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New Poll Finds Queens Residents Support Amazon in Long Island City

An aerial view of where Amazon will establish new corporate headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

Dec. 5, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

A new poll has found that Queens residents approve of Amazon building new headquarters in Long Island City—in stark contrast to the backlash and anti-Amazon rhetoric expressed by many borough officials and groups over the plan.

The Quinnipiac University Poll released today shows that Queens residents are not only for the tech giant locating its headquarters at Anable Basin, but for the billions in incentives it is set to receive from the city and state for the move.

The poll found that 60 percent of Queens voters support Amazon locating one of its new headquarters in Long Island City, compared to just 26 percent of voters who oppose the tech giant’s presence.

Queens voters, furthermore, are for the $3 billion in state and city incentives Amazon is set to receive as part of its deal to locate to Queens, with 55 percent in approval compared to the 39 percent of voters that oppose the incentives package.

The poll also reveals Queens to be the borough most in support of the city and state’s incentive package to Amazon, followed by the Bronx.

On a citywide basis, the Quinnipiac Poll found that New Yorkers approve of Amazon coming to Queens by 57 percent to 26 percent. Voters as a whole, however, were split on the financial package offered in the deal, with 46 percent supporting the incentives while 44 percent opposed it.

Voters in Queens and citywide, meanwhile, say New York City should have more of a say in the review process of Amazon’s buildout.

The tech company’s project, which will be moving through a state-run process, has been criticized by the opposition for just that, with many believing that the selected process shuts the doors for review at the city and local level.

In Queens, 78 percent of voters said the city should be more involved in the process, with only 10 percent of voters electing “no” in this category. The percentage goes up to 79 percent on a citywide basis, compared to 13 percent in opposition.

The poll also asked voters if they had any concerns about Amazon’s headquarter plans, to which 54 percent of Queens resident said they did not—more than the 41 percent of voters who say they do. The citywide numbers were identical to the Queens findings in this category.

The concerns, in turn, mostly registered on the project’s impact on housing, with 31 percent of respondents choosing this category. The poll, however, had only outlined three concerns for voters to choose from, with the other two being the impacts on transportation and quality of life.

The polling center also asked if voters approved or disapproved of the way both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio handled the deal.

The results for both leaders were similar, with 35 percent of Queens voters approving Cuomo’s handling compared to 31 percent against. For de Blasio, 34 percent of voters in the borough approved, compared to 32 percent.

The poll, the first major survey to be conducted after Amazon announced its headquarter plans last month, shows a vastly different account of how Queens feel about the project compared to the backlash seen in the form of rallies, petitions, newly-drafted legislation, planned oversight hearings and more from elected officials and groups.

A “No to Amazon HQ2 in Long Island City” rally, for instance, was held the day after the Nov. 13 headquarters announcement , where local politicians like Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and State Sen. Michael Gianaris vehemently denounced the company’s plans on multiple fronts.

The two electeds, who represent the area where Amazon will be built, have repeatedly rebuked the “bad deal” since, but seem split, like many officials, on the company generally coming to the area. Gianaris had said he’s for jobs and a better deal, while Van Bramer is fully opposed to the corporate giant in his district, regardless of a deal.

The two released a joint statement on the Quinnipiac Poll shortly after its release, where they did not specifically address the Queens statistics, but appeared to speak to the citywide split on the incentives package.

“New Yorkers are making clear they agree that too much inequality exists in our communities and giving billions of taxpayer dollars to trillion dollar corporations makes things worse, not better,” the statement reads. “It is also clear that the more people learn about the deal, the less they like it.”

Van Bramer, however, retweeted a statement shortly afterward by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which he has partnered with recently in opposition to the Amazon project. The statement, this time, appears to address the poll’s findings in Queens.

“This Quinnipiac poll means nothing,” reads the statement from Stuart Appelbaum, president of RWDSU. “The reality is that opposition to this terrible Amazon HQ2 deal for New York City continues to grow by leaps and bounds.”

Appelbaum added that Amazon is aware of the widespread opposition it faces, referring to an item reported only recently that the company had hired a new PR firm to help better market its project.

Make the Road NY, a non-profit that has come out against the Amazon project, also came out against the poll.

“This poll doesn’t come close to reflecting the reality in our communities, which stand united in opposition to the #HQ2Scam,” said Deborah Axt, co-executive director. “Not a single community member with whom we’ve discussed the terms of this deal has said they support it.”

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted between Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, where 1,075 self-identified registered voters in New York City were surveyed by way of landline and cell phone.

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30 Comments

University of Phoenix Poll

According to Quinnipiac poll, 60 percent of voters don’t mind living in Amazon cardboard boxes when they loose their homes to Amazon hipsters

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Les Grossman

Maybe they should have done a poll and see how many Sunnyside /Woodside people would be in favor of JVB/deBlasio bike lanes before they screwed the neighborhood up

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Native New Yorker

Would you agree with the findings if they did not line up with your preconceived notions?

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Di Crazio

If you think that’s bad, wait until you see Amazon robots releasing bear spray all over Queens

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Burn

The community board shot down the bike Lanes. But Blazio & DOT shoved it down our throats. Our “elected officials” do not care about their constituents, all they care about is the big bucks.

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SuperWittySmitty

If you were paying attention you’d know that MANY Sunnysiders welcome the bike lanes and wish there were FEWER cars clogging up our streets.

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Sunnysideposthatesme

I can’t wait to sell my rent stabilized apartment to the greedy landlord looking to raise the rent on some idiot hipster looking to make his name in New York with Amazon.

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Native New Yorker

Ummm, you can’t sell a rent stabilized apartment, only a building with rent stabilized units. I suspect you own neither.

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SuperWittySmitty

This is probably new in that it’s the first one and there’s no real comparing to the “other polls.” That said, objectively conducted polls generally are not in crazy opposition to one another. There are many people with opinions and probably quite a few are in support of Amazon’s HQ. This poll isn’t really surprising.

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squirts, from before

Insiders tell me Bezos hires Change Guy to be his helicopter pilot. He’s bringing jobs to Queens!

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Truth

This Amazon issue should have been a ballot item during the midterm elections. It wasn’t because most politicians knew that no one would support this. Also the politicians sold out NY and NYC. There is ZERO TRANSPARENCY!

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Julie

I can see how Queens residents who own their apartment would feel enthusiastic about their property value going up. But, I rent. I can’t afford to buy. My rent goes up and up and up, while I make less now than when I moved in to my Sunnyside apartment 9 years ago. I’m terrified by the thought of a giant leap upwards in my rent.

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SuperWittySmitty

I can’t afford to live on Park Avenue. Is that fair? I bought a co-op in 1996 because I realized that if I paid rent for 25 years I wouldn’t be able to afford to live in this neighborhood. You want us to keep rents low because you’re not doing well financially? That’s not really how a free market works.

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Gardens Watcher

Julie & Suncoast: I was priced out of Manhattan decades ago, and moved to Brooklyn. Was chided as a bridge-and-tunneler and luckily landed in Queens. Way before it was cool or pricey.

Sorry, but that’s life in NYC sisters. Reduce your expenses or increase your income, or buy something. Find a roommate or a partner to share expenses. Or move somewhere cheaper.

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Native New Yorker

Would you still say the same thing if the poll numbers backed up your preconceived notions? I think not.

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Anonymous

They predicted Queens correctly, and they nailed the popular vote in that poll, Patricia J. Trump.

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JG

Pat, Once again you’re totally off the mark and comparing apples to oranges. However, hopefully Amazon will help you move on and stop you from fabricating evidence against the bike lanes. It is interesting to note that in this issue, you’re one of the “outsiders” on this as you don’t live in the neighborhood where Amazon will go in. Something you used repeatedly against people from other neighborhoods who supported the bike lanes. If your going to claim that taxpayers from other neighborhoods who pay for our streets don’t get to have a say on Sunnyside street redesigns, then you don’t get to have a say on what goes on in a different neighborhood.
I read something about people who can’t deal with change in SF that is pertinent here. “That might just be the curse of a San Francisco upbringing: remembering the way it once was, and the inability to give in to what it has become.”
Clearly, giving 1.5 billion away to Jeff Bezos is not necessary, but you and your followers are not going to stop the deal or the changes that ensue. Instead of trying to stop change (didn’t work with the bike lanes), how about working with change to see how it can benefit the community. It would be nice to see community leaders who are positive, who accept that change is a constant in NYC, and are willing to gracefully accept when they have lost on an issue. Can you be that person?

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Suncoast

Community Board 2 voted against the bike lanes. I have yet to see these lanes crowded with bikes.

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Stillurclanging

Can you let go of your wildly exaggerated emphasis on one person and see that a) the bike lanes are underused by all but a small percentage of the population and therefore impede the flow of traffic the majority of NYers find themselves in? They are a solution 8n search of a problem we did not have and serve no purpose in this part of Queens other than to hinder the way most people live.
b) Sunnyside is in the area predicted to be severely impacted by Amazon. The subject of your obsessive focus is not leading the charge against Amazon, many others are, pick on them.
c) Private citizens have the constitutional right to speak their minds, if you don’t like what you hear from one soap box, go find another. Criticizing someone online is cheap distraction. Use your intelligence to solve problems and let others do as they wish.

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VelvetKnight

1. That poll was from Aug 25, more than a month before the election. A lot can, and did change during that time. How many polls were taken between that date an the election?

2. Besides general swings, the election post-mortem particularly showed that the Comey letter in the final week almost certainly swung it to Trump.

3. That poll only talks about the popular vote. In the popular vote, she beat Trump by about 2%, so once you add the 2.5% margin of error, they were only off by about 1.5%. And that’s besides the previous two points. Though I guess you could ignore that if you believe his baseless accusation of 3 million illegal votes in California (because obviously the Democrats would only cheat in a state they were guaranteed to win anyway).

4. That poll was about predicting future behavior. The one about Amazon is about current feelings. Two completely different things. It would be different if it was trying to predict how people will feel about Amazon once it’s built.

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