Queens community leaders hold rally in support of Amazon HQ in Long Island City

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Community organizations in Queens held a rally and press conference in support of Amazon's proposed headquarters in Long Island City.

The event comes after reports that the company is reconsidering the decision due to local opposition.

Community leaders stressed what they called a historic opportunity for region, with an influx of at least 25,000 jobs.

The president of the Queensbridge Houses Tenant Association and other activists and leaders of city-run housing made it clear that they too have concerns, but they are frustrated at what they call outsiders coming into the borough and misinforming residents about the Amazon deal.

They claimed there is false information being spread, and they want to assure folks they are at the table and getting all the facts.

"I want to make sure that the people that I represent, that they understand when they say yay and nay, that they have information for one thing as to the directions that Amazon is going to go in," Astoria Houses Tenant Association President Claudia Coger said. "And how it's going to prosper the quality of life of the people that live in public housing."

They say negative rallies have obscured the tremendous benefits local residents would receive in increased social mobility and the revitalization of neighborhood economies.

Meanwhile, in Albany, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was "mission critical" for the city to land one of Amazon's second headquarters and the tens of thousands of jobs the company promises to create.

The Democrat told lawmakers during Monday's state budget hearing on local government funding that the type of high-paying jobs the Amazon deal could bring to Queens are the kind the city needs to expand its technology sector.

The deal de Blasio and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo brokered last year to bring Amazon to the Long Island City neighborhood faces opposition in the New York City Council and the state Senate.

Critics say the state and city didn't need to offer some $2.8 billion in tax incentives and subsidies to lure one of the world's richest companies.

Amazon neither confirmed nor denied the report that it is reconsidering, but the company issued the following statement:

"We're focused on engaging with our new neighbors - small business owners, educators, and community leaders. Whether it's building a pipeline of local jobs through workforce training or funding computer science classes for thousands of New York City students, we are working hard to demonstrate what kind of neighbor we will be."

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