Amazon’s Defeat Galvanizes Movement to End Billion-Dollar Corporate Welfare

New York City is still reeling since Amazon announced last week that it was scrapping plans to build a major office facility in Queens. The decision came under mounting pressure from grassroots activists and local politicians who opposed the deal. Amazon had announced the project in November after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio offered Amazon nearly $3 billion in tax subsidies to come to the city. But local politicians and community organizers rallied against the tech giant and won. The lawmakers who took down Amazon say their victory is just the beginning of a major fight against tax subsidies for huge companies — which they call “corporate welfare.” We speak with New York State Assemblymember Ron Kim, who helped fight Amazon and introduced the End of Corporate Welfare Act to the state Legislature earlier this month.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, we end today’s show looking at the fallout since Amazon announced last week that it was scrapping plans to build a major office facility in New York City. The decision came under mounting pressure from grassroots activists and local politicians who opposed the deal. Amazon had announced the project in November, after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio offered nearly $3 billion in tax subsidies to come to the city, potentially creating 25,000 jobs. As part of the deal, New York even offered to build a helipad for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is the richest man in the world. One of the leading opponents of the deal was Democratic Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of Queens, the borough where Amazon was planning to build its new headquarters.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIOCORTEZ: I think it’s incredible. I mean, it shows that everyday Americans still have the power to organize and fight for their communities, and they can…

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