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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Amazon abandoning its plans for a New York headquarters proves 'anything is possible'

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (C) during a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Sen. Markey and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez held a news conference to unveil their Green New Deal resolution.
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U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (C) during a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Sen. Markey and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez held a news conference to unveil their Green New Deal resolution.

Amazon will not be building a headquarters in New York City, according to a statement released by the company on Thursday which noted that "a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence."

The company's long search for a site of an additional headquarters culminated in a November announcement of plans to locate "HQ2" in Long Island City, New York, and Arlington, Virginia.

One of the most vocal opponents of Amazon's planned presence in Queens was Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose congressional district borders the district that includes Long Island City.

"Anything is possible," she tweeted on Thursday in response to Amazon's decision. "Today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon's corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world."

In November, Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues raised concerns about the cash and tax incentives used to attract Amazon to New York.

"Amazon is a billion-dollar company," she tweeted at the time. "The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here."

She urged communities considering partnerships with major corporations to weigh factors like a commitment to hiring within the existing community, working conditions, wages, benefits and the ability for workers to bargain collectively.

The congresswoman is a strong proponent of affordable housing and expressed concerns that Amazon's decision to set up shop in Queens would hasten gentrification, increase housing prices and displace current residents. Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and State Senator Mike Gianaris were also vocal opponents of the deal with Amazon when it was announced.

Ocasio-Cortez made it clear in November that her concerns were not just about Amazon specifically, but rather about the relationships that the government has with its citizens and corporations.

"This isn't just about one company or one headquarters. It's about cost of living, corps paying their fair share, etc," she tweeted in November. "It's not about picking a fight, either. I was elected to advocate for our community's interests - & they've requested, clearly, to voice their concerns."

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