Queens Community Leaders Hold Pro-Amazon Rally Outside Queensbridge Houses

Bishop Mitchell Taylor of Center of Hope International Church says outsiders have flooded the neighborhood around the Queensbridge Houses, spreading false information in order to convince people to oppose Amazon’s plans to build a huge corporate campus in the area.

“I’m incensed when I see people from Connecticut, from other boroughs, from other places, convene upon Queensbridge, knocking on doors, telling people because of Amazon, because of this you’re going to lose your apartment,” Taylor said.

On Monday, he joined tenant association presidents, non-profit groups, and other community leaders welcoming Amazon to the neighborhood and the company’s promise to create 25,000 jobs.

Many in the group belong to a Community Advisory Committee announced by Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo. Their comments Monday represented a counterpoint to the fierce opposition that has emerged. The criticism of the deal prompted Amazon to warn last week that it might abandon the deal.

Opponents are upset about tax breaks for Amazon and what they call a lack of transparency. James Mongeluzo, an East Elmhurst resident and critic of the deal, showed up the press conference.

“The city or the state should not be collaborating or giving any sort of tax breaks or discretionary funds to a trillion dollar company that’s a near monopoly,” Mongeluzo said.

But Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney supports the project.

“We face probably the most important economic decision in generations for our city. What the residents of this community are telling me is that they want jobs, they want training, they want opportunity,” Maloney said.

The supporters of the Amazon deal said they might have been silent too long, but they say they plan to continue fighting back.