North Brooklyn Snubbed From Amazon Community Advisory Committee

(Image courtesy of Tony Webster)

Governor Andrew Amazon Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio Bezos announced on Tuesday a community advisory committee “to share information and solicit ongoing community input about Amazon’s planned headquarters project in Long Island City.” North Brooklyn is not represented on the committee despite the effects that the neighboring area will face with housing and infrastructure.

“Amazon’s new headquarters will bring more than 25,000 jobs benefitting all New Yorkers from NYCHA residents to CUNY students,” the Mayor said in a statement. “The Community Advisory Committee will bring together stakeholders of all backgrounds to help shape this important plan.”

After signing non-disclosure agreements with Amazon, brokering a $3 billion tax subsidy in private, along with a promises for eminent domain, the Mayor and Governor have now graced their lowly constituents with “three subcommittees to develop plans for the headquarters and onsite public amenities, investments in neighborhood infrastructure to benefit the surrounding communities, and training and hiring programs to ensure that homegrown talent fills the 25,000 to 40,000 new jobs at the headquarters.”

Greenpoint, which is walking distance to the Anable Basin Amazon HQ2 site, and the greater North Brooklyn community are unrepresented on the committee, according to the committee member list on the press statement:

A full list of the CAC members is below:

Project Plan Co-Chairs: Denise Keehan-Smith, Chair, Queens Community Board 2; Elizabeth Lusskin, President, the Long Island City Partnership

Neighborhood Infrastructure Co-Chairs: Robert Basch, President, Hunters Point Park Conservancy; Melva Miller, Executive Vice President, Association for a Better New York

Workforce Co-Chairs: Gail Mellow, President, LaGuardia Community College; Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, CEO and President, Urban Upbound; Jean Woods-Powell, Principal, Information Technology High School

CAC Members: Plinio Ayala, President and CEO, Per Scholas; Antonios Benetatos, President-elect, Dutch Kills Civic Association; Kyle Bragg, Secretary-Treasurer, 32BJ SEIU; Paul Camilierri, LIC Resident; Gianna Cerbone, Owner, Manducatis Restaurant; Meghan Cirrito, Board Chair, Gantry Parents Association; Claudia Coger, President, Astoria Houses Tenant Association; Lisa Ann Deller, Land Use Chair, Queens Community Board 2; Paul Finnegan, Executive Director, New York Irish Center; Angie Kamath, University Dean for Continuing Education and Workforce Development, CUNY; Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, Executive Director, Hour Children; Debra-Ellen Glickstein, Executive Director, NYC Kids RISE; Tom Grech, President and CEO, Queens Chamber of Commerce; Kenny Greenberg, Neon Artist and CB2 Member; Chris Hanway, Executive Director, Jacob A. Riis Settlement House; Jukay Hsu, Founder and CEO, Pursuit; Richard Khuzami, President, Old Astoria Neighborhood Association; Debby King, Former Director, 1199 Training Fund Director and LIC resident; Sheila Lewandowski, Executive Director, The Chocolate Factory Theater; Reverend Corwin Mason, Community Church of Astoria; Annie Cotton Morris, President, Woodside Houses Tenant Association; Joey Ortiz, Executive Director, NYC Employment and Training Coalition; Tom Paino, Chair, Hunters Point Community Coalition; Santos Rodriguez, Director of Community Affairs & Strategic Initiatives, NYC Building Trades Council; Julie Samuels, Executive Director, TechNYC; Carlo Scissura, President and CEO of New York Building Congress; Seema Shah, Director of Technology and Innovation Initiatives, LaGuardia Community College; April Simpson, President, Queensbridge Houses Tenant Association; Alvarez Symonette, Chief of Staff, Lady M Confections; Marie Torniali, Chair, Queens Community Board 1; Matthew Troy, Executive Director of Variety Boys & Girls Club, Queens; Andre Ward, Associate Vice President of Employment Services and Education, The Fortune Society; Carol Wilkins, President, Ravenswood Houses Tenant Association; Tom Wright, President and CEO, Regional Plan Association; Frank Wu, Transportation and Safety Committee Chair, Court Square Civic Association; Kathryn S. Wylde, President and CEO, Partnership for New York City; Judith Zangwill, Executive Director, Sunnyside Community Services; A CUNY student representative.

The highly secretive negotiation process that city and state officials engaged in with Amazon is being revealed by the day.

In an NDA signed by Economic Development Corporation executive vice president James Katz, Amazon was promised “prior written notice sufficient to allow Amazon to seek a protective order or other remedy,” when documents pertaining to the deal are requested by the public, Politico reports.

A November op-ed from Amazon Cuomo states his discontent for those in opposition of the New York tax subsidies being offered to Amazon: “On the other side of the extreme, the socialists argue that we gave a $1 billion grant to one of the richest men in the country and that we should have given that money to the poor and the needy.”

In other words, ‘sit down and shut up you damn socialists.’

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