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Open letter from CEOs, politicians, and labor leaders asks Amazon to return to NYC

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Admits state was “not very welcoming”

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon has said it’s ending plans for a New York City headquarters, but a group of state officials, businesspeople, and union leaders are asking the company to stay. In an open letter set to be published in the New York Times tomorrow, the group will ask Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to reconsider the company’s decision to abandon a new office in Queens.

The letter was obtained in advance by the Times, which also reported that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been personally speaking with Bezos in an attempt to convince Amazon to return to its original plan. Some House lawmakers, as well as the CEOs of companies including Mastercard and Goldman Sachs, signed on to the letter.

“As representatives of a wide range of government, business, labor and community interests, we urge you to reconsider, so that we can move forward together,” the letter reads. The group says the public’s response was “rough and not very welcoming.” But, it continues, “when we commit to a project as important as this, we figure out how to get it done in a way that works for everyone.” Cuomo and mayor Bill de Blasio will shepherd the project through the approval process, the letter says.

While Amazon is moving ahead with a Virginia office, the company walked back its New York plans after organized pushback from local officials and citizens. Cuomo and others argued that the plan would be a net benefit to the city, but many, like Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, objected to the major tax subsidies that the company would receive for choosing New York City. The company said it made its decision based on a “number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence.”