“Dear Amazon,” the Valentine’s Day meme read. It was the day Amazon announced it would not, after all, be setting up a second headquarters in Long Island City. “It’s not us. It’s you.”
The meme, created by CAAV Organizing Asian Communities, one of many groups fighting the Amazon deal, was cute and funny, but only partly true.
After all, it was “us” — the combined forces of the New York left, from new kids on the block like Queens Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), to community groups like CAAV and DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), who have been in Queens for years, to RWDSU (the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union) and many other people and organizations. This coalition deserves credit for defeating Governor Cuomo’s terrible plan to give a highly profitable, famously tax-evading company billions in tax breaks to enrich developers and make Long Island City even less affordable for the many working-class people who live there.