Amazon is the kind of business that can transform a local economy simply by starting a headquarters within its boundaries. Recently, the online tech giant made plans to grace Long Island City, in Queens with a second headquarter, which would have led to a huge growth in potential jobs for the people of the city in addition to an abundance of new revenue.
However, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) complained about the billions of dollars in subsidies that would be given to Amazon. This helped sink the blossoming project, and prompted CEO Jeff Bezos to find another city to set up shop. This news understandably wasn’t well-received by many New Yorkers, including Governor Andrew Cuomo — who is no right winger. After all, according to surveys, 70% of New Yorkers are in favor of a headquarters being built in the city.
Governor Cuomo didn’t mince words when he reacted to AOC’s behavior during the process.
“A small group of politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community…The New York Senate has done tremendous damage,” he said. “They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity. The fundamentals of New York’s business climate and community that attracted Amazon to be here—our talent pool, world-class education system, commitment to diversity and progressivism—remain and we won’t be deterred as we continue to attract world-class businesses to communities across New York State.”
It wasn’t just politicians — many private citizens were mad about AOC’s comments and how they swayed Amazon to change plans. They characterized her as a “villain.”
Despite the many comments that came her way, AOC wasn’t swayed. She instead celebrated the fact that she helped to sink the project in the halls of Congress and on Twitter. She said that she believed the close to $3 billion in tax breaks that would come Amazon’s way would be better used to hire new teachers or repair the subway system.
Although many assumed Amazon had pulled up stakes and left New York behind for good, according to a recent New York Post report, their frustration might have been only temporary. They are now considering Manhattan’s West Side as a possible home for a headquarters.
“The tech giant has been in talks with owners of two shiny new skyscrapers located just one block west of Penn Station—the newly built One Manhattan West and its soon-to-be sister project, Two Manhattan West,” the report read.
The online retailer is looking for “at least 100,000 square feet or much more” according to sources.
The James A. Farley building might also be of interest to Amazon, according to sources from the Post.
However, if Amazon chooses to move to Manhattan instead of Long Island City as originally planned, they will forfeit the original tax breaks. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will do little to help the company. If they want to move in “they’re going to have to do it on their own.”
Amazon is currently making plans to set up headquarters in two other locations: one in Nashville, Tennessee and one in North Virginia. AOC has yet to comment on the most recent developments. Of course, presently, the plans aren’t 100% confirmed.
While the future for Amazon is uncertain at the moment, one thing is for sure — they lost a sure thing when AOC began her rantings. The loss of thousands of jobs cannot be overstated. AOC most certainly owes her constituents an apology for putting her own personal political views ahead of the very real needs of her people.