Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams has privately signaled he’s open to strengthening New York’s relationship with Amazon.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was a proponent of the original deal, blasted Amazon after it pulled out, taking direct aim at its billionaire founder and then-CEO Jeff Bezos.
“The retail giant’s expansion in New York encountered opposition in no small part because of growing frustration with corporate America,” de Blasio wrote in a New York Times op-ed at the time. “For decades, wealth and power have concentrated at the very top. There’s no greater example of this than Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos — the richest man in the world.”
“Eric has made clear that he believes businesses of all sizes should be welcome here in New York as long as they have the interests of working people in mind,” Evan Thies, a spokesman for Adams, told CNBC in a statement. “As mayor, Eric will create the environment for business to grow and have a home in order to lift up the middle income and working class New Yorkers who need their economy to work for them.”
“I would’ve supported building the Amazon deal in Queens with modifications,” Adams told The New York Times at the time. “I would have allowed them [local residents] to be part of the community benefits agreement. Allowed them to be a part of the type of jobs, employment for the young people in that area, the retraining. I would have ensured that we would have decent, prevailing wages, good benefits and New York could’ve led the way. And really, I believe, change the way Amazon’s method of doing business.”
When he was running Amazon Web Services, Jassy in 2014 returned to the town where he graduated high school to address the community.
Asked who inspired him at the time, Jassy said: “My boss Jeff Bezos,” according to a local news report of the event. “He is the most brilliant thinker I know, he is unbelievably creative, has technical acumen and an unusual empathy for the customer.”