“If they won’t tell you what it is, it can’t be good,” Eugene Puryear, an author, organizer, and member of the Movement for Black Lives D.C., told a crowd. More than 100 were gathered in front of him, drawn to a D.C. church last Tuesday to protest the lack of transparency surrounding their city’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters.
Of the 20 HQ2 host finalists, only a few jurisdictions have disclosed even parts of the offers they made to Amazon to lure the promise of jobs and new development. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced a new law to free up $8.5 billion in tax incentives from the state, and Newark has partnered with New Jersey to offer up to $7 billion. Atlanta and Chicago, too, are said to be offering between $1 and $2 billion.
And while residents in these cities are worried about what they know their city has offered to give Amazon, residents in others like Washington are worried about what they don’t, and fearing the worst.