New Yorkers want Amazon to reconsider its HQ2 pullout

Amazon pulled out of its plans to build a second headquarters in New York nearly two months ago, but a new survey found that a majority of New Yorkers in the congressional district of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez -- a fierce opponent of the $3 billion deal -- want the world’s largest online retailer to reconsider its decision.

According to the Siena Research Institute, 57 percent of voters in New York’s 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, think it was bad for the state that Amazon reneged on its deal.

The Seattle-based company was supposed to build its new campus in Long Island City, a neighborhood in Queens, but faced mounting criticism for the $3 billion in incentives that it would have received as a result of the deal. It announced in mid-February that it chose not to move forward with the plans.

Since then, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reportedly been trying to convince amazon executives to recommit to plans in New York, even connecting personally with CEO Jeff Bezos while working “intensely behind the scenes to lure the company back,” according to The New York Times.

The Times reported that Cuomo did not offer Amazon a new location for its facility, but promised his support for the project.

The new survey, released on Wednesday, found that 58 percent of voters support Cuomo’s efforts to woo the retail giant back to the city -- and would like to see the deal revived, $3 billion in incentives and all -- compared to 35 percent who don’t support it.

“The district breaks with Ocasio-Cortez on the Amazon deal," Siena College Research Institute Director Don Levy said in a statement. "Fifty-seven percent say that Amazon canceling was bad for New York and 58 percent would like the deal revived. Even in the Queens area of the district, over half say losing the deal was bad and 54 percent would like it revived.”

Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist, was a fierce opponent of the Amazon deal and applauded its eventual withdrawal.

“Plenty of companies (even large ones) move to NYC without needing an unprecedented $3b tax giveaway that isn’t extended to other local business owners - just look at Google, for example,” she said. “Deals have to be fair.”

Following the withdrawal, a group of local union leaders, businesses and other groups published an open letter to Amazon in The New York Times in which they expressed their support for the project.


“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,” they wrote. “A clear majority of New Yorkers support this project and were disappointed by your decision not to proceed.”

Despite the differences between Ocasio-Cortez and a majority of her constituents over the Amazon issue, a majority of her constitutents continue to give her a favorable rating.

The Siena Research Institute interviewed 607 registered voters in New York by telephone for the survey. It has an overall margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.