Today, a diverse group of business, labor and civic leaders issued an open letter to Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos in The New York Times, urging the company not to abandon plans to build a new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. Signatories argued that the majority of New Yorkers are eager to see Amazon and other tech companies invest and create jobs in the state join Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio in the commitment to support Amazon and the tech industry more generally as a valued contributor to the statewide economy. The letter was organized by the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit organization whose members include major employers and business leaders.
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 de Blasio 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. We all hope you reconsider and join us in building the exciting future of New York.
Plinio Ayala, President & CEO, Per Scholas, Inc.
Ajay Banga, President & CEO, Mastercard
Gilda Barabino, Dean of Engineering, CCNY
Rob Basch, President, Hunters Point Parks Conservancy
Hon. Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive
Eric Benaim, CEO, ModernSpaces
Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Warby Parker
Seth Bornstein, Executive Director, Queens Economic Development Corporation
Josh Bowen, Owner, John Brown Smokehouse
Charles Boyce, President and CEO, Boyce Technologies, Inc.
Mary Cunningham Boyce, Dean of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University
John Catsimatidis, Chairman & CEO, Red Apple Group, Inc.
Gianna P. Cerbone, Owner & Chef, Manducatis Rustica VIG; President, Queens Council on the Arts and Board Member, LIC YMCA
Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman & Managing Director, General Catalyst Partners
Mark A. Christie, President, Hunters Point Community Development Corporation
Mario Cilento, President, NYS, AFL-CIO
Claudia Coger, Tenant Association President, Astoria Houses
Michael L. Corbat, Chief Executive Officer, Citigroup Inc.
Hon. David Dinkins, Former Mayor, City of New York
Danny Donohue, President, Civil Service Employees Association
Donna Drimer, President, Matted LIC
Hazel Dukes, President, NAACP New York State Conference
Catherine Engelbert, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte
Hector J. Figueroa, President, 32BJ SEIU
William E. Ford, Chief Executive Officer, General Atlantic LLC
James P. Gorman, Chairman & CEO, Morgan Stanley
Thomas Grech, President & CEO, Queens Chamber of Commerce
Rev. Dr. Johnnie Green, Mount Neboh Baptist Church & President of MPAC (Mobilizing Pastors & Communities)
George Gresham, President, 1199 SEIU
Andrew Hamilton, President, New York University
Christopher Hanway, Executive Director, Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement
Robin Hayes, CEO, JetBlue Airways Corporation
Jukay Hsu, Founder & CEO, Pursuit
Glenn H. Hutchins, Co-Founder, North Island
Dr. Angelo Ippolito, Owner, LIC Chiropractic
Hon. Hakeem Jeffries, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives
Marion Jeffries, President, NAACP Astoria/LIC Branch
Kristina Johnson, Chancellor, State University of New York
Hon. Pete King, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives
Jelena Kovacevic, Dean, Tandon School of Engineering, New York University
Gary LaBarbera, President, Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York
Mary Beth Labate, President, Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities
Kevin S. Law, President & CEO, Long Island Association
Joey Levin, Chief Executive Officer, IAC
Anthony Lopez, Executive Director, Zone 126
Elizabeth Lusskin, President, Long Island City Partnership
Hon. Carolyn Maloney, Congresswoman, U.S. House of Representative
Rev. Corwin Mason, Community Church of Astoria CAC
Felix Matos Rodriguez, Chancellor Designee, The City University of New York
Bill McDermott, Chief Executive Officer, SAP
Hon. Gregory Meeks, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives
Gail Mellow, President, LaGuardia Community College
Heidi Messer, Co-Founder & Chairman, Collective[i]
Edward J. Minskoff, President, Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Inc.
Marc Morial, Chief Executive Officer, National Urban League
Anne Cotton Morris, Citywide President and Tenant Association President, Woodside Houses
Michael Mulgrew, President, United Federation of Teachers
Deanna M. Mulligan, President & CEO, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Hon. Catherine Nolan, Assemblywoman, New York State Assembly
Jon Oringer, Founder & CEO, Shutterstock, Inc.
Charles E. Phillips, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Infor
Rev. Gilbert Pickett, Mount Horeb Baptist Church
Martha Pollack, President, Cornell University
Miriam Porto, Owner, Madera Cuban Grill & Steakhouse and R40 Argentinian Restaurant
Frank “Turtle” Raffaele, Founder, COFFEED
Scott Rechler, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, RXR Realty LLC
Hon. Max Rose, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives
Steven Rubenstein, Chairman, Association for a Better New York
Robert Rubin, Former Secretary, U.S. Treasury
William C. Rudin, Co-Chairman & CEO, Rudin Management Company, Inc.
Kevin P. Ryan, Chairman & Founder, Zola, Workframe, Nomad Health, MongoDB, Inc.
Julie Samuels, Executive Director, Tech:NYC
Kris Schrey, President, Long Island City Parents Group
Carlo Scissura, President & CEO, New York Building Congress
April Simpson, Tenant Association President, Queensbridge Houses
David M. Solomon, Chairman & CEO, Goldman Sachs & Co.
Jerry I. Speyer, Chairman, Tishman Speyer
Rob Speyer, President & CEO, Tishman Speyer
Douglas C. Steiner, Chairman, Steiner Studios
Alan Suna, Chief Executive Officer, Silvercup Studios
Hon. Thomas R. Suozzi, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives
Steven R. Swartz, President & CEO, Hearst
Bishop Mitchell Taylor, Senior Pastor, Center of Hope International & Co-Founder, Urban Upbound
Dennis Walcott, President & CEO, Queens Library
George H. Walker, Chairman & CEO, Neuberger Berman Group LLC
Peter T. Ward, President, New York Hotel Trades Council
Carol Wilkins, Tenant Association President, Ravenswood Houses
Fred Wilson, Managing Partner & Chairman, CSNYC; Co-Chair, Tech:NYC; & Partner, Union Square Ventures
Tom Wright, President, Regional Plan Association
Kathryn S. Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City
Rev. Patrick Henry Young, First Baptist Church of East Elmhurst CAC