Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised citizen activists for helping to thwart Amazon's plans to build a headquarters in New York City, declaring victory afterit was scrapping its plans Thursday.
"I think it's incredible. I mean, it shows that everyday Americans still have the power to organize and fight for their communities and they can have more say in this country than the," Ocasio-Cortez said on Capitol Hill, referring to Amazon founder and CEO .
The first-term congresswoman, whose district includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, was a vocal opponent of the Amazon deal, in which the company promised to create thousands of jobs in exchanges for billions of dollars in tax incentives. Ocasio-Cortez said she thought the cost of the subsidies outweighed the estimated 25,000 jobs Amazon would have created.
"If we were willing to give away away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest $3 billion in our district ourselves if we want to. We could hire more teachers, we can fix our subways, we can put a lot of people to work for that money if we wanted to," Ocasio-Cortez told reporters. "There was no guarantee those jobs for the New Yorkers that were here. We were looking at a deal that was not primarily putting the community first."
In a statement Thursday, Amazon said the plan fell through due to opposition from "a 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."
The online retail giant announced in November it would build half of its "HQ2" campus in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, with another location in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. It said Thursday it was planning to move ahead with the Virginia location and would continue expanding existing teams of employees in New York.
Rebecca Kaplan contributed reporting.