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‘Thanks For Nothing!’: Times Square Billboard Blasts Ocasio-Cortez Over Amazon Deal

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor

“Thanks for nothing, AOC!”

A giant digital billboard in Times Square is calling out freshman Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her supposed role in sinking the city’s deal with Amazon. The billboard, paid for by business advocacy group the Job Creators Network, details just a few of the things New York may have lost when the deal went sideways.

That list included:

  • 25,000 lost NYC jobs
  • $4 billion lost wages
  • $12 billion in lost economic activity

Forbes addressed the ways the failed deal could ultimately hurt New Yorkers in an article published late last week.

According to that article, even the “first order” effects of the deal’s failure could prove devastating to New York.

From a purely economic point of view, Amazon was expected to generate $27.5 billion in tax revenue over a 25-year period, 9x the $3 billion government incentives offered. Anyone arguing that $3 billion was an overly excessive offer accidentally chased out $24.5 billion from the city. And that is just the first-order effect.

Ocasio-Cortez has long insisted that the opposition to the move was entirely community-based.

Yeah I’m laughing @ this.

Amazon was not coming to my Congressional district, had no concentrated outreach to us that I’m aware of, yet w/ no effort I defeated the richest man in the world?

Doesn’t add up. Story that’s not being told: the local community organized to reject it. https://t.co/S9Or7NKprZ

And while there were a number of protests that popped up in opposition to the deal — particularly over Amazon’s refusal to unionize the proposed new campus — there was also a fair amount of support for it. Citizens polled by Qunnipiac were in favor of the deal as recently as Dec. 5 of last year:

New York City voters approve 57 – 26 percent, including 60 – 26 percent among Queens voters, of Amazon locating one of its new headquarters in Long Island City in Queens.

And Amazon made no mention of community disapproval when explaining why the deal was being terminated. Instead, executives pointed the finger at local and state elected officials who were less than “cooperative”: (RELATED: Cuomo Blames NY’s Democratically Controlled Senate For Scaring Off Amazon)

For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also took issue with Ocasio-Cortez, claiming Sunday during a segment of “Meet the Press” that she didn’t understand how the deal was supposed to work, and her lack of understanding coupled with her vocal activism had cost New York a great opportunity.

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