Jumaane D. Williams. Photo: Twitter
Today the Council, and the people of New York, had an opportunity to bring the Mayor and Governor’s secret deal out into the open at a public hearing. When the light shines on this deal, it looks even worse.
As my colleague Council Member Van Bramer noted, Amazon is eager to focus on its big promises and hypotheticals, but not on the cost-financial and otherwise. The administration won’t focus on the cost of displacing affordable housing or inviting gentrification, the cost of neglecting NYCHA or the MTA to hand money to the richest man in the world, the cost to struggling small business owners in New York City. Amazon created a cutthroat bidding system, and the administration acquiesced to it.
In the future, the legislation that Council Members Lander, Van Bramer, and I are proposing will help to prevent these secret giveaways- though if we had honest and transparent leadership, this bill would not be necessary. The Governor and the Mayor clearly feared that once the people knew more about their deal, they would oppose it, so they hid behind closed doors and circumvented the process. But now, we’re watching.