Dozens of CEOs and government officials signed an open letter begging Amazon to continue with its development of HQ2 in New York City.
“New Yorkers do not want to give up on the 25,000 permanent jobs, 11,000 union construction and maintenance jobs, and $28 billion in new tax revenues that Amazon was prepared to bring to our state. A clear majority of New Yorkers support this project and were disappointed by your decision not to proceed,” declared the letter, addressed to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, which appeared in the New York Times. “We understand that becoming home to the world’s industry leader in e-commerce, logistics and web services would be a tremendous boost for our state’s technology industry, which is our fastest growing generator of new jobs. As representatives of a wide range of government, business, labor and community interests, we urge you to reconsider, so that we can move forward together.”
“We know the public debate that followed the announcement of the Long Island City project was rough and not very welcoming. Opinions are strong in New York—sometimes strident. We consider it part of the New York charm! But when we commit to a project as important as this, we figure out how to get it done in a way that works for everyone,” it continued. “Governor Cuomo will take personal responsibility for the project’s state approval and Mayor de Blasio will work together with the governor to manage the community development process, including the workforce development and infrastructure investments that are necessary to ensure that the Amazon campus will be a tremendous benefit to residents and small businesses in the surrounding communities.”
“New York attracts the best, most diverse talent from across the globe. We are a dynamic new center of the country’s most inclusive tech economy,” the letter concluded. “We all hope you reconsider and join us in building the exciting future of New York.”
The open letter was signed by dozens of company CEOs and government officials, including Goldman Sachs CEO David M. Solomon, Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, Citigroup CEO Michael L. Corbat, Morgan Stanley CEO James P. Gorman, New York University President Andrew Hamilton, JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes, Cornell University President Martha Pollack, Shutterstock CEO Jon Oringer, Hearst CEO Steven R. Swartz, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Max Rose (D-NY), and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).
Last month, Amazon pulled out of its plan to build part of its new headquarters in New York City, following heavy opposition to the move from figures across the political spectrum, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Critics opposed the $1.5 billion in tax credits, $1.2 billion in tax breaks, and other incentives that Amazon would receive in return for HQ2, and opposition to Amazon’s facial recognition program also prompted the company to pull out.