NYC-DSA’s No Amazon Community Forum took place in Astoria on Monday, with a packed house and lines wrapping around the block. The forum was put on by NYC-DSA, through members of the Queens branch, in coalition with CAAAV, Chhaya CDC, Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM), Queens Neighborhoods United (QNU), Socialist Alternative (SAlt), and Whole Worker. The group heard from speakers on issues of housing, labor, immigration, corporate welfare, and Amazon’s impact on Seattle which included DSA members as well as a Queensbridge Houses resident, tenant organizer, undocumented youth and restaurant worker, CUNY student, and Whole Foods workers among others. It was covered a bit in the New York Times.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) made public the city’s bid for Amazon. In the proposal, the state’s economic development agency, Empire State Development (ESD), offered to......
- Despite significant opposition, including Queens DSA, a Quinnipiac poll suggests that a majority of New York City voters support the Queens Amazon Headquarters deal.
- NYC’s most prominent unions are split on the Amazon HQ deal, with Cuomo-aligned unions like 32BJ and Building Trades Council supporting it and RWDSU, which has rallied against Amazon in the past, opposing. The Transport Worker’s Union, which has also been a close ally of Cuomo, is yet to make any statement on the plan but could have serious leverage to kill or alter the deal if they oppose it.
- Astoria Council Member Costa Costanides introduced a bill to reduce energy use and emissions from NYC buildings. Unsurprisingly, landlords, the real estate lobby, and some trade unions object.
- City Limits featured a list of the 18 pieces of tenant protection legislation currently......
- Governor Cuomo met with President Trump as part of an effort to re-secure a funding agreement for a sorely-needed tunnels under the Hudson River.
- Boris Santos, a NYC-DSA member and Julia Salazar’s incoming Chief of Staff, wrote an op-ed supporting an ambitious rent reform agenda in 2019, including the Housing Justice For All platform and universal rent control.
- Mayor de Blasio came out against a City Council bill, introduced by Rafael Espinal, that would legalize e-bikes powered by a hand throttle. While the Mayor has legalized pedal-assist bikes (which are used by bike sharing services like Citi Bikes), he refuses to extend to the same freedoms to throttle bikes, which are often used by the City’s delivery workers.
- NYC Councilmember Ritchie Torres introduced legislation that would require restaurants and retailers in the City to accept cash,......
The de Blasio administration plans to convert as many as 62,000 NYCHA apartments to Section 8 housing, creating public-private partnerships to fund repairs, and is apparently considering selling air rights at some NYCHA sites to private developers.
Deputy Mayor and former Goldman Sachs executive Alicia Glen defended the Amazon deal and its process. Meanwhile, CityLights in Long Island City, the largest affordable co-op in Queens, is facing a property tax increase that threatens to displace longtime residents. The co-op claims the City has refused to negotiate its bill while it simultaneously offers concessions to Amazon in the same neighborhood.
32BJ SEIU announced their support for the Amazon HQ2 deal, giving the Governor and Mayor major union backing.
After two years of refusing to negotiate with a graduate student union, Columbia University has announced it......
- Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio are giving away $2.8 billion in tax incentives and grants to Amazon to build a second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. The City, State, and Amazon – a corporation valued at $1 trillion – are pledging $15 million in local workforce development, less than one percent of the subsidy being given. Among the most immediate displacements of Amazon’s new footprint will be at least 1,500 units of previously planned affordable housing and the offices of 1,000 public school employees.
- A coalition of community groups, unions and some elected officials quickly assembled a protest in Long Island City condemning the deal. The City Council’s Progressive Caucus issued a statement focusing on the deal circumventing the City’s usual land review process. Other advocates demand that Amazon fund transit......
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