Statement by Speaker Corey Johnson Re: New York City’s Site Selection for Amazon HQ2

“Amazon is one of the richest companies in the world, but you can’t put a price on community input, which has been missing throughout this entire process. I find that lack of engagement and the fact that the negotiations excluded the City Council – which is elected by New Yorkers to guide land use projects with communities in mind – extremely troubling. I also don’t understand why a company as rich as Amazon would need nearly $2 billion in public money for its expansion plans at a time when New York desperately needs money for affordable housing, transportation, infrastructure and education. I will always advocate for economic development and jobs in New York, but when the process is done behind closed doors, with zero community input and nearly $2 billion in subsidies to a global behemoth, I am going to be skeptical. I have not been briefed on this plan, so I will withhold full judgement until I am. I look forward to reviewing the full details of the package when available with Council Member Van Bramer and Council Member Vallone – Chair of our Economic Development Committee – to determine whether this proposal is in the best interests of the City. For now, all I can say is I am very concerned.”

 

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