are obviously many pros and cons with Amazon, but the amount of job opportunities and tax revenue is something we cannot ignore.
To those who are against Amazon, I beg that you at least try to negotiate a better deal rather than just chase them away.

Keeping it simple is Not keeping it real

There must be a reason for the repeated oversimplification. If you respond to the criticisms of Amazon’s anti-union, ICE assisting, small business destroying practices, you may be more convincing as a concerned citizen.

LIC resident FOR HQ2!

“Will the 25,000 jobs’ killers stand to the left, please. Thank you for coming tonight. You are all out of your jobs.”

Brooke Coleman

Yes! Come to LIC Amazon!! Looking forward to all the great things that will happen in the neighborhood. 11101!!


Actually, 99% of the small businesses that are dropping like flies in LIC will have customers if Amazon moves in.


The polititians are angry they were
Left out of the loop on what was clearly a high level decision. A handful of local yokles are having a fit because their property values are going to increase ? Yes there are some local working class renters who may find themselves getting priced out of the area but that is inevitable…. there are also a ton of rent stabilized units in the area that are safe
And sound bastions of the poor. Get over it -there is no way Amazon coming to LIC does not benefit the greater good. Stop looking the gift horse in the mouth -any ither community would have killed for this kind of investment in their city.


Here comes the Amazonbots to start posting “25,000 jobs ” 3..2..1


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

AG James announces dismantling of Queens-based ghost gun trafficking operation

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday the takedown of a prolific Queens-based gun trafficking crew accused of selling firearms and ammo at an East Elmhurst playground, the Queens Center Mall and other locations around the borough.

James secured a 625-count indictment charging five men for participating in the gun smuggling ring, which involved selling dozens of ghost guns, assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.