Billboard in Times Square Mocks Ocasio-Cortez for Amazon’s NYC Retreat
It reads bluntly, 'Thanks for nothing, AOC!' — and while it's only there for one week, it's sure to make an impact
The Job Creators Network (JCN) installed a billboard in New York City’s Times Square on Wednesday.
And it bluntly bashes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) for her role in Amazon’s decision to cancel its planned headquarters in the city.
The billboard, unveiled Wednesday, will be displayed for one week.
The billboard is named, “AMAZON PULLOUT: Thanks For Nothing, AOC!”
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 20, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez (pictured above left) often goes by the initials “AOC.”
After a high-profile and months-long search, Amazon announced its decision in November 2018 to split its second headquarters between northern Virginia and New York City.
Although Virginia officials warmly welcomed Amazon, such was not the case in New York: The company faced vehement opposition from Ocasio-Cortez and some other state and local officials.
Amazon stunned the nation last week when company officials announced they were giving up on New York City because of the opposition.
“After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” the company said in a statement last week. “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.”
Polls showed that approximately 70 percent of New Yorkers supported Amazon’s investment in the state.
But “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,” the company lamented.
“The Amazon pullout is a perfect example of what we’ve been saying: Socialism takes and capitalism creates,” Alfredo Ortiz, JCN’s president and CEO, said in a statement about the billboard.
JCN’s billboard noted that Amazon’s retreat is costing the city 25,000 lost jobs, $4 billion in lost wages, and $12 billion in lost economic activity.
“The Amazon pullout is a perfect example of what we’ve been saying: Socialism takes and capitalism creates,” Alfredo Ortiz, JCN’s president and CEO, said in a statement about the billboard on Wednesday.
“The economic consequences of the HQ2 termination give America a small taste of the harm that is to come if Ocasio-Cortez’s anti-business canon comes to fruition and is made federal policy,” Ortiz added.
Jeff Bezos (above right) is Amazon’s founder and CEO. He also owns The Washington Post.
Ocasio-Cortez crowed after Amazon retreated from its New York City plans. She and other progressives resented the financial incentives New York lavished on Amazon to lure the company there during its search process.
But she has since gone on the defensive in the face of widespread outrage and criticism.
“There was little in the fuzzy proposal that guaranteed jobs for actual NYers, yet lots of hard concessions from the public,” the congresswoman tweeted on Tuesday. “Queens saw how the FoxConn/Wisconsin disaster is working out — a $4.5 billion nightmare — & asked Qs. The response? ‘This is above you, you won’t get it.'”
“Folks handling the failed deal treated community w/condescension + disdain for their legitimate concerns,” she added.
“I warned early to any & all that surging NYC costs + failing subways are creating major political forces to be reckoned with. But I don’t know what I’m talking about, right?”
There was little in the fuzzy proposal that guaranteed jobs for actual NYers, yet lots of hard concessions from the public.
Queens saw how the FoxConn/Wisconsin disaster is working out – a $4.5 billion nightmare – & asked Qs.
The response? “This is above you, you won’t get it.”
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 19, 2019
Earlier on in the day, she ranted, “Frankly, the knee-jerk reaction assuming that I ‘don’t understand’ how tax giveaways to corps work is disappointing. No, it’s not possible that I could come to a different conclusion. The debate *must* be over my intelligence & understanding, instead of the merits of the deal.”
“There’s NO WAY that this deal — one of the biggest giveaways in state history — could possibly have been bad, right. Surely there can’t be anything wrong with suddenly announcing a massive restructuring & pricing out of a community without any advance notice or input from them,” Ocasio-Cortez added.
Frankly, the knee-jerk reaction assuming that I “don’t understand” how tax giveaways to corps work is disappointing.
No, it’s not possible that I could come to a different conclusion. The debate *must* be over my intelligence & understanding, instead of the merits of the deal.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 19, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez also faced harsh criticism indirectly from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).
In a statement, Cuomo blasted the “small group [of] politicians” who “put their own narrow political interests above their community.”
The governor noted that “poll after poll showed” New Yorkers “overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City.”
Thus, those politicians “should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity,” Cuomo said.
Jodi Seth, Amazon’s head of policy communications, told NBC News the company blamed a few specific New York politicians for its decision, including Ocasio-Cortez.
“It wasn’t any one incident,” Seth said. “It was that the environment over the course of the past three months had not got[ten] any better. There were some local and state elected officials who refused to meet with Amazon and criticized us day in and day out about the plan.”
“If you talk to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it’s ‘Never Amazon,’” Seth added. “If you talk to [New York City Councilman Jimmy] Van Bramer [a Democrat], it’s unions.”
Check out more in the video below: