Seattle Lawmakers Warn New Yorkers About Issues Caused By Amazon

January 07, 2019 - 4:15 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Two Seattle councilwomen warned New York's elected leaders Monday to pass legislation addressing housing and transportation issues that will follow Amazon’s second headquarters.

“You have the opportunity now to recuperate those taxes, you have the opportunity now to build in protections,” said Seattle Rep. Theresa Vasqueda.

She warned New York not to make the same mistakes that led to an affordable housing crisis in Seattle and a sharp increase in the number of people living on the streets.

“We weren't able to keep up with the demand on housing because we didn't respond fast enough,” Vasqueda explained.

City and state lawmakers from Queens are looking for ways to scuttle what they call a “sweetheart deal” for the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, by blocking state subsidies promised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The deal, announced in November, gives Amazon nearly $3 billion in tax breaks on the promise of bringing in over 25,000 jobs.

Though, the Seattle congresswomen noted that Amazon’s growth has changed the city beyond recognition and warns the same may happen to New York.

Over the weekend, Amazon wished New Yorkers a happy New Year and said the announcement in 2018 was just “the beginning of what we hope will be a long and mutually beneficial partnership.”