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Amazon Reportedly Reconsidering Its NYC Headquarters Plan Amid Fierce Opposition

Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez-and-Jeff-Bezos

It looks like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) (shown above left) might have her way after all — Amazon is reconsidering building its second headquarters in New York City, according to a report from The Washington Post.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos (above right) also owns The Post.

Two sources “familiar with the company’s thinking” spoke with the outlet.

“The question is whether it’s worth it if the politicians in New York don’t want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming,” one of the sources said.

But another source familiar with Amazon’s thinking disputed the report, telling The New York Times, “I think that’s a bit far in my opinion.”

An Amazon spokesperson told Vox in a vague email statement, “We’re focused on engaging with our new neighbors — small business owners, educators, and community leaders.”

“Whether it’s building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be,” the statement read.

The Post’s sources said no specific plans were in motion to cancel the headquarters plans, noting that Amazon may try to pressure the state’s lawmakers with the threat of canceling the deal.

Amazon ramped up the speculation in 2018 over which location it would choose for its second headquarters in its high-profile search. The company ultimately chose to split the second headquarters between New York City and northern Virginia.

Although New York leaders like Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) praised the proposed move to the state, progressives like Ocasio-Cortez were outraged. The financial incentives New York lavished on Amazon to lure the company there also troubled some liberals.

Related: Reporters Blast Bezos for Spending Millions on Sanctimonious Super Bowl Ad [1]

“We’ve been getting calls and outreach from Queens residents all day about this. The community’s response? Outrage,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in November after Amazon made the announcement. “Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here.”

Ocasio-Cortez added at the time, “This isn’t just about one company or one headquarters. It’s about cost of living, corps paying their fair share, etc. It’s not about picking a fight, either. I was elected to advocate for our community’s interests — and they‘ve requested, clearly, to voice their concerns.”

The congresswoman celebrated The Post’s report on Friday, tweeting, “Can everyday people come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world’s biggest corporations? Yes, they can.”

New York state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) also opposed Amazon’s expansion there, telling the Fox Business Network that his goal was to see the deal “thrown into the garbage.”

New York City and the state at large pledged $2.5 billion in tax breaks for Amazon to build its headquarters in the city, arguing that the projected 25,000 jobs the company would bring to the state were worth it.

New York also offered up to $505 million in subsidies.

De Blasio argued in November that “this is a giant step on our path to building an economy in New York City that leaves no one behind.”

“New Yorkers will get tens of thousands of new, good-paying jobs, and Amazon will get the best talent in the world,” de Blasio said. “The city and state are working closely together to make sure Amazon’s expansion is planned smartly, and to ensure this fast-growing neighborhood has the transportation, schools and infrastructure it needs.”

For his own part, Cuomo said at the time, “New York can proudly say that we have attracted one of the largest, most competitive economic development investments in U.S. history.”

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