Michelle Caruso Cabrera took to the Wall Street Journal this weekend to answer the question of why she is running against AOC in this year’s NY Primary, coming up on Tuesday, June 23rd.
The Covid-19 crisis is especially dire in this New York City borough. Our neighborhoods, many of them in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s district, are called “the epicenter of the epicenter,” and our hospitals “hot zones.”
Dense neighborhoods with several generations living under the same roof suffered a rapid spread of the disease, producing 38,733 cases as of Sunday, the highest of the five boroughs.
The economy has also been devastated. Tens of thousands are out of work because their jobs can’t be done from home. Before the pandemic, roughly 120,000 residents in the 14th Congressional District—which covers northwest Queens and part of the Bronx—worked in food service, hotels, arts and entertainment, retail or construction. Now, most of them are out of work. That’s over one-third of the district’s working population of 350,000.
Restaurants and hotels had to shut down, but one massive employer has held on to staff and even is hiring tens of thousands more around the country: Amazon.
For the people of Queens, that is a thumb in the eye. We had the chance to let Amazon open a second headquarters here with 25,000 new jobs. Economists debate the multiplier effect it would have had, with some saying there would be five new jobs, many of them in Queens, for every Amazon hire. Even the most skeptical economists put the figure at seven other jobs per 10 Amazon hires. In other words those 25,000 Amazon jobs would have meant at least 42,500 total jobs, and perhaps as many as 125,000. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who backed the deal, put the number at 107,000.
That’s why New York City’s minority residents were overwhelmingly in favor of Amazon. Tenants in the Queensbridge Houses, the largest housing project in the U.S. and the one closest to what would’ve been the new Amazon campus, pushed hard for the opportunities it would bring.
Nonetheless, politicians campaigned against the project, and Amazon pulled out. The loudest opponent was Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.
That’s why I’m challenging AOC in the June 23 Democratic primary. As I campaign in Queens and the Bronx, voters tell me it is dawning on them how much their representative lied to them. The democratic socialist made it sound like $3 billion in tax subsidies for Amazon would be coming out of their pockets.
In truth, New York City and state would have received $27 billion in tax revenue over 10 years instead of $30 billion—a return of 800% on the $3 billion tax break. Once residents understand that subsidies are merely a discount on taxes rather than a cash payment to companies, they feel bamboozled, angry and betrayed by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.
Imagine how much better off Queens would be in this emergency if we could count on a strong and growing employer like Amazon—still hiring even now—to provide residents with jobs on the way to our recovery.
Note to Jeff Bezos: Any chance you would reconsider?
Ms. Caruso-Cabrera is a former CNBC anchor and a candidate for Congress in New York’s 14th District.
Full article: Wall Street Journal