Amazon’s Second Headquarters Bidding Process Is Being Hit With Criticism
Amazon’s plan to build a second headquarters in one lucky city across the U.S. is being met with some criticism from civic leaders who are concerned the company won’t do enough to help the community it will ultimately choose.
In a letter sent to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Tuesday, leaders at 73 civic groups from cities across the U.S. made some demands on the e-commerce giant. In the letter, which has been published online, the civic leaders said Amazon must be ready to hire local workers, pay its fair share of local taxes, and negotiate with the local community to ensure its facility will positive impact everyone.
“We love jobs, we love technology, and we love convenience—but what you’re looking for will impact every part of our cities,” the leaders wrote to Amazon. “We built these cities, and we want to make sure they remain ours.”
The civic leaders come from a variety of organizations across several states, including Illinois, New York, and Ohio. National organizations like the Working Families Party and Jobs with Justice also signed the letter.
Amazon (AMZN) last month made a splash when it announced plans to open a second headquarters outside of the Seattle area, where its original headquarters are. Since then, cities both big and small have been working on responding to the company’s request for proposals in hopes of jump starting their local economies. Final deadlines are due on Wednesday, and Amazon plans to make its choice in 2018.
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In its request for proposals, Amazon didn’t say exactly what it wants from local communities, but did say that it prefers one that has a “business-friendly environment and tax structure.” The company is also interested in seeing what kinds of tax incentives and grants it can get for the facility.
While most cities have jumped at the chance to play host to Amazon’s next headquarters, the civic leaders, whose letter was earlier reported on by BuzzFeed, think there are some risks. And while they’re not necessarily discouraging Amazon from one city or another, they do believe that the company will need to make some concessions.
“Let’s talk,” the civic leaders wrote. “We look forward to working with you to build a headquarters that works for everyone in our communities.”
Amazon did not respond to a Fortune request for comment on the letter.