New Yorkers weigh in on Amazon exit

Props inverting Amazon's trademark logo were a mainstay at numerous protests against the company's proposed HQ2 in Queens last year.
Props inverting Amazon's trademark logo were a mainstay at numerous protests against the company's proposed HQ2 in Queens last year.
Shutterstock
Props inverting Amazon's trademark logo were a mainstay at numerous protests against the company's proposed HQ2 in Queens last year.

New Yorkers weigh in on Amazon exit

A new college poll reveals most New Yorkers were sad to see Amazon abandon its HQ2 plans
March 19, 2019

A Siena College poll released Monday confirmed what many had speculated for a while – most New Yorkers were sad to see Amazon abandon plans for a new headquarters in Long Island City. The statewide poll, reaching 700 registered New York voters, reports that by a 67-21 percent margin, respondents think the loss of HQ2 is bad for New York. Also notable: By a margin of 61-30 percent, respondents said that they supported the much-maligned $3 billion in tax subsidies that the city and state had offered the internet giant to come to New York.

The local elected officials, labor unions and community groups who railed the loudest against HQ2 had many things to complain about, but the massive subsidies New York offered the company were certainly high on their list. The fact that a majority of those surveyed have no problem with those subsidies suggests that critics were out of touch with voters on the issue statewide.

While the results of the poll offer an insightful post-mortem, it would be wrong to conclude that residents of Queens share these opinions by similar margins. Siena polled voters statewide, so while many residents in Queens are said to have been in favor of HQ2, other findings from the poll should be taken with a grain of salt. Take, for example, a question that asked whether respondents saw the congresswoman representing parts of Queens, U.S. Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez, as a villain in the situation given her criticism of Amazon. A plurality of respondents – 38 percent – said yes. But this doesn’t mean AOC will get kicked out of office because New Yorkers think she killed HQ2. To draw that conclusion, a more hyperlocal autopsy is needed.

For the rest of today's tech news, head over to First Read Tech.

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