While city and state governments across the country appear all-too-eager to compete in Amazon’s “race to the bottom” as the corporate giant searches for a home for its second headquarters, community leaders sent the company a list of demands to ensure that any upcoming deal is one that benefits and protects local residents.
Demanding jobs for locals, investments in affordable housing and community enrichment, and transparency from the company regarding its operations, a coalition of 73 organizations made clear that they’re unwilling to grant Amazon access to their cities without getting anything in exchange.
Amazon kicked off a bidding war last month when it released its “wish list” for the city that will host its new campus. The company said it wants its secondary home to have a population of at least one million people, enough room to build a headquarters of at least 500,000 square feet—and be willing to offer generous tax breaks and incentives.
“You have your list of things you’re looking for from cities,” the coalition wrote in an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, “but we live in these cities, and we’ve got some expectations of our own for Amazon. We love jobs, we love technology, and we love convenience—but what you’re looking for will impact every part of our cities. We built these cities, and we want to make sure they remain ours.”
Jobs With Justice, the Working Families Party, the Center for Popular Democracy, and dozens of labor organizations were among the groups that signed the letter.
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