New York City Sets Outstanding Precedent for Communities Everywhere in Amazon Victory

February 14, 2019

For Immediate Release February 14, 2019

Contact Greg LeRoy at [email protected], 202-232-1616 ext. 211 or 202-494-0888

For Additional Perspectives:

What Goes Around Comes Around

Artur Marciniec Photos

Washington, DC — Good Jobs First, the watchdog group on economic development incentives, today released the following statement from executive director Greg LeRoy regarding, Inc.’s decision to not locate one of its two new headquarters in Long Island City in Queens, New York:

“In the same way Jeff Bezos stood up to what he called the National Enquirer’s extortion, New York City stood up to’s demand for almost $3 billion with no community input. This is a huge victory for community organizing that is strengthening the efforts under way in Arlington, Va. and Nashville. [See an additional statement from them below and additional contacts above.]

“Amazon’s arrogance in staging a rare public auction that caused hundreds of politicians in three nations to embarrass themselves—and waste millions of taxpayer dollars on bids that never had a prayer—will go down in history as both a financial failure and as a negative turning point in the corporation’s reputation.

“It will also go down in history as a turning point in the debate over how our constitutional federalism has been perverted. The corporate-dominated site location system we’ve been saddled with since the 1930s needs to be dismantled. We have never received so many calls from elected officials and civic leaders about the need for federal, state and local solutions to the ‘second war among the states.’

“By exposing the seamy underside of America’s tax break-industrial complex, we assume Amazon had made itself a pariah in certain consulting, accounting and legal circles. And we note that some other tech firms continue to expand in New York and other cities without any special tax-break deals.

“Today’s main lesson is clear: Community organizing works, and politicians ignore organized constituents at great risk.”

Good Jobs First’s Amazon resources are visible at: .

Editor’s note: Good Jobs First, founded 20 years ago, is a non-profit, non-partisan research group on economic development subsidies.


MAJOR  VICTORY: Coalition Responds to Amazon’s Decision to Pull out of New York

“This is what accountability looks like.”

New York, New York; Arlington, VA; and Nashville, TN — In response to the breaking news that Amazon is canceling plans to move part of its HQ2 headquarters to NYC, a coalition of community advocates from New York, Northern Virginia, and Nashville released the following statement:

“Today marks an important organizing victory for Long Island City residents, proving that community-led organizing and courageous local leadership can shape the world we want. Communities in Northern Virginia and Nashville will continue to fight for good jobs, affordable housing, and a country where we all pay our fair share, because we know that when we stand together, we can fuel change that lifts all of us up.

“Our victory against a $1 trillion giant is a clear example of what happens when we stand up for our shared values and fight for the future of our neighborhoods . We have a vision of a safe and sustainable future for our cities and Amazon is at odds with that vision. This is what accountability looks like.

“This is a national fight. Since day one of the HQ2 search, communities across the country have challenged Amazon’s empire building. This isn’t just happening in New York; other communities are demanding accountability, too.  Communities of color, immigrant families, women, and millennials in and around the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia and the urban core of Nashville, Tennessee, demand decent and affordable homes, safe, stable jobs, and reliable public transit–and want immediate answers and accountability from Amazon.

“What happens next is up to us. Together, we will continue pressing our demands that Amazon show up in our communities to listen to community members about real concerns regarding jobs, displacement, rising housing costs, lack of transparency, and shutting communities out of processes.”

To interview a local organizer from New York, Northern Virginia, or Nashville, please contact [email protected] or call 828-899-9239.

National Organizations

  • Action Center on Race and the Economy
  • Center for Popular Democracy
  • Demand Progress
  • Jobs with Justice
  • Partnership for Working Families