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Amazon blames Ocasio-Cortez for canceling HQ plan


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Amazon is blaming freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and other other lawmakers by name for the online retail giant’s decision to cancel a plan to build a new headquarters in New York City with an estimated 25,000 jobs.

Amazon said in a statement that “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.”

Amazon spokeswoman Jodi Seth told NBC News it wasn’t “any one incident” that prompted the decision.

“It was that the environment over the course of the past three months had not got 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,” she said.

“If you talk to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it’s ‘Never Amazon,'” Seth said. “If you talk to [Democratic New York City Councilman Jimmy] Van Bramer, it’s unions.”

Ocasio-Cortez and her allies objected to the $3 billion in incentives that New York was prepared to offer and claimed the plan would make area housing unaffordable for many.

‘Defeated Amazon’s corporate greed’

The Bronx congresswoman celebrate in a tweet.

“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,” she wrote.

And she had words for her critics.

“Come for me all you want, but my job is to make sure that people are protected in society,” she tweeted. “Someone’s got to look out for the people our system is leaving behind — esp now, when most of the wealth created is going to fewer people, those left behind are the majority of Americans.”

Meanwhile, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who fought hard for the new headquarters along with Democratic Mayor Bill deBlasio, said in a statement that a “small group” of politicians “put their own narrow political interests above their community.”

He said many polls showed “overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City” and charged the politicians who opposed it “should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity.”

A Siena College poll earlier this month found 56 percent of all New Yorkers approved of the plan while 36 percent disapproved. Among New York City residents, 58 percent were in favor.

Significantly, the poll found 70 percent of black voters and 81 percent of Latino voters approved of the Amazon headquarters.

Luxury real estate agent Ryan Serhant told CNBC on Friday that developers and speculators who bought property anticipating the new headquarters are “freaking out.”

“Was I dumbfounded that New York politicians were going to ruin it for everyone? No. Was it an exhausting day yesterday? Yes,” said Serhant.


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