Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Amazon HQ2
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a surprise appearance at the Queens Community Board 1 meeting on March 19, 2019 and took questions, including one on Amazon. Her lengthy response is riddled with mischaracterizations and falsehoods. Here is the take on her response below by The Daily News, and Newsday.
AOC at 0:49: “The 20% who didn’t approve were my constituents.” Polls showed 60-80% approval in Queens and the Bronx. All indications are that her constituents were overwhelmingly in favor of the deal.
UPDATE APRIL 10, 2019: A poll of AOC’s district released April 10, 2019 found that 58% of voters in her district supported the Amazon deal, and only 35% were opposed.
AOC at 1:18: “Okay, 25,000 jobs… it turns out the number was… kind of to us pixie dust." 25,000 jobs was explicitly stipulated in the agreement.
AOC at 1:35: “Are we going to set up educational opportunities to get our kids prepared for these jobs, and what we kept finding was like, no no no no no.” LaGuardia Community College in LIC was planning on it, as was an innovative non-profit called Pursuit, and Amazon was going to fund computer science classes at public schools.
AOC at 1:46: “The biggest thing was that people were saying 25,000 jobs at $150,000 average, which has never happened anywhere…” The agreement explicitly requires the “creation of 25,000 new jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 annually within 10 years of the date hereof.”
AOC at 2:11: “If they didn’t deliver on creating those new jobs, there was no penalty for it.” The agreement required the creation of 25,000 jobs.
AOC at 2:56: “Senator Gianaris was named to the board to help negotiate with Amazon, and what we found was that he asked for a little more money for local schools, he asked for any more negotiations with the community, and what we were told was just no, take it or leave it.” On February 4, Senator Gianaris was nominated to the Public Authorities Control Board, which would have given him veto power over the deal. Senator Gianaris showed no interest in negotiating with Amazon, refusing to join the Community Advisory Committee that was put together to negotiate with Amazon, and refusing to even speak with with Amazon. There is no evidence whatsoever that Senator Gianaris made any requests for money for schools.
Here’s AOC soon after the deal collapsed on February 14, 2019, suggesting there was now $3 billion dollars available for the community to invest, which is untrue.