Press Release

ICYMI: Zephyr Teachout in the New York Times “New York Should Say No to Amazon”

Washington D.C.– Today, The New York Times published an opinion piece by Ron Kim and Zephyr Teachout, which rebukes Amazon’s potential move to Long Island, NY. Kim and Teachout argue that New York City has long thrived on small business; a tradition Amazon’s move to the neighborhood would squash. The pair urges the New York State Senate to conduct a full and transparent examination of the deal, and the impacts it will have on the city.

The article can be read in full here and is excerpted below:

Unfortunately, New York has a long history of playing the fool in corporate relationships. Our state already ranks last in the nation in returns on billions of dollars in corporate giveaways. Its economic development programs are the most expensive in the country, amounting to 76 percent of the state’s gross tax revenue. In 2015, Mr. Cuomo gave away $8.25 billion to corporations — as much as the next three states combined.

If Mr. Cuomo gets his way, New York State will reward a mega-corporation that specializes in extracting money out of local neighborhoods. For every job Amazon may create today, hundreds of jobs at small businesses could be lost.

It would be a special insult in New York City to sell out to a company so closely identified with squashing small merchants, stifling workers’ rights and undermining the publishing and ideas industry.

New York City is the heart and soul of the truly independent small business: idiosyncratic merchants that are rooted in their communities, making life rich, beautiful and chaotic for all New Yorkers. They include not only retail businesses, but also the dreamers who make things and sell them, such as CW Pencil Enterprise, which sells curated pencils in Manhattan; Pintrill, a Brooklyn-based company that creates and trades small pins, and Shine Electronics, an electronic store that buys and resells used cellphones, with its headquarters in Long Island City. No company has done more to decimate the power of these small businesses than Amazon has.