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Know Your Rights
Subject: Amazon
Type: Pubs & Reports

Beyond Amazon: Reshaping New York’s Approach to Economic Development

Download report HERE.

Late last year, New Yorkers reacted with outrage to the announcement that Amazon was going to force its empire building on the communities of Queens.  Many of us cried out against the displacement of working families; against subsidizing a corporation that enables the Trump deportation machine; and against the predatory practices and monopoly power of Amazon.

But regardless of one’s position on whether Amazon HQ2 would have benefitted or hurt New York, it is clear that the HQ2 roll-out was a fiasco of gigantic proportions. That fiasco laid bare long-standing problems with our state’s approach to economic development.

The proposed HQ2 deal was particularly offensive by virtue of its size, the nature of Amazon as a corporation, and the secrecy of the negotiations. But those flaws were yet another example of our state’s longstanding and corrupt model of giveaways to corporations disguised as “job creation” and “economic development.” Deals like the Buffalo Billion exemplify the model – the people of this state invested $750 million in an “economic development” project that promised thousands of “new jobs.” The results? 700 jobs. And two officials convicted of public corruption.

Every year State and local governments give $10 billion of our resources away to corporations with virtually no accountability and little public awareness. Meanwhile our schools, transit system, and public infrastructure suffer. Without Universal Rent Control, landlords and speculators use their power to raise rents and evict our neighbors. The home care sector is creating jobs in every corner of the state, but can’t retain workers because of a lack of investment in that workforce. And our neighbors suffer through unemployment, under-employment and brutal low-wage jobs while wondering what happened to the good jobs promised by politicians.

There is a better way. In a state with abundant wealth, all of our neighbors can thrive. We can move beyond the corrupt practices that allowed for the Amazon HQ2 fiasco. And we can take back our future – protecting our neighborhoods and reclaiming democratic power in our New York.

This document presents some first steps – clear-eyed, common-sense, & urgent ways to reshape how we all come together to build New York. A New York for all of us.

Download report HERE.