Amazon mailed NYC residents ads touting the benefits of HQ2 as the battle with the city council heats up

Amazon HQ2 MailerBusiness Insider/Dave MosherAn Amazon mailer sent to addresses in Queens.Business Insider/Dave Mosher

  • Residents of New York City are reporting that Amazon sent them a mailer advertising its announced HQ2 project.
  • The mailer states "Amazon is investing in Long Island City" and advertised the announced benefits Amazon agreed to bring to the neighborhood, and adds a link for recipients to learn more and contact the city council.
  • New York City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents the district Amazon will soon move to, said in a post on social media sites: "Spending this money just shows our voices in opposition have been heard."
  • The mailer is a sign the battle between New York's city council and Amazon is only getting started.

"Happy New Year from your future neighbors at Amazon," the postcard has written on it in cartoonish orange letters, floating just below a generous artist's representation of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge that connects the New York City boroughs Queens and Manhattan.

Many Queens residents received this mailer from Amazon on Monday, announcing the new HQ2 project that is soon to land on the shores of Long Island City. On the front it says "Amazon is investing in Long Island City," and on the front is a laundry list of the announced benefits the tech giant has agreed to bring to the area.

Amazon HQ2 MailerBusiness Insider/Dave MosherThe back of the mailer.Business Insider/Dave Mosher

At the bottom, it lists a few websites where it says residents can learn more, including Amazon's website. It then encourages them to "provide your thoughts to the city council on this project" with a link to the schedule of hearings. 

It's unclear how Amazon found the addresses to use for the mailer, either through its own addresses shared by customers on its website, or through other means. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

Some residents commented on the mailer on social media.

The call to action on the bottom of the mailer has buoyed critics, who say it's a sign they're making an impact.

New York City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents the district Amazon will soon move to, said in a post shared on social media sites that Amazon "spending this money just shows our voices in opposition have been heard."

New York's city council has been largely critical of the project, which was negotiated between the company and the state without city input.

Read more: 'This isn't a done deal': New York City Council speaker Corey Johnson lays out his plan to avoid being 'played' by Amazon

"We got played," the council's speaker, Corey Johnson, said during a contentious council hearing in December. Representatives for Amazon were forced to defend the company against against hours of questioning by council members.

Johnson forecasted a bitter battle in the months ahead during an interview with Business Insider later in December.

"I don't think anyone should assume that this is a fait accompli, and that this is a done deal," Johnson said. "This is the beginning of a process where the public and the City Council and other elected officials are going to continue to seek answers and understand whether or not this is a good deal for New York City, or if we got played."

Several more city council hearings are scheduled: one each in the months of January, February, and March. The final will be a public hearing, where it seems Amazon is trying to drum up support.

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