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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Shortly after Amazon picked Long Island City in Queens, New York, for 25,000 jobs, protests erupted.
“The people united will never be defeated. The people united will never be defeated” was the chant at one rally.
Protesters object to a nearly $3 billion tax subsidy and worry about housing displacement and higher rents.
Among the protesters was Democratic Socialist U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
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Now the Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, reports Amazon is reconsidering New York.
“I think Amazon is dealing with the reality of being in the epicenter of the nation’s ultra-progressive movement, and for weeks now, Amazon has been the recipient of tremendous backlash,” John Boyd told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Friday.
Boyd, a relocation expert in New Jersey who advises companies, is not surprised.
“Amazon wants to feel like the city that appreciates it and realizes the transformative impact that 25,000 high-paying jobs would have. I mean, this adversarial posture that lawmakers are having in Queens is really contrary to that,” Boyd said.
Sources say Pittsburgh city officials have not yet heard from Amazon about a second chance.
Amazon says they still hope they can make New York work.
“We’re focused on engaging with our new neighbors – small business owners, educators, and community leaders,” Amazon said in a statement to KDKA. “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.”
But if New York falls through, amazon may look for several sites, including Pittsburgh.
“Perhaps a Pittsburgh location, leveraging the region’s growing IT network and Carnegie Mellon’s premier artificial intelligence,” Boyd said.