Cuomo pushing back on resistance to new Amazon campus in NYC

Irving Hamilton
February 9, 2019

Last month, it ran a print advertisement in some of New York's biggest daily newspapers, wishing residents a happy New Year and pledging to work with and listen to the community.

Amazon.com is reconsidering locating part of its new headquarters in NY because of local opposition, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing two people familiar with the global retailer's thinking. The deal bypassed city council approval, adding to the consternation.

However, several NY politicians have been critical of the project and the roughly $3 billion in incentives NY agreed to provide.

The Post's sources said no specific plans were in motion to cancel the headquarters plans, noting that Amazon may try to pressure the state's lawmakers with the threat of canceling the deal. "We're pretty sure the other 18 cities would take them in a heartbeat".

Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic representative from NY who has been one of the most vocal critics of Amazon, saw the news of a potential withdrawal as a victory.

Several other issues have inspired outrage over what critics call the #HQ2scam.

Van Bramer opposes the deal while admitting the projected 25,000 jobs are important. According to The Post, Amazon has yet to sign a lease for office space or lock itself into anything legally binding it to its commitment to put HQ2 in New York City. The HQ2 project has actually split the city's labor movement.

Stuart Applebaum, the President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said that if the deal is to fall apart, Amazon only has themselves to blame.

Amazon rethinks plan for New York HQ amid fierce opposition, report says

"The state Senate is trying to stop Amazon from coming", Cuomo said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio support Amazon's plan.

"The question is whether it's worth it if the politicians in NY don't want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming", a person familiar with the company's plans told the Post. On Tuesday, embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam approved legislation that offered as much as $750 million in subsidies to the company.

Amazon may be getting cold feet and be ready to backpedal out of its plan to build a new campus in New York City.

"We were invited to come to NY, and we want to invest in a community that wants us", Huseman said during his testimony. The company is hiring lobbyists and a "community affairs manager" in NY, so it's clearly still committed to the deal at some level.

He didn't mention them by name, but Cuomo clearly was referring to Gianaris and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers), who nominated Gianaris to the state Public Authority Control Board that must review the Amazon project. The company could certainly skip over to Newark and re-open talks to place its offices there, if only to loosen resistance in New York City.

The two have been at the forefront of the Amazon opposition, and most recently, Sen. "Now if I am Google and see that Amazon is extorting $3 billion from this state, then I am on the phone the next day saying, 'Where is my money?'" Gianaris told Bloomberg TV.

Google using machine learning to filter spam on Gmail
The company reports it's blocking over 99.9 percent of spam , phishing, and malware from reaching its 1.5 billion Gmail users. Since Google has already been using AI for a long time to block spam messages, this is not huge news.

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