Queens residents rally in support of Amazon

QUEENS -- A pro-Amazon rally took place Monday at the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City.

Community and tenant association leaders voiced their support for the Amazon to bring its HQ2 to New York City.

The plan has faced considerable backlash, with critics pointing to a $3 billion tax break and a reported lack of employment opportunities for public housing residents.

"We face probably the most important economic decision in generations for our city," said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

The presidents of both the Queensbridge Houses Tenant Association and the Astoria Houses Tenant Association said Amazon has given them a seat to negotiate and talk, which is something they say other companies never bothered to do when they entered the neighborhood.

"There are people - leaders in this community who have been fighting for years for them - that are sitting at the table," said April Simpson, president of the Queensbridge Houses Tenant Association.

"We are sitting at the table to put at the table what we want them to know and what we want them to look at," said Claudia Coger, president of the Astoria Houses Tenant Association.

"We are trying to negotiate the best benefits we possibly can," said Bishop Mitchell Taylor, who sits on the Community Advisory Committee for the implementation of Amazon HQ2. Taylor said Amazon will bring plenty of jobs at every level -- including administrative, clerical, maintenance and tech jobs.

"I support Amazon just for the jobs that they're creating," said Shamek Townsend, who lives in the Queensbridge Houses. "I would love a job at Amazon. Why not?"

Amazon has recently expressed potential hesitation with coming to New York, in the midst of significant backlash.

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