Leaders in the NYC business community including Warby Parker’s Neil Blumenthal, USV’s Fred Wilson, Per Scholas’ Plinio Ayala, and Collecitive[i]’s Heidi Messer have sent an open letter in the form of a full-page ad in the New York Times to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking him to reconsider the company’s recent decision to not open HQ2 in Long Island City, after some vocal opposition by a small minority who did not see the benefits of bringing the single largest job creation initiative in the history to the city. Despite Amazon’s withdrawal last month, the Governor has been working tirelessly to restore the relationship with Amazon and is committed to bringing the 25,000+ jobs to the city/state and billions in tax revenue.
The letter was arranged for by the Partnership for New York City and reads:
Dear Mr. Bezos:
New Yorkers do not want to give up on the 25,000 permanent jobs, 11,000 union construction and maintenance jobs, and $28 billion in new tax revenues that Amazon was prepared to bring to our state. A clear majority of New Yorkers support this project and were disappointed by your decision not to proceed. We understand that becoming home to the world’s industry leader in e-commerce, logistics and web services would be a tremendous boost for our state’s technology industry, which is our fastest growing generator of new jobs. As representatives of a wide range of government, business, labor and community interests, we urge you to reconsider, so that we can move forward together.
We know the public debate that followed the announcement of the Long Island City project was rough and not very welcoming. Opinions are strong in New York—sometimes strident.
We consider it part of the New York charm! But when we commit to a project as important as this, we figure out how to get it done in a way that works for everyone.
Governor Cuomo will take personal responsibility for the project’s state approval and Mayor deBlasio will work together with the governor to manage the community development process, including the workforce development, public education and infrastructure investments that are necessary to ensure that the Amazon campus will be a tremendous benefit to residents and small businesses in the surrounding communities.
New York attracts the best, most diverse talent from across the globe. We are a dynamic new center of the country’s most inclusive tech economy.
You can read the full letter below along with all the signatories.