The Real Deal New York

Mayor’s support of Amazon has some questioning how progressive he really is

Activists remain troubled by $3B in tax incentives the company will get
November 16, 2018 09:45AM

Jeff Bezos and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images and Wikipedia)

Mayor Bill de Blasio is often criticized as not practicing what he preaches when it comes to progressivism, and those criticisms are coming to a head with his support of the incentive-laden deal to bring Amazon to Long Island City.

The mayor says that while he understands the angst and questions people have surrounding the Amazon deal, he thinks it would be a “huge mistake” to block something that would bring roughly 25,000 jobs to the city, according to the New York Times.

Although he has clashed with progressive activists before over issues like rezonings and providing housing for the homeless, the Amazon deal marks the last straw for some.

“We were very surprised to see him sitting at that table at that press conference,” Deborah Axt of the immigrant advocacy organization Make the Road New York told the Times. “The subsidy package is disgusting. As details come out, we’re more and more depressed about it and outraged.”

Activists and local officials are also furious that 1,500 units of affordable housing planned for the area will now likely not be built, as The Real Deal previously reported.

The mayor defended the incentives, which total about $3 billion, saying they are available to any company in New York City, and he maintained that Amazon coming to New York would end up helping his plans to reduce income inequality.

“Using the power of government, we dictate the terms in as many ways as we can,” he told the Times. “And in this case, we did that.” [NYT] – Eddie Small