Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide), Chair of Council’s Housing, Health, Energy and Workers’ Rights Committee, issued the following statement after Amazon canceled plans to build a second headquarters in New York City:
“New York City officials, labor, and community came together to set their terms for partnership with one of the biggest and fast-growing companies in the world. The City of New York and the community of Queens stood up, demanded a seat at the table, sought protections for workers across the supply chain, requested investments in housing and infrastructure that make local economies thrive – and the response from Amazon was to pull out.
“But these are the very public policies and principles that help generate economic success. When corporations grow-up within our cities or move to our cities, they are made prosperous and successful because of our city workers, schools, transit, sidewalks and roads. When working families and local infrastructure have investments, then businesses thrive. What the community in New York was asking for is shared responsibility so there can be shared prosperity. New Yorkers wanted accountability for the incentives as these are the taxpayers dollars. Instead they got unfair negotiations.
“Cities rely on economic stability, but we’ve learned important lessons in Seattle: We can’t be a company town without strong reciprocal relationship with the businesses that rely on our workforce and infrastructure for success. We can’t allow companies to build booming profits on our infrastructure, labor and tax breaks without protections in place for the workers and infrastructure that fuels their growth, and the accompanying public policies in place to ensure these values are adhered to. It’s local elected leaders’ responsibility to ensure we protect our residents, provide the basic infrastructure, and are fiscally responsible with tax dollars. Walking away from the table is bad faith negotiations, fails to recognize these policies reflect the values of city residents, and doesn’t show corporate leadership.”