MORE Stands up against Cuomo / Mulgrew attempt to woo back Amazon

March 2, 2019 — 1 Comment

MORE has signed on to the community letter, republished below, in response to Andrew Cuomo’s New York Times advertisement begging Amazon to reconsider its decision about its headquarters. 

The ad was, shamefully, signed by our union president, along with a slew of corporate CEOs and only four other union leaders, in yet another example of how our current union leadership cares more about currying favor with politicians and corporations than defending the interests and rights of working people in New York City. 

MORE is also a member of the Citywide Alliance Against Displacement, which wrote the this letter about why Amazon’s retreat is a victory for New Yorkers.  

Power to Billionaires and their Corporations over Our Communities’ Future

As New Yorkers we believe every person has the right to good union jobs, safe and dignified affordable housing, strong and stable communities, a great public education, and a voice in our democracy. Because of these values, we must oppose Governor Cuomo’s failed economic development policies that give more power over our communities’ futures to billionaires and their corporations.

Cuomo’s plea for Amazon to come back to New York and the open letter that appears in the New York Times today does not accurately reflect the desires of immigrant communities, working-class communities, and communities of color. Amazon left the first time around because of fierce vocal opposition, and that opposition still remains. We defeated them recently, and we will do it again.

The Amazon HQ2 plan was a perfect example of the Governor’s failed economic development policies. It was a backroom deal that cut out communities and handed a $500 million grant and $2.5 billion in future public money to the wealthiest man in the world. Other than the union construction and building services jobs that were already in place from previous plans for the site and that were grandfathered into the deal, Amazon made little commitment to local hiring and promised just 30 jobs for public housing residents. Their presence in Seattle drove up rents and homelessness to unprecedented levels. A similar headquarters in Long Island City would have done the same in Queens, accelerating the displacement of our communities. Furthermore, Amazon refused to stay neutral to unionization efforts or to stop their collaboration with ICE, which is incompatible with the values of the people of New York.

The State of New York has allocated tens of billions of dollars to corporations in the name of economic development, but communities and workers across the state continue to suffer from disinvestment. While Governor Cuomo said that Amazon leaving was the greatest tragedy since he’s been in office, our communities face real tragedies every day that continue to go unaddressed by the administration:

  • Students are suffering from crumbling schools, outdated textbooks, and crowded classrooms while the state owes our public schools billions of dollars in aid. The Governor refuses to comply with a lawsuit that would force the state to release that aid to our public schools.
  • Nearly 100,000 New Yorkers sleep in shelters each night, a number that has risen 36% on Governor Cuomo’s watch. Nearly 100,000 rent stabilized apartments have been lost.
  • Public housing residents are living in deplorable conditions while State funding for public housing continues to decline. Plans like NYCHA 2.0 and NextGen NYCHA are inadequate solutions to New York’s ongoing public housing crisis.
  • Riders can no longer depend on the MTA to get to work, school, and critical appointments. Cuomo has presided over disinvestment in the system that now requires $40 billion to pay for repairs and modernization.

We are a diverse coalition of New Yorkers who believe that we need ‘bottom-up’ economic development designed for the benefit of our communities, not for billionaires, corporations and real estate speculators. Cuomo’s failed economic development policies have extracted our wealth in exchange for false job promises. Look no further than the Buffalo Billion project, which has been riddled with corruption and cost the state nearly $1 million per job.

We are committed to the establishment of a new equitable economic development agenda that redirects the billions of dollars currently spent on tax breaks and subsidies for corporations towards deep, community-led investments in our neighborhoods. We need investment that creates good union jobs, real affordable housing, fully funded schools, and modernized public infrastructure.

Rather than pursuing economic development policies that lead to displacement, we demand policies that create housing stability and security. We call for Universal Rent Control that gives people, not the real estate industry, the power to determine where they live — no New Yorker should live in fear of a rapid rent increase or an eviction.

We will continue to hold Amazon accountable and defend our communities from their monopolistic practices, their tax avoidance, and their collaboration with ICE. We will continue to stand in solidarity with Amazon workers facing brutal working conditions and union busting bosses.

These fights won’t be easy. But we know New Yorkers will stand with us in our fight for a state that works for all of us.

Signed,

  1. Adhikaar for Human Rights & Social Change
  2. ALIGN-NY
  3. Alliance for Quality Education
  4. Arab American Association of New York
  5. Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD)
  6. Bad Barcode
  7. BAJI — Black Alliance for Just Immigration
  8. Brandworkers
  9. BYP100 NYC
  10. CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
  11. Carroll Gardens Association
  12. Center for Popular Democracy
  13. Centro Corona
  14. Chhaya CDC
  15. Chinatown Arts Brigade
  16. Citizen Action of New York
  17. Coalition for Economic Justice Buffalo (CEJ)
  18. Community Development Project at Urban Justice Center
  19. Cooper Square Committee
  20. CUFFH-Churches United for Fair Housing
  21. Damayan Migrant Workers
  22. DRUM — Desis Rising Up & Moving
  23. Equality for Flatbush (E4F)
  24. Fifth Ave Committee
  25. Food and Water Watch
  26. Freedom to Thrive
  27. GAP — Global Action Project
  28. Hate Free Zones Queens
  29. Housing Justice For All
  30. Hunters Point Civic Association
  31. Indivisible Brooklyn
  32. International Socialist Organization
  33. JFREJ — Jews for Racial & Economic Justice
  34. Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club
  35. Jobs with Justice
  36. Justice Committee
  37. Justice for All Coalition
  38. Laundry Workers Center
  39. Legal Services Staff Association, NOLSW/UAW 2320
  40. Long Island Activists
  41. Long Island City Coalition
  42. Make the Road New York
  43. Met Council on Housing
  44. Mi Casa No Es Su Casa: Illumination Against Gentrification
  45. Mijente
  46. MinKwon Center
  47. MORE (Movement of Rank and file Educators — UFT Social Justice Caucus)
  48. Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP)
  49. MPower Change
  50. New Economy Project
  51. New York Communities for Change
  52. No IDC NY
  53. NOT ONE MORE BLOCK
  54. NY Progressive Action Network
  55. NYC Democratic Socialists of America
  56. NYS Tenants & Neighbors
  57. Our Movement The Future
  58. Partnership for Working Families
  59. Party for Socialism and Liberation Queens
  60. People’s Climate Movement New York
  61. Persist NY
  62. Picture the Homeless
  63. Primed Out NYC
  64. Progressive Hacknight
  65. Queens Against Amazon
  66. Queens Neighborhoods United
  67. Queens United Independent Progressives
  68. Retail Action Project
  69. Riverside Edgecombe Neighborhood Association (RENA)
  70. Rockland United
  71. Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus
  72. Shetu NYC
  73. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Buffalo Chapter
  74. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) National
  75. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) NYC Chapter
  76. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Rochester Chapter
  77. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Westchester Chapter
  78. Socialist Alternative
  79. South Asian Diaspora Arts
  80. Southwest Brooklyn Tenant Union
  81. Take Back 20
  82. Teachers Unite
  83. Tenants Political Action Committee
  84. Tech Workers Coalition
  85. The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN)
  86. Tompkins County Worker Center
  87. True Blue New York
  88. Ugnayan Youth for Justice & Social Change
  89. Upper West Side MoveOn/Indivisible Action Group
  90. VOCAL-NY
  91. Westside Neighborhood Alliance
  92. Working Families Party
  93. Yalla Brooklyn

 

One response to MORE Stands up against Cuomo / Mulgrew attempt to woo back Amazon

  1. 
    Joseph Behrman March 3, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    Very foolish to wish that a corporation as large as Amazon would reneg on a deal that brings 25,000+ jobs into New York City. Those additional jobs would have provided Billions more dollars in tax revenues than the 3 billion dollar credit. It is sad that cities and states have to beg billionaire CEO’s to bring their business to them. But we as a union regularly ask the city and state for more money for our schools, our children, ourselves. Promoting political agendas that pushes big business away from New York City clearly goes against our interests. The issue of income inequality has to be addressed in a different way than to protest businesses that promise to bring money into this great city. Finally, perhaps the deal could have been done better to promote Amazon to build new affordable housing, schools and improve the transportation infer structure in Long Island City. Perhaps offer them a $1.50 tax credit for every $1 that improves the community outside of the Amazon hub.

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