No one can accuse Yorktown High School graduate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of not sticking her neck out, or taking the road less traveled.
The newly elected congresswoman, the youngest ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, said she opposes the state and New York City tax breaks being handed over to Amazon for creating a secondary headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, will represent the Bronx and Queens starting in January.
She was not alone in her criticism of the Amazon headquarters' deal. New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson blasted the multi-billion taxpayer giveaway as being secretive and "fundamentally wrong."
Ocasio-Cortez, a political rock star who will now be a part of the new Democratic House majority, was not shy about expressing her concerns about the Amazon deal lauded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and MYC Mayor Bill de Blasio during a Tuesday, Nov. 13 news conference.
The Democratic Socialist, who cruised to victory in the midterm elections after beating Rep. Joe Crowley in an upset primary win in June, fired off a series of tweets regarding Amazon's blockbuster plans, which in addition to the waterfront site across from Roosevelt Island include another East Coast headquarters in Crystal City, Va., and a Nashville facility.
"We’ve been getting calls and outreach from Queens residents all day about this. The community’s response? Outrage," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
Ocasio-Cortez said Amazon is a billion-dollar company: "The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here."
"Has the company promised to hire in the existing community?” Ocasio-Cortez asked. “What’s the quality of jobs + how many are promised? Are these jobs low-wage or high wage? Are there benefits? Can people collectively bargain?"
In another tweet, Ocasio-Cortez wrote: "Displacement is not community development. Investing in luxury condos is not the same thing as investing in people and families. Shuffling working class people out of a community does not improve their quality of life."
Ocasio-Cortez added: "We need to focus on good health care, living wages, affordable rent. Corporations that offer none of those things should be met w/ skepticism."
She continued: "Lastly, this isn’t just about one company or one headquarters. It’s about cost of living, corps paying their fair share, etc. It’s not about picking a fight, either. I was elected to advocate for our community’s interests – & they‘ve requested, clearly, to voice their concerns."
The sites are forecast to employ about 50,000 people combined, half of which would be in Long Island City.
Gov. Cuomo of New Castle had urged the high-tech giant to expand into the Big Apple, once saying he would "do whatever I need to do to make it a reality."
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