Amazon Lobbies Queens Residents with HQ2 Mail Campaign
The push and pull between politicians and neighborhood advocates worried over additional strain on the New York City’s already overtaxed infrastructure has been an escalating tug of war since word got out in November that Amazon intended to select Long Island City, a neighborhood enclave just across the East River from Manhattan, as one of two new headquarters locations (referred to as HQ2 by the company). The planned location is expected to accommodate 25,000 new employees over a 10-year span. It’s reported that Amazon could receive up to $3 billion in state and city incentives to settle there.
So, since the turn of the year, Amazon has been pressing its case for a go-ahead on the location with a lobbying campaign directed squarely at Queens residents that has all the earmarks of the type of mailbox bombardment that goes on ahead of an election.
The lobbying effort, which extends beyond the Long Island City neighborhood into areas deeper within Queens – including where this writer lives – has taken form in a series of hard-to-ignore, 8x10, four-color flyers that delineate all the reasons residents should welcome Amazon's HQ2, while exhorting recipients to contact the NYC Council to “provide your thoughts to the City Council on this project,” and to get in touch with their elected Senate and Assembly representatives in New York State’s capital of Albany to “Tell them to support the project.”
According to the New York City Council web site, public hearings have already been held by the Committee on Economic Development in mid-December and also at the end of January, by the Committee on Finance at City Hall, and a separate hearing, “entirely devoted to hearing from the public,” is promised for a later date.