Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cheers report that Amazon may pull out of New York deal after activist opposition

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cheers report that Amazon may pull out of New York deal after activist opposition
Ocasio-Cortez/Shutterstock
Ocasio-Cortez/Shutterstock

The Washington Post reported Friday that Amazon may withdraw from its proposal to build a new corporate campus in New York City because of widespread opposition. An Amazon exec anonymously quoted in the article indicated that the company was finding New York City to be too much of a hassle and said, “The question is whether it’s worth it if the politicians in New York don’t want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming.”


Within the Democratic Party, Amazon’s proposed Queens project has both supporters and detractors. The supporters have included New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill De Blasio, while the most vocal opponent has been U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—who has been arguing that the Queens center would result in skyrocketing rents, severe gentrification and displacement in that area just as it has in Seattle.

In one of the many anti Amazon tweets she posted in November, Ocasio-Cortez stressed, “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.” And when the Washington Post published its February 8 article, the 29-year-old congresswoman (whose district includes parts of Queen and the Bronx) linked to it on Twitter and was obviously delighted to hear that the Long Island City project might not happen.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Can everyday people come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world’s biggest corporations? Yes, they can.”

In and around Long Island City, activists have gone door to door to warn residents that Amazon could gentrify them out of the area. And Democrats who have joined Ocasio-Cortez in her opposition to the proposed Queens center have included New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, State Sen. Michael N. Gianaris of Queens and New York City Council Deputy James G. Van Bramer.

Hyper-gentrification, Ocasio-Cortez has been stressing, isn’t the only problem an Amazon center in Long Island City would cause. She has also been critical of the tax incentives being used to lure the company to the Big Apple, stressing that all that corporate welfare wouldn’t help her district a bit. On November 13, she tweeted, “We need to focus on good healthcare, living wages, affordable rent. Corporations that offer none of those things should be met w/ skepticism. It’s possible to establish economic partnerships w/ real opportunities for working families, instead of a race-to-the-bottom competition.”

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