Howard Schultz slams 'far-left activists' for 'forcing' Amazon to abandon its New York HQ2 plans

  • Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz slammed politicians on the left for "forcing" Amazon to ditch its New York HQ2 plans in an open letter. 
  • "[F]ar-left activists succeeded in forcing Amazon to abandon plans to create a second headquarters in the New York City area, which would have brought 25,000 jobs and injected billions of dollars into the local economy," Schultz wrote. 
  • Many New York politicians and local activists pushed back on Amazon's plans to open a second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, due in part to concerns that HQ2 could increase homelessness rates, send rents skyrocketing, paralyze public transportation, and create other problems for residents.

Starbucks' former CEO Howard Schultz is bashing "far-left activists" for "forcing" Amazon's decision to ditch New York City as the site of its second headquarters. 

On Tuesday, Schultz released a letter stating that he plans to continue to explore running for president as a centrist independent. In the letter, he says that "the far right and the far left are holding our government hostage by engaging in revenge politics and preventing sensible solutions to big challenges." 

Schultz writes that the last week has brought "two more stark examples" of this phenomenon. On the right, he says President Donald Trump "recklessly declared a national emergency so he can raid the budget for our military to start construction on his foolish and unnecessary border wall." 

"Meanwhile, far-left activists succeeded in forcing Amazon to abandon plans to create a second headquarters in the New York City area, which would have brought 25,000 jobs and injected billions of dollars into the local economy," Schultz continued. "Where has common sense gone?" 

Last week, Amazon announced it would not move forward with plans to build a headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens.

Amazon said it made the decision because "a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project."

Amazon's plans raised concerns that the second headquarters could increase homelessness rates, send rents skyrocketing, paralyze public transportation, and create other problems for residents. As a result, many New York politicians and local activists have spoken out against Amazon's HQ2 plans over the last few months. 

"Amazon is a billion-dollar company," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in November. "The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here."

"Offering massive corporate welfare from scarce public resources to one of the wealthiest corporations in the world at a time of great need in our state is just wrong," City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer and state Sen. Michael Gianaris, both of whom represent Long Island City, said in a scathing joint statement.

"We were not elected to serve as Amazon drones," they added.

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