By Bill Parry
When poll results released Tuesday showed a majority of New Yorkers, and Queens residents in particular, support Amazon’s deal to build one of its HQ2 campus in Long Island City, the e-commerce giant took to Twitter saying, “We’re thrilled to see strong support from New Yorkers.”
Opponents of the Amazon deal, however, don’t really care what the polls say — they still hate the idea.
The Quinnipiac University poll showed 57 percent of New Yorkers surveyed said they approve of the state and city’s deal with the e-commerce giant, with 60 percent of Queens voters saying they support the move in which Amazon has committed to creating 25,000 full-time jobs with an average salary of $150,000 in the next 10 years, with a plan to grow to 40,000 over 15 years.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio called the Amazon deal the largest single effort to attract new jobs in state history that will deliver more than $186 billion in economic impact to New York over the next 25 years.
Still, the poll results were met with derision from several opponents of the plan who dismissed it as meaningless.
“This poll doesn’t come close to reflecting the reality in our communities. Not a single community member with whom we’ve discussed the terms of this deal has said they support it,” Make the Road New York Co-Executive Director Deborah Axt said. “On the contrary, local residents are outraged by an enormous state and city giveaway to the world’s wealthiest man, and the displacement and immense pressure on our already-strained infrastructure that will certainly follow. Our community continues to rise and will defeat this bad deal.”
Make the Road New York, a Jackson Heights-based immigrant advocacy organization, dismissed the survey noting that Quinnipiac only contacts registered voters. Queens is 47.5 percent immigrant with a large proportion of that being non-citizens.
“This poll ignores the outpouring of outrage across New York City,” ALIGN Executive Director Maritza Silva-Farrell said. “It fails to capture the real opinions and views of impacted New Yorkers who know that Amazon’s HQ2 deal will be devastating for our communities. We need more public resources for housing, transit, education and more, not to line the pockets of giant corporations like Amazon.”
Jonathan Westin, the executive director of New York Communities for Change, slammed the poll results that surveyed 1,075 New York City voters by phone.
“This poll is trash and should be thrown away with the rest of today’s garbage,” he said. “No Quinnipiac pollster has spent time on the ground in Long Island City and surrounding communities in recent weeks. We have. We know that the level of anger towards Amazon and the HQ2 deal is intensifying and spreading. More and more New Yorkers know that Amazon’s expanded presence in New York City will accelerate gentrification and displacement and endanger our communities.”
New York Communities for Change and community organizers will host a forum Monday, Dec. 10 at the Redeemer Episcopal Church, located at 30-14 Crescent St. in Astoria. The meeting, scheduled to take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., is open to all Queens residents to discuss what the Amazon deal could mean for the community and how to fight against it.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr