Bullying and Secrecy Have No Place in Our Cities

Our Response to Amazon’s decision to pull out of NYC

Thursday, February 14, 2019

In an important organizing victory for communities in NYC and in all our cities, Amazon executives announced they have abandoned their plans for a Long Island City campus in Queens.

 

When Amazon announced its “Hunger Games” style sweepstakes for a second headquarters, we did not take the bait - we joined with visionary community leaders and organizers to launch a “people’s RFP,” with OUR vision for our cities. We are proud to have stood with our partners and some courageous elected officials to defend our shared values. Building a safe and sustainable future for our cities requires public resources being devoted to the public good, and Amazon is at odds with that vision.

 

The fight continues in other cities where communities are challenging the bullying tactics and secrecy of companies like Amazon.People who live and work in Arlington, Virginia and Nashville, Tennessee, demand decent and affordable homes, safe, stable jobs, and reliable public transit--and want immediate answers and accountability from Amazon. In San Jose, community members are demanding a seat at the table and commitments in writing when Google plans its new campus. In Seattle, people living in the shadow of Amazon and Microsoft are raising the question about the responsibility billionaire corporations have to the cities that helped them amass their wealth.

 

Wealthy corporations make decisions to maximize their profits, not to achieve what’s best for our families and communities. We can see clear evidence of this when, rather than meet with their future workforce and neighbors and commit to meeting their needs, Amazon threatens to pack up and leave if they can’t set all the terms.

We have the expertise and power as communities to choose where, how and why things get built, and for whom. Through our We Make This City campaign, we are raising the stakes and demanding community-controlled, public infrastructure that builds community wealth and health and puts power into the hands of the people who live and work in our communities. We know that when we stand together, communities of color can drive change in our communities that lifts us all up.