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Most New Yorkers Support State's Deal For Amazon Second Headquarters

Amazon's headquarters in Seattle.
Amazon's headquarters in Seattle. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Although Amazon may be looking for a new dance partner to set up its new Amazon HQ2 project outside the Empire State, a new poll found that the majority of New Yorkers support the proposed move to Long Island City.

In November, the online retailer announced that it has chosen two locations for its new HQ2 project, one in Long Island City, and a second in Virginia. However, according to a report released Friday, Amazon is reconsidering its choice in New York.

A Siena College poll asked: “Do you approve or disapprove of the recently announced deal between Amazon and New York, which grants up to $3 billion in state and city incentives to Amazon in return for Amazon locating its corporate offices in Queens, where it is projected to generate 25,000 jobs?”

In response, it found that 56 percent of New Yorkers approve the deal, against just 36 percent who disapprove.

“Even as Amazon is said to be reexamining the deal with New York to locate in Queens, by twenty points New York voters approve of the deal,” Siena College Research Institute director, Don Levy said. “Upstate voters are evenly divided but suburban voters strongly approve and in New York City, where some local activists have voiced opposition, voters approve of the deal by 23 points.”

Amazon has been derided by some New York politicians, who have been critical of the project and its nearly $2 billion in incentives cities agreed to provide in exchange for an estimated 25,000 well-paid jobs.

"Whether it's building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union President Marc Perrone said, “it is outrageous that Amazon is now essentially threatening New York City taxpayers to pay for its new headquarters or else it will leave town.”

"Multibillion-dollar corporations and billionaires like Jeff Bezos should not be threatening New Yorkers or expect any American taxpayers to foot the bill for opening a new headquarters – whether it's in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, or anywhere else.

“Why should we subsidize the creation of 25,000 Amazon jobs when Amazon’s entire business model seeks to eliminate millions of retail jobs," he said. "The last thing we, as taxpayers, should ever be asked to pay for is the destruction of our own jobs."

Amazon issued a statement following the release of the Siena poll.

“This is yet another clear validation that New Yorkers want 25,000 great jobs, with great benefits, that Amazon is ready to deliver to the community," a spokesperson said. "From construction jobs to software engineer positions, the tens of thousands of jobs we plan to create will be available to residents of all education levels and professional backgrounds, and our new headquarters will help improve the city’s economy for generations to come. As we continue engaging with our new neighbors – community leaders, tenant advocates, small business owners, and neighborhood stakeholders – we’re focused on demonstrating the kind of neighbor we plan to be. We’re very appreciative that everyday New Yorkers, both in Queens and across the city, have shown us so much support.”

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