Housing advocates and other community activists — including someone in a “giant Alexa costume” — are going to City Hall on Tuesday, calling on Amazon to help people living in whichever city gets the giant company’s new headquarters.
Members of the Grassroots Collaborative are scheduled to hold a news conference to press for community involvement in Amazon’s planning. They want living wages in all jobs created by the company, as well as affordable housing guarantees to help stave off gentrification that they warn could push residents out of working-class neighborhoods as thousands of Amazon workers move in.
“This setup is a losing deal for everybody but Amazon,” the group said in a news release Monday. “Instead of trying to win the race to the bottom, residents in cities bidding for Amazon are coming together to collectively demand that wherever Amazon HQ2 ends up it actually benefits the people who live and work there.”
* Greg Hinz…
Chicago voters like the idea of trying to lure Amazon’s second headquarters here, at least in the abstract. And they give Mayor Rahm Emanuel some credit for leading the effort.
That’s the gist of a new poll released today that found, as in an earlier survey, voters see some benefits to chasing after a big corporate prize so long as you’re not hitting them over the head with the potential cost. […]
Asked flatly if they back the city’s efforts to win Amazon, which promises to bring up to 50,000 jobs to the winning city, 48 percent said the bid has their strong support, with another 27 percent saying they somewhat support the move. By comparison, just 12 percent said they strongly or somewhat oppose, with 13 percent saying they don’t know.
Support was greatest among Gen Xers (84 percent), and somewhat stronger among African-Americans (81 percent) then Latinos (78 percent) or whites (73 percent). […]
The survey found somewhat stronger backing for the HQ2 bid than an earlier poll I reported on last month. But that poll, unlike this one, at least mentioned that incentives are being offered to Amazon, though it failed to mention the reported figure: $2.2 billion, mostly in state job credits.
The latest poll, including methodology, is here. The earlier poll Greg mentioned is here.
* Brady vs. Pritzker on Amazon: Illinois Senate Republican leader Bill Brady of Bloomington said he believes Bezos will be concerned about higher tax rates, contending that J.B. Pritzker’s call for a graduated income tax could doom Chicago in the contest… “I really believe, if what I read about Jeff Bezos and his philosophy at Amazon is the only thing that would keep them from coming here would be the J.B. Pritzker tax increase,” Brady said.
* Debate over warehouse job quality rages on
* Who’s going to win the Amazon hustle?: New York University marketing professor Scott Galloway thinks all the speculation about the new site is moot at this point. “The cake is baked,” he said, and the winner is one of three D.C.-area sites. After all, D.C. is where Bezos recently acquired a huge house, where he and his family might want to spend time, where the political action is, where decisions will be made about the company’s future. And given that President Donald Trump has expressed special animus for Amazon, wouldn’t it be better to be a player where the decisions are made? “The only thing standing between Amazon and a trillion-dollar market capitalization is regulation,” said Galloway, dubbed the Amazon whisperer after his lucky or brilliant prediction that Amazon would buy Whole Foods last year (it did a few weeks later). “The ultimate prophylactic against regulation is to be the local boy in D.C.”
* Chicago’s Amazon bid video released, William Shatner narrates
* What the US post office really gets from Amazon