By Chris Heide
Press Release: Seattle Neighborhood Action Coalition
On Thursday, May 10, community activists asked Amazon to do its part to address Seattle’s housing crisis. In support or the Employee Hours Tax (EHT), they projected a question onto Amazon’s paused construction site.
Alexa, is Bezos bullying Seattle?
Amazon recently threatened to relocate jobs out of Seattle by pausing construction of their current Block 18 project and subleasing the Rainier Square due to the Employee Hours Tax. The tax revenue will fund desperately needed affordable housing.
Seattle’s message is clear: Workers and homeowners already pay sales tax and property taxes to address the housing crisis. It’s about time corporations pay their fair share, too.
“Amazon is one of the world’s most profitable corporations and is a contributor to Seattle’s housing crisis,” says Amanda Qu spokesperson for the Neighborhood Action Coalition. “It’s only fair that large corporations like Amazon contribute to solutions to the problems that face our city.”
“My current rent is more than my Social Security income and I depend upon savings to eke out what I need each month.” says Sally Kinney, a Lake City Senior that is precariously housed. “Many of us are on fixed incomes; we are all worried about our futures. We need our community to step up and build more low-income housing so that we don’t eventually become homeless.”
“As Amazon employees who live and work in the Seattle area, we all feel the deepening rifts between tech workers and the rest of our city.” Seattle Amazonians for Affordable Housing stated. “We believe this attempt to pressure the city council is short-sighted, and a failure to live up to our values and our interests as Amazonians -- one that will lose trust with the community we live in. We strongly condemn Amazon’s choice to leverage their structural power against our neighbors who are most vulnerable in our society.”
Thursday’s action shows that the city’s residents won’t take Amazon’s bullying any longer.
For more information, please contact:
Housing 4 All Coalition: Matthew Lang at 425-499-3476 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neighborhood Action Coalition: Daniel Goodwin 512-914-7229 email@example.com