STATEMENT ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF AMAZON HQ2
New Yorkers want, need and deserve good paying, quality jobs that help us meet the high costs of living in New York City with dignity. The deal announced between Amazon, the city and the state, is very troubling. The non-disclosure agreement that was signed between our government and Amazon was intended to keep us – both elected officials and community – in the dark, and, we are only now learning that New York City has agreed to abandon the receipt of property taxes and there will be a billion dollars worth of tax giveaways on top of that as well. We haven’t received all of the information that we need to assess if our communities will get good jobs in return and whether the deal will lead to positive community investments. Transparency and accountability have not been optional. I, like many leaders, signed on to an initial letter to attract Amazon to New York. However, I had conditions. We need community engagement. We need to know how this deal will improve our schools, our transportation, our housing, our public services and our ability to invest in our people. It is unacceptable that the people of New York would be blind-sided by our own Governor, Mayor and Amazon, and it serves as another clear reminder why the city needs someone to be an advocate and watchdog for the people. When our labor union sisters and brothers are strongly raising their voices of opposition, it should also make us pause and reflect on the accuracy of the wages and benefits being discussed. If it’s a good deal, show us, otherwise, it won’t be a done deal.