Months of tireless organizing, campaigning, and mobilization by ordinary New Yorkers was credited with Amazon's decision on Thursday to cancel its widely condemned plan to locate a second headquarters site in Long Island City, New York.
"Anything is possible," tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the fiercest publicly-elected officials opposed to the deal. "Today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon's corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world."
Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world. https://t.co/nyvm5vtH9k
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 14, 2019
"The deal is dead. We killed the Amazon deal," declared New York City public advocate candidate Nomiki Konst. "NYC is not a city where we reward and welcome exploitative companies who hand out candy but wreck communities. Amazon has always been a company that disrespects workers and small [businesses]. Congrats organizers. This is your win."
"POWER OF THE PEOPLE," former New York attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout exclaimed, saying Amazon's decision to abandon the New York headquarters project left her "speechless."
POWER OF THE PEOPLE
Speechless. Truth to power wins! https://t.co/cUSlrgfjXr
— Zephyr Teachout (@ZephyrTeachout) February 14, 2019
this victory is thanks to all the tireless community organizers in Queens!
— North Brooklyn DSA (@nbkDSA) February 14, 2019
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Gotta love Corporate Extortion. Subsidize corporate profits or they will take their toys and go somewhere else.
— RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro) February 14, 2019
In a statement announcing its decision on Monday, Amazon pointed to the "number of state and local politicians" who "have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us" as the reason it ultimately decided to pull the plug on the New York City headquarters, which would have been built in exchange for billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidies.
"We are deeply grateful to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and their staffs, who so enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process," Amazon's statement continued.
In an appearance on MSNBC after Amazon's announcement, Democratic state Sen. Michael Gianaris—a vocal critic of the Amazon deal—explained why it's good for New York that the corporate giant pulled the plug.
"There's no reason the richest among us can shake us all down to get as much of our public dollars as possible just to grace us with their presence. And today New York took a stand," Gianaris said.
"If the terms of their being here were a 'take it or leave it' proposal that they put on the table, where they get three billion of our dollars and there was no discussion of making sure the housing market could accomodate them, that the subways would not be continuing to crumble as they are, that the schools would not continue to be overcrowded—none of those conversations happened," Gianaris concluded. "The only thing that happened was they said, 'Give us your money or we're leaving.' And if those are the terms, then it's a good thing that they left."