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New York Leaders Pen Open Letter Asking to Bring Amazon HQ2 Back to Queens

Some New York business owners, union leaders, and lawmakers are asking Amazon to reconsider pulling its new HQ2 out of Long Island City via an open letter published Friday in the New York Times.

The letter was published as a full-page ad in the Times and argued that despite the “public debate” following Amazon’s decision to build its new headquarters in Long Island City, “a clear majority of New Yorkers” are in support of the project.

Amazon announced it was canceling its plans to build the new headquarters in the Queens neighborhood after facing backlash from local residents and elected officials.

Local activists who organized against the move, pointed to cases of growing inequality and gentrification in the city, as well as Amazon’s history of working with ICE to track immigrants. (New York is a sanctuary city.) Some of the city’s labor unions also joined the fight, encouraging New Yorkers to “stand up for our values there.

Friday’s open letter stated that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would work to get the project approved at the state level, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio would work with the governor to “manage the community development process” to ensure Amazon’s presence in the city would be a benefit to residents. It remains unclear whether the lawmakers are working with the communities who have expressed concerns over HQ2.

Amazon has not indicated that it would reconsider its decision to pull out of Long Island City. The tech giant said in a statement at the time that due to the “number of state and local politicians [who] have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project,” the company would not be able to move forward with the HQ2 in New York.