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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Amazon plans for N.Y. ‘extremely concerning’

November 13, 2018

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent a flurry of tweets late Monday slamming Amazon for its planned split headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, saying residents are outraged over the billion-dollar company possibly getting “millions of dollars in tax breaks” while the local community is being neglected.

“We’ve been getting calls and outreach from Queens residents all day about this. The community’s response? Outrage,” tweeted Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist, responding to The Wall Street Journal’s report that Amazon will divide its second headquarters evenly between Long Island City and the D.C. suburb of Crystal City in northern Virginia.

“Amazon is a billion-dollar company,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez continued. “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.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has hailed Amazon’s move, which is expected to bring 25,000 jobs to the area, as a “great economic boost” for the state of New York. He reportedly met with Amazon executives last month about the potential deal that could include hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who was endorsed by former President Barack Obama and Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, before defeating Republican nominee Anthony Pappas in a landslide last week, said she’s worried Amazon will displace working-class families.

When we talk about bringing jobs to the community, we need to dig deep:- Has the company promised to hire in the existing community?- Whats the quality of jobs + how many are promised? Are these jobs low-wage or high wage? Are there benefits? Can people collectively bargain? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 13, 2018

Displacement is not community development. Investing in luxury condos is not the same thing as investing in people and families.Shuffling working class people out of a community does not improve their quality of life. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 13, 2018

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said large corporations that don’t offer “good healthcare,” “living wages,” and “affordable rent” should be met with “skepticism.”

“It’s possible to establish economic partnerships w/ real opportunities for working families, instead of a race-to-the-bottom competition,” she wrote.

“Lastly, this isn’t just about one company or one headquarters. It’s about cost of living, corps paying their fair share, etc.,” she added. “It’s not about picking a fight, either. I was elected to advocate for our community’s interests - they’ve requested, clearly, to voice their concerns.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez cited Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and state Sen. Michael Gianaris as also opposing the Amazon deal.

In a joint statement, Mr. Van Bramer and Mr. Gianaris said Amazon must “prove it will be a responsible corporate neighbor.”

“Offering massive corporate welfare from scarce public resources to one of the wealthiest corporations in the world at a time of great need in our state is just wrong,” they wrote.

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