Life after HQ2: now what?

New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer during the Committee on Finance's second Amazon HQ2 hearing.
New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer during the Committee on Finance's second Amazon HQ2 hearing.
Emil Cohen for the New York City Council
New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer during the Committee on Finance's second Amazon HQ2 hearing.

Life after HQ2: now what?

Could HQ2's strongest political opponents pay the price for this victory?
February 15, 2019

Amazon’s opponents may have won the battle, but they could lose the war. The company dropped a bombshell Thursday morning by announcing that it will no longer be bringing half of its second headquarters to Long Island City. While some of HQ2’s strongest opponents are hailing the about-face as a victory of progressive, grassroots organizing, the politicians who led the fight could pay a price.

Losing out on the benefits that Amazon promised to bring – at least 25,000 jobs and upwards of $27 billion in tax revenue – could cause political repercussions for HQ2’s strongest opponents in the long run, especially if the nation faces a recession in the near future. Democratic political strategist Bruce Gyory said to watch what happens in Crystal City, Virginia, where the other half of Amazon’s new headquarters will be.

“Down in Virginia, if this is seen as becoming basically a magnet for high-tech jobs that really helps sustain Virginia in the middle of a recession, there are folks here who – to quote the old Lucille Ball show – are going to have lots of ’splaining to do,” Gyory said. “On the other hand, if it turned out that the perception down in Virginia was that they lost a lot of revenue, didn’t get a lot of economic development bang for their buck, then it shifts, and the pure progressive wing would look sharp.” Read more here.

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Annie McDonough
Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
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