The Gutter LIC

BE careful what you wish for” was the advice I doled out back in November upon the initial opposition to HQ2 coming to LIC.  With the appointment this week of our State Senator Mike Gianaris as one of only three voting members of a board – any of whom can veto the Amazon deal – Gianaris now owns whether this deal can be negotiated to his liking, or if Amazon walks.  In doing so I hope that he is taking into consideration all of his constituents and not just pandering to that au courant segment of his political party that seems to be grabbing headlines the past few months.

It’s quite a turn in the spotlight for the Senator, who like most local officials usually takes a back seat to our charismatic and outgoing City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.  The New York Times wrote a profile of Gianaris yesterday in which he stated “that his opposition was grounded in a commitment to fighting economic inequality: ‘This is an inflection point about the direction of our country, and how we handle one of the greatest issues of our time.’  Hmm.

While LICtalk agreed from the outset that NYC probably could have struck a much better deal, even with the enormous price tag this is not a national issue.  More importantly, it’s a huge win for Long Island City.  Please don’t conflate the two when you get to the bargaining table.

Amazon Opponent Picked For Powerful State Board That Could Stop ProjectGianaris represents the Long Island City neighborhood where Amazon’s new headquarters will be located

Amazon Wants to Come to New York.  This Senator May Stand in The Way“Mr. Gianaris’s opposition to the deal has won him progressive accolades at a time when the demographics in his district are rapidly changing”

Michael Bloomberg: Amazon Didn’t Need NYC Incentives would have come anyway given all that NYC/LIC has to offer

New Poll: 80% of Queens Voters Approve of Amazon Coming as do 77% of voters who live in Gianaris’ Senate district

Renting in LIC: What $2,900 Will Get Youa brand new white box

BQX Plan Expected to Roll Into Next PhaseNYC about to waste $7 mil on an environmental plan

LIC Bagel Opens at 41-02 27th StreetDutch Kills gets bagels

Why The Library Took So Longand what to do about it in the future

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  1. j rashnee says:

    Looks like amazon may be walking…

  2. Really? says:

    Reach out to your elected officials! Support HQ2

    Senator Michael Gianaris
    District Office
    31-19 Newtown Avenue Suite 402
    Astoria, NY 11102
    Phone: 718-728-0960
    Fax: 718-728-0963

    Assembly Woman Nolan
    District Office
    47-40 21 Street Room 810
    Long Island City, NY 11101
    Phone: 718-784-3194
    Fax: 718-472-0648

    Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer
    District Office
    47-01 Queens Boulevard Suite 205
    Sunnyside, NY 11104
    718-383-9566 phone
    718-383-9076 fax

    Mayor Bill DeBlasio
    City Hall
    New York, NY 10007
    Phone: 212-NEW-YORK

    Congresswoman Maloney
    31-19 Newtown Ave.
    Astoria, NY 11102-1391
    Phone: 718-932-1804
    Fax: 212-860-0704

    • Kevin says:

      Update: Michael Gianaris’ e-mail box is currently full with Google replying that e-mail delivery will be retried in 24 hrs. Keep at it!

  3. Local Politicians Don’t Have Our Best Interest In Mind says:

    Your next article should focus on how detrimental it is for our vocal, local politicians to put “blinders” on and not even offer a proposal for Amazon to consider. What is Senator Gianaris and Van Bramer’s plan besides gathering people who who are opposed to the deal and attracting media attention to get their name/agenda out there? They don’t care about the local businesses. They don’t care about improving the neighborhood. They don’t care about bringing different types of jobs to the community. They don’t want to inspire people to study and work hard to join in a company’s success. They don’t want a productive conversation.

    If Amazon leaves NYC, what are they going to do to ensure the city moves forward properly? Another city will pay them to come because they know the value they provide. Why is our city so blind?

    • Michael says:

      Well said, the unfortunate reality is that for these politicians, tough talk is the cheapest and easiest route to success. If they actually came up with an alternative, the politicians would be accountable for delivering on that plan. However, none of these politicians have the power to fix any of the problems they highlight: they can’t find $25 billion to fix public housing, can’t change MTA union benefits and power that take priority over using tax and ridership revenue to fund subway maintenance and they can’t state laws to eliminate subsidies for companies that were put in place precisely because NY Upstate voters want to use NYC tax money subsidize upstate industrial concerns. So what’s left is talk to excite a vocal minority that doesn’t understand NY state politics but wants “change” with a game of chicken.

  4. Peter says:

    It is very dumb to give away such huge opportunity. If Amazon walks, other businesses won’t want to deal with LIC. Smart people grab such opportunity and resolve challenges.

  5. Local Politicians Don’t Have Our Best Interest In Mind says:

    Maybe an article should be written comparing the potential of a LIC world where (a) Amazon stays & what that could look like for the neighborhood & state vs (b) Amazon leaves & what that could look like for the neighborhood & state. Short and mid-term, those worlds are DRASTICALLY different for New Yorkers.

    Then maybe an article could be written about whether Jimmy Van Bremer’s position (this morning on Fox5NY) that the HQ2 jobs won’t be accessible to everyday New Yorkers makes sense. Corey Johnson stated on Fox5NY that Amazon wants to come here for our deep talent. Doesn’t that directly conflict with each other? What is an “everyday New Yorker”? Doesn’t Amazon coming to NY mean they will employ New Yorkers? Doesn’t the promise of high-paying jobs lure young people to study harder so they can work hard to obtain those jobs? Isn’t that the point of educating yourself and finding a good job to pay for your family? And wouldn’t Amazon being in NY mean that retail, construction and services businesses booming in LIC will also help everyday New Yorkers? Would be interesting to hear what you may be able to offer regarding these questions.

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