February 14, 2019

Local Elected Officials Call Amazon’s Decision a Victory Over Race-to-the-Bottom Development

NEW YORK, NY — In response to breaking news that Amazon will not locate its second headquarters in New York City, Local Progress, a national network of progressive local elected officials, called it a victory for communities banding together to fight for what they need instead of playing a rigged game and race to the bottom facilitated by the richest person in modern history.

“A coalition of local elected officials and community organizations took on the largest, most powerful company in the world — and won,” said Sarah Johnson, Executive Director of Local Progress. When local elected officials work in partnership with community organizations and band together across the country, we can overcome a rigged game facilitated by the most powerful corporation in the world and build communities where all residents can thrive, not just the wealthy. Amazon came to New York as it is came to all of our cities: expecting local elected officials and communities to give away massive subsidies and cater to Amazon’s wishlist, instead of prioritizing the needs of local communities. This is not how corporations can treat our communities in New York — or any city across the country. No one city alone can negotiate on even footing with a corporation with Amazon’s power, so it’s essential for our communities to collectively bargain to get what they need, not just what will boost Amazon’s profits.”

The victory in New York would not have been possible without community organizations and local elected officials standing up for the true interests and values of our communities.

Now, as the company considers how to allocate the 25,000 jobs it had intended for New York, local elected officials within the Local Progress network are holding Amazon to the same standards it faced with its Long Island City prospective location: do not come to our cities expecting to ignore the democratic process and hoard the resources that our communities desperately need.

Local elected officials representing 8 cities included on Amazon’s HQ2 shortlist signed on to a joint statement earlier this week with a message to Amazon: don’t use our cities as leverage in a continued bidding war.

Earlier this year, Local Progress facilitated conversations between Seattle City Councilmembers and New York City. In the midst of Amazon’s threats to Seattle’s “head tax” last year, Local Progress members also mobilized elected officials across the country to oppose the corporation’s bullying.


Local Progress is a network of progressive local elected officials from around the country united by our shared commitment to equal justice under law, shared prosperity, sustainable and livable cities, and good government that serves the public interest.