NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In a stunning offer to get the Amazon deal back on track, Governor Andrew Cuomo joined dozens of business leaders, unions, and elected officials who published an open letter in the New York Times asking the retail giant to give the Big Apple a second chance.
Even though Jeff Bezos and co. may have landed a Valentine’s Day sucker punch, Iron Mike Tyson Cuomo isn’t close to throwing in the towel. He’s launched an all out campaign to woo the company back to Long Island City.
“You punch until you hear the bell, and the bell hasn’t sounded,” the governor said. “Until somebody rings the bell, I’m going to keep pushing.”
Web Extra: Click here to read the complete letter.
After privately licking his wounds for more than a week after Amazon pulled the plug on a deal to bring a new headquarters to Queens, Cuomo is now on full battle mode. He got the Partnership for New York to pay for a full page “Open Letter to Jeff Bezos” in the Times signed by more than 70 unions, business leaders, elected officials, and community groups.
“Our message to Amazon is come back to the table, let’s sit down and talk about how we can make this a real win-win for New York City, for Long Island City, and for Amazon,” Partnership President Kathryn Wylde said.
In addition to personally sweet talking top Amazon officials, Cuomo pledged to side step the elected officials who opposed the deal — primarily State Senator Michael Gianaris (D-12th) and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-26th), who both represent Long Island City.
“At this point they are irrelevant because there are other ways that the state can get it done, and I told Amazon that,” Cuomo said.
Senator Gianaris didn’t like that too much.
“I’m fighting for my community,” he said. “That’s what I’ve always done and what I will always do, and let the chips fall where they may.”
CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer asked Gianaris what he would do if Amazon changes its mind.
“If my community is not protected, if the people of Long Island City have to work about their rents going through the roof and being unable to get on subways unable to get their kids into schools then it would be a problem for us,” he said. “I will make my views very clear.”
Cuomo said he doesn’t believe Amazon will reconsider, but it’s unclear whether he was simply trying to manage expectations. The governor’s also trying to send a message to other companies that New York remains open for business, and that they shouldn’t be put off by what happened with Amazon.