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Los Angeles doesn’t need an Amazon corporate headquarters here

Angelino lawmakers are looking only at the short-term benefits rather than the long-term needs of the region and our residents

Compton Herald | no amazon hq
Facebook/Lashawn Yvonne Littrice

‘Some cities revealed offers up to $7 billion in incentives to Amazon. That is $7 billion that could be used to help solve L.A.’s critical problems.’

By BISHOP JUAN CARLOS and REV. EDDIE JONES

Amazon’s recent “Small Business Impact” report ranks California No. 2 out of the most entrepreneurial states in the nation. That’s great and we would like to keep it that way! But we disagree with Amazon Vice President Nicholas Denissen who credits the e-commerce giant for the survival and success of small businesses. The report is very timely as Amazon is looking to choose a city to locate its second corporate headquarters.

Los Angeles is on their shortlist

In an attempt to create a silver lining for the billions of dollars in tax incentives it would receive, Amazon highlights the 50,000 jobs and $5 billion locating the second headquarters here will bring to the city. As faith-based community leaders, we are deeply concerned for Los Angeles and the region. In the past, we have seen the serious damage caused by inaccurately forecasting job creation. Angelinos will not only be disappointed about the jobs, they will seriously suffer due to steep rent hikes, decreased affordable housing, and increased homelessness.

While Amazon has not been transparent about the potential dollar amount it may receive from Los Angeles, some cities revealed offers up to $7 billion in incentives to Amazon. That is $7 billion that could be used to help solve L.A.’s critical problems, such as the desperate need for over 550,000 new units of affordable housing.

Giving Amazon our precious tax dollars would decrease the chances of meeting this demand for decades, if ever, and amplify the homeless crisis, which has already increased 49 percent since 2013. There are now an estimated 58,000 homeless in L.A. including 9,000 children, and senior citizens.

By offering Amazon unprecedented tax breaks and economic incentives in the hopes of establishing a second corporate HQ here, Angelino lawmakers are looking only at the short-term benefits rather than the long-term needs of the region and our residents, which will impact our community for years.

Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez is the shepherd of Churches in Action in South Gate, Calif., and the Rev. Eddie Jones is executive director of the Los Angeles Civil Rights Association.

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton and the Los Angeles metropolitan area of California, and the world.

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