Urge the DC Council to say “No” to subsidizing Amazon!

Join us in urging the Members of the DC Council to issue a public statement affirming their refusal to provide any local subsidies to Amazon to entice them to locate their second headquarters here in the District.

We share a belief that the District’s resources should address the social, racial, and economic inequalities that plague our region, rather than enrich corporate profit and the world’s richest man.

Prioritizing District Residents:

Though most of the details of the Amazon incentive package are still unknown, we do know that the deal does not prioritize the interest of current and long-time District residents:

  • The deal explicitly entices new residents to “Move Here, Grow Here, and Thrive Here,” offering $5,000 for every new employee who locates here and $7,500 to employees who establish their principal residency here.
  • The deal hands choice of public land, including the current site of DC General (our largest family shelter) over to Amazon.
  • Amazon will not contribute to our local budget following their relocation, with a five year property tax abatement on any property that Amazon occupies, a five year abatement on corporate property taxes, and a permanent reduction in their corporate franchise taxes, along with other tax incentives and cash credits for new hires.

In contrast, long-time District residents are not thriving here. Countless studies have documented the extent of our affordable housing and homelessness crises, poor health outcomes, unemployment, and food insecurity, particularly among DC’s Black and Brown communities. Our transit system is in jeopardy, with crumbling infrastructure and no dedicated funding for Metro.

Though the deal offers a vague promise of jobs for DC residents, we are concerned that many of these jobs will not provide livable wages and benefits to District residents. We also do not have confidence in the District’s capacity to provide sufficient oversight to ensure that Amazon abides by its commitments.

Jeff Bezos and Amazon:

Jeff Bezos was recently declared the world’s wealthiest man, and the wealthiest person in history. His personal worth exceeds $120 billion dollars, more than the individual GDPs of two thirds of the countries in the world. His business empire spans across sectors from Whole Foods and the Washington Post, to Zappos, Twitch, and IMDB. His personal net worth is 8 times the size of the District’s annual operating budget, and 17 times our local operating budget.

Amazon, as a company, is worth more than $700 billion dollars, 50 times the District’s annual budget, and its influence continues to grow. It captures 44% of all online sales in the United States, and by 2020, they are projected to gross close to $28 trillion in sales.

Amazon’s Impact:

Amazon’s negative impact on the city of Seattle, home to Amazon’s first headquarters, is well documented. There, rents have increased 40% in the last four years. The Seattle region has seen an explosion in homelessness, a 47% increase from 2007, and now has the third largest homeless population in the country. The city places in the top 10 for worst transportation congestion. Seattle has led the nation in home price increases for 13 months and home prices are up 15.1% this past year to $725,000.

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