- Sen. Bernie Sanders cheered Amazon’s decision to cancel a plan to build a new headquarters in New York City.
- “I congratulate New Yorkers for standing up to the power of Amazon,” Sanders said in a statement.
- Amazon cited opposition from local politicians as a large part of the reason it will not move forward with the deal.
- Sanders, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, has been a consistent and vocal critic of Amazon’s treatment of its workers.
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday congratulated New Yorkers for “standing up to the power of Amazon” after the tech giant canceled a plan to build a second headquarters, called HQ2, in the New York City borough of Queens.
“The people of New York and America are increasingly concerned about the power of large multinational corporations and the billions in corporate welfare they receive. Our job is to end the race to the bottom where taxpayers in one city or state are forced to bid against each other for desperately needed jobs. This is what the rigged economy is all about,” Sanders said in a statement to INSIDER.
The Vermont senator added, “I congratulate New Yorkers for standing up to the power of Amazon.”
A number of local politicians, including Democrats like New York City Council speaker Corey Johnson, New York Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, New York state senator Mike Gianaris, were opposed to the plan for a new Amazon headquarters in Long Island City. The politicians expressed concern with the impact on the city’s residents and economy.
Amazon on Thursday pointed to this opposition from local leaders as part of its reasoning behind scrapping the plan for the new headquarters.
“For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term… A number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City,”Amazon said in a statement.
Other progressive politicians with similar views to Sanders, such as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also applauded by Amazon’s decision to cancel the plan to expand into New York City.
“Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbours defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who worked hard to bring Amazon to the state, was not enthused by Thursday’s developments. Cuomo attacked the New York politicians who stood against the plan and called for these politicians to be “held accountable for the lost economic opportunity.”
56% of registered voters in New York state supported the plan to build the new Amazon headquarters in Queens, according to a Siena College poll released Tuesday. And a report commissioned by Cuomo suggested the plan would have brought $US27.5 billion in tax revenue for the state and city.
But some of the local leaders critical of Amazon expressed concerns with the $US3 billion in tax incentives the state and city would pay to the company as part of the deal.
Sanders, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, has been a consistent and unabashedly vocal critic of Amazon’s treatment of its workers.
The senator, who’s seemingly poised to make another run for president in 2020, has made tackling wealth inequality and the influence of corporations in US politics the centrepiece of his long career in politics.