Most New Yorkers Welcome Amazon But Are Split on Subsidies, Poll Suggests

By David Brand

The results of a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday are generating controversy among Amazon opponents.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,075 New York City voters about whether they approve of “Amazon locating one of its new headquarters in Long Island City in Queens” and reported that 57 percent of NYC voters say they approve.

About 60 percent of Queens voters who participated in the poll said they approved of Amazon’s arrival, Quinnipiac reported.

"While New Yorkers give the thumbs up to Amazon moving one of its new headquarters to Long Island City, they are divided over the sizeable carrot offered to the online retail giant,” said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Mary Snow. “They are united, however, in their view that New York City should have more of a say about Amazon's plans.”

Voters were nearly even split in their responses to city and state subsidies totaling roughly $3 billion. About 46 percent of people polled said they support the incentives while 44 percent say they opposed.

About 55 percent of Queens voters said they supported the incentives while 39 percent said they opposed.

Abou 31 percent of New York City voters who oppose Amazon’s arrival say housing is their biggest concern. About 25 percent said they are most concerned about transportation, 20 percent cite “quality of life” and 19 percent say they are concerned about three issues.

More than three-quarters of respondents say New York City should be more involved in the plan to bring Amazon to Long Island City.

In a joint statement, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and State Sen. Michael Gianaris, who represent the area picked by Amazon, said those results demonstrates that, despite the approval response, residents have major issues with the deal.

“New Yorkers are making clear they agree that too much inequality exists in our communities and giving billions of taxpayer dollars to trillion dollar corporations makes things worse, not better,” Van Bramer and Gianaris said. “It is also clear that the more people learn about the deal, the less they like it.”

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) President Stuart Applebaum criticized the poll. The RWDSU has criticized Amazon’s record on workers’ rights since the Amazon deal was announced.

“This Quinnipiac poll means nothing. The reality is that opposition to this terrible Amazon HQ2 deal continues to grow by leaps and bounds,” Applebaum said. “This poll does nothing to change the fact that Amazon’s current HQ2 deal for New York City is fundamentally bad for workers and communities.”