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"If we’re willing to give away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district ourselves if we wanted to. We could hire out more teachers, we can fix our subways. We can put a lot of people to work for that money if we wanted to," Ocasio-Cortez said from Capitol Hill Thursday.
"Additionally, those jobs, there was no guarantee that those jobs were for the New Yorkers that were here," she said.
Amazon said their decision to pull out of Long Island City was because of politicians like Ocasio-Cortez who were against the planned Long Island City headquarters.
"While polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, 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 we and many others envisioned in Long Island City," the company said in a statement Thursday.
"It wasn't any one incident," Jodi Seth, the head of policy communications for Amazon, told NBC News on Thursday. "It was that the environment over the course of the past three months had not got any better. There were some local and state elected officials who refused to meet with Amazon and criticized us day in and day out about the plan."
Seth said it came down to a long-term environment that Amazon did not care to work in, in part because different politicians put forward different reasons for opposing the project.
Among the opponents was New York State Sen. Michael Gianaris, a Democrat who represents the district that includes Long Island City. “Today’s behavior by Amazon shows why they would have been a bad partner for New York in any event," he said.
"Rather than seriously engage with the community they proposed to profoundly change, Amazon continued its effort to shakedown governments to get its way. It is time for a national dialogue about the perils of these types of corporate subsidies," Gianaris added.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who supported Amazon's presence in New York, blamed state senators and other local politicians for the company's decision to back out.
"A small group [of] politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state's economic future and the best interests of the people of this state," Cuomo said. "The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had said he was "thrilled" when Amazon first trumpeted plans to come to Long Island City, also expressed his displeasure Thursday.
"You have to be tough to make it in New York City," he said. "We gave Amazon the opportunity to be a good neighbor and do business in the greatest city in the world. Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity."