The following is an open letter to the County Board.
It is time to ask not what we can do for corporations, but what they can do for us.
Having attended both the Kojo Nnamdi and Gunston Middle school sessions on Amazon’s move, I believe that a discussion is missing: how will Amazon guarantee that it will act as a good corporate citizen?
Amazon chose Arlington because of its desirability. It is now time to start crafting agreements with Amazon that will protect us. Amazon needs to specify how they will prevent worsening our housing crisis and transportation problem. How will they protect and promote opportunities for our minority communities and improve, rather than aggravate, problems facing low-income groups.
Amazon has fouled its Seattle nest and overturned the public will.
Consequently, proof is needed that it will not do the same in Arlington.
If it intends to be a good corporate citizen, Amazon needs to agree to significant investments – particularly in housing and pro-active diversity hiring – to prevent deterioration in living conditions across racial groups and income levels.
Amazon profits not only from tax advantages, but also from the entire education and transportation infrastructure of the communities in which it is located. It is payback time.