Our Revolution Arlington and NoVA HQ2 Coalition statement on HQ2
Arlington, Va.—A coalition of Northern Virginia community groups, led by Our Revolution Arlington and DSA NOVA, today released the following statement from Roshan Abraham, an Arlington community organizer with Our Revolution Arlington, regarding news reports that Amazon.com, Inc. has chosen Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City in Queens, New York for its second and third headquarters locations:
"The tax-payer funded subsidy offers made to Amazon by the State of Virginia have been completely hidden, and there has yet to be any opportunity for local community input on this deal.
"We oppose a massive state gift to a company headed by the world’s richest person.
"We call upon Amazon, Gov. Northam and County Board chair Cristol to immediately and fully disclose all of the tax incentives, infrastructure improvements and other subsidies that have offered for HQ2.
"We also call upon the County Board to uphold vice chair Dorsey’s pledge—made at a public meeting of 100 residents last June 21—to hold multiple town halls in the community, in evening hours, to start a participatory planning process and ensure this deal benefits all of us, not just Amazon shareholders and new job takers moving into the area."
That meeting was videotaped and is online at:
https://www.facebook.com/ORArlington/videos/613150279084017/ and our press release summarizing the event is at: https://bit.ly/2B225Fs .
We have endorsed the open letter issued to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos by more than 130 grassroots groups soon after the HQ2 auction was launched; it covers all of the issues we see as critical in this debate. It is at https://ourhq2wishlist.org/ . We need safeguards against gentrification, homelessness, inequality, traffic congestion, and overcrowded schools. We need local hiring preferences, career ladders and educational partnerships—and much more affordable housing.
“We also recommend that interested parties take advantage of research on Amazon provided by Good Jobs First at
https://www.goodjobsfirst.org/amazon and by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance at https://ilsr.org/amazon/ .”
The Struggle Continues... The Revolution Begins
Our Revolution Arlington (ORA) is an official local chapter of the national group Our Revolution, which is working to unify the millions of people who got involved over the course of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in support of progressive causes. ORA seeks to galvanize and organize Arlington residents of all walks of life to fight for a bold progressive agenda that will transform our community into a more democratic, just, and sustainable place.
While ORA's members were inspired by the policies espoused by Bernie Sanders during his presidential campaign and fully supports the national Our Revolution organization’s platform, ORA is equally inspired by Bernie Sanders' accomplishments as mayor of Burlington and seeks to implement here in Arlington many of his innovative progressive policies from that time, such as the use of worker cooperatives for democratic economic development, the creation of a community land trust to preserve affordable housing and home ownership opportunities for the working class, a publicly-owned energy utility operating 100% on renewables, and a publicly-owned broadband network.
To that end, at the state and local level, ORA seeks to implement the Community Wealth Building Program, which is a systems approach to economic development that creates an inclusive, sustainable economy built on locally rooted and broadly held ownership. For more details please see our issues page.
Our Revolution Arlington is an independent group with no formal ties to any political party. We are willing to work with any party, candidate, elected official, activist group, etc. that shares our values and supports our positions on core issues. Please join us and help shape and implement our agenda.
ORA currently holds general meetings the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at Summer's Restaurant in Courthouse.
Please also join us on meetup.com