Booker Begs Amazon — Scorned by New York — to Consider New Jersey
Democrat 2020 hopeful is courting the company for Newark that his colleague Ocasio-Cortez helped chase away from the Big Apple
New York City may be too good for Amazon — but Newark, New Jersey, most certainly is not.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is begging Amazon to consider installing its second headquarters in Newark after New York City spurned the company and sent it packing.
Newark had made it onto Amazon’s list of 20 city finalists for HQ2.
After a high-profile and months-long search, Amazon announced its decision in November 2018 to split its second headquarters between Crystal City in Virginia and Long Island City in New York’s Queens borough.
But some state and local officials were outraged by Amazon’s plans to invest in New York City. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), whose district includes the Bronx and part of Queens, became the most high-profile opponent of Amazon’s expansion in the city.
Polls showed that approximately 70 percent of New Yorkers supported Amazon’s investment in the state.
But ultimately, Ocasio-Cortez (pictured above left) and local New Yorkers cause Amazon to retreat last week — a reversal that stunned the nation.
“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 statement from the company read.
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 added.
Although New York City apparently was too good for Amazon, Newark feels exactly the opposite.
“In Newark, we have a local grassroots effort to try to bring Amazon there. We are a city that’s built for a significantly larger population, has indigenous infrastructure, has incredible assets, the best transportation super-structure in the Northeast, incredible colleges and universities,” Booker (above right) told Cheddar this week.
“Our local community leaders have decided that we would like to see Amazon come,” Booker added. “We are growing and booming as a city, but we are making sure we have a pathway for all Newarkers to prevent the ills that are often evident in gentrification and make sure that things work on our terms.”
“So we want HQ2 — we’ve sent that message out already and everybody from the governor to the mayor to local leaders have been reaching out to Amazon,” Booker emphasized.
Booker, a former mayor of Newark, is running for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination to challenge President Donald Trump.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) also urged Amazon to come to Newark, noting he had contacted Amazon and was “continuing a constant dialogue.”
“New Jersey is open for business, and now more than ever, Newark is the clear choice as the next presence for Amazon corporate offices,” Murphy said, according to Fox Business.
“Amazon now has the opportunity to join in Newark’s story of a city on the rise.”
Booker noted that “every local community should be able to make their own decisions,” and he said he respected people “who want to deal with some of the issues that are really facing other neighborhoods and other cities, from gentrification, rising rent rates, indigenous communities moving out.”
But Ocasio-Cortez has been on the defensive for the role she played in chasing Amazon away and costing her city 25,000 jobs and billions of dollars in lost economic activity.
The Job Creators Network (JCN) even installed a billboard in Times Square on Wednesday, which will remain standing for one week.
The billboard is named, “AMAZON PULLOUT: Thanks For Nothing, AOC!”
Since New York City spurned Amazon, other politicians began courting the company and begging it to come to their states and cities to revitalize the economy with its thousands of jobs.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted at Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, “Mr. @JeffBezos, South Carolina would love to have you locate your new HQ here. South Carolina is a great place to do business!”
South Carolina would love to have you locate your new HQ here.
South Carolina is a great place to do business!https://t.co/icR2eIAHVz
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 14, 2019
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) tweeted, “Hey, @Amazon. Come on down. The water’s fine!”
— Rep Frederica Wilson (@RepWilson) February 14, 2019
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