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New York State May Not Be Done With Amazon

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There could be another chapter in the Amazon story for New York, even if the setting isn’t Queens or even any other borough but rather somewhere else in the state, Newsday reports.

By: Elle Shanley

“We should never burn bridges,” Howard Zemsky, CEO of Empire State Development, said. “The governor is not burning any bridges — certainly with Amazon. They’re a huge employer here in the state.”

He did make one acknowledgement. “And you know sometimes ‘No’ means ‘Not now’; sometimes ‘No’ means ‘Heck, no.’ In part, it depends on how we respond to these types of circumstances,” he told a Manhattan meeting of the ESD board of directors.”

Zemsky, Cuomo’s go-to guy for business, didn’t expect how much anger people would feel about the deal and how many people would come out against it, even exercising their civil duties by doing everything possible to keep out Amazon.

“This is not someone born into royalty,” he said. Zemsky spoke about how Amazon founder Jeff Bezos “started a business in his garage and ended up being, in many ways, the most successful business person in the world.” He believes that “we should never talk about that, in my opinion, in a way that suggests that it’s immoral or unethical or in any way inappropriate.”

Zemsky knows that “here’s a lot to do,” so he’s keeping his focus straight ahead and not getting sidetracked by anything. “We’re not done with economic development,” he said. “We’re in the business of providing people with opportunity.”

The Jewish Voice reported about how some progressive groups and politicians are celebrating Amazon’s decision to withdraw its HQ2 proposal for Long Island City and 25,000 expected jobs with it, but not everyone is on board with the results. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio celebrated the company’s decision to come to Queens and couldn’t say enough positive things about Amazon. Now that the deal fell through, the mayor is venting some of his frustrations on another fellow New York politician, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman liberal Democrat from the Bronx, according to the New York Post.

De Blasio went downtown to speak on WNYC radio about his feelings towards Amazon, politicians who were against the deal, and how his own politics relate to his feelings about what transpired. “As a progressive my entire life — and I ain’t changing — I’ll take on any progressive anywhere that thinks it’s a good idea to lose jobs and revenue because I think that’s out of touch with what working people want.”

Ocasio-Cortez took the opposite opinion and hammered Amazon and pro-Amazon politicians on the $3 billion of incentives that the giant corporation would receive, in what she argued were handouts in a display of corporate welfare. She applauded the move and had a rallying message for her supporters, saying that “everyday Americans still have the power to organize and fight for their communities and they can have more say in this country than the richest man in the world.”

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