Amazon HQ faces mounting backlash in NYC

Following the decision to locate new headquarters to Queens, citizens gathered to protest the deal which sees the retail giant receiving $3bn in tax breaks and subsidies

15Nov

New York citizens gathered in Queens on November 14 in protest of Amazon's decision to locate one of its new headquarters in the area.

The group, which included politicians and advocates, were rallying against the decision to give Amazon nearly $3bn in tax breaks and subsidies from the state and the city in a deal which also included a nondisclosure agreement that kept many details secret. One city councilman called the move "an assault on our democracy".

Amazon has claimed that the HQ will create 25,000 highly-skilled, highly-paid jobs in the area and bring more than $2bn in investment. A number of economists and policy makers have, however, warned that the project will raise housing costs in the area. This would likely see locals displaced and increase traffic in the area.


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"The more we learn about this deal, the worse it gets," said New York state senator Michael Gianaris. "This is a bad deal, and the state and the city should both be embarrassed to stand behind this deal. They got taken, plain and simple."

There has also been an onslaught of criticism against the decision on social media, with Representatives-elect of New York's Fourteenth District Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posting a scathing tweet at the announcement of the news.

It was announced last week Amazon would be splitting its second headquarters in two because no one location had enough skilled technical workers and the retail giant has since revealed that the two new locations would be New York City and Arlington, Virginia.

It is not the first backlash that Amazon has faced for the way it has handled the decision-making for its second headquarters. The company has faced heavy criticism for the way it tried to encourage cities to compete for its facility with The Wall Street Journal describing its tactic as an "unusually public beauty pageant".

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