Ocasio-Cortez blasts tax breaks for Amazon, says HQ2 will displace the working class


NOVEMBER 13, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Amazon’s move won’t necessarily benefit the local community. – Getty Images

NEW YORK – Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized Amazon on Monday over the news that it has picked Long Island City in Queens as the site of a new headquarters, arguing it will hurt the local community in the New York City borough.

“We’ve been getting calls and outreach from Queens residents all day about this. The community’s response? Outrage,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in the first of a series of tweets over the development.

“Amazon is a billion-dollar company,” she wrote. “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.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who is set to take her seat in Congress next year, questioned aspects of Amazon’s planned move, saying that it won’t necessarily benefit the local community.

“Has the company promised to hire in the existing community?” she tweeted. “What’s the quality of jobs … how many are promised?”

“Displacement is not community development,” she wrote. “Shuffling working class people out of a community does not improve their quality of life.”

Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, contended the company should offer “good healthcare, living wages, (and) affordable rent” to members of the community. “Corporations that offer none of those things should be met w/ skepticism.”

The Hill could not reach Amazon for an immediate response.

Ocasio-Cortez is not the first progressive to take aim at the company in recent months. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) earlier this year ripped into Amazon over its minimum wage policy. The company caved and, as of Nov. 1, began providing a minimum $15 an hour salary for all employees.

To finance the move, Amazon slashed worker benefits and stock options.

On Monday, Ocasio-Cortez broadened her criticism of Amazon to encompass larger economic issues she has made a central part of her message.

“(T)his isn’t just about one company or one headquarters,” she wrote. “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.”