Things That Matter

Here’s Why Housing Advocates Are Warning Against Amazon’s Impact On Affordable Housing

After months of speculation, Amazon announced that the locations of its second headquarters will be in Long Island City, New York, and Arlington, Virginia. The announcement has been met with criticism from local community members and officials that say the influx of tech workers would fuel gentrification and hurt lower-income populations. Newly elected Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been one of the most vocal public officials to condemn Amazon for moving to Long Island. Ocasio-Cortez represents the 14th Congressional District of New York, which borders the district that includes Long Island City, and says the move “is extremely concerning to residents here.”

Residents and real estate watchers are monitoring the impact Amazon will have on rent and living costs in both New York and Virginia.

Housing displacement was a platform issue that Ocasio-Cortez ran on and is a vocal advocate for affordable housing. She took to Twitter to voice her displeasure about Amazon’s announcement. Ocasio-Cortez said that “shuffling working class people out of a community does not improve their quality of life.” Community members fear that Amazon’s decision to set up shop in New York will hasten gentrification, increase housing prices and displace current residents.

Northern Virginia realtor Jen Walker told NBC Washington that there has already been signs of the “the Amazon effect” on the local real estate marketplace. “They woke up this morning, saw the Amazon announcement and they decided they wanted to move forward with a contract,” she said. “They said, ‘We’re going to get priced out if we don’t do this now.'”

Alex Howe, a member of the group runs the website NoVa Says No to Amazon, echoed a similar message as Walker saying that the real estate market will drastically change now that Amazon is here. “Those already prospering will flourish and those who struggle in our region will be further pushed out and erased,” Howe said. “If Amazon comes here, it should be on our terms and they should pay their fair share in our community if they expect to set up shop here.”

Amazon says it will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations but some are questioning if the company will follow through.

Rising home prices and cost of living have been huge concerns for many communities across the U.S. in places like San Francisco and Seattle, where Amazon is already established. Amazon says their new headquarters will generate millions of dollars in revenue and jobs opportunities. Yet many don’t see it that way as tech companies have been known to price out many long-time residents and hire from outside local communities.

“We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said in a statement. “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come. The team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”

Since Amazon’s arrival, Seattle has become one of the most expensive cities to live in the U.S, forcing many Latino and black residents to move to far-off suburbs.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in New York to voice their displeasure with the announcement of a new headquarters.

On Wednesday, protesters gathered near Amazon’s soon-to-be headquarters in New York City to voice their concern over the multibillion-dollar incentives being awarded to Amazon. Protesters warn of the potential impact it will have on their community.

Ocasio-Cortez has echoed many residents worries and said she is concerned not just about Amazon specifically, but rather about the relationships that the government has with its citizens and corporations.

“This isn’t just about one company or one headquarters. It’s about cost of living, corps paying their fair share, etc,” she wrote on Twitter. “It’s not about picking a fight, either. I was elected to advocate for our community’s interests – & they’ve requested, clearly, to voice their concerns.”

Mitú reached out to Amazon but there has been no response as this time.


READ: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Victory Lap Rallies To Abolish ICE, Erase Student Loan Debt And Keep Organizing

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Rep. AOC Opens Up About Being A Sexual Assault Survivor And Capitol Riots In Powerful IG Live

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Rep. AOC Opens Up About Being A Sexual Assault Survivor And Capitol Riots In Powerful IG Live

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most recognizable faces of Congress, used an Instagram Live video to share her experience in the Capitol riot. The congresswoman from New York also shared with the audience that she is a victim of sexual assault.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez finally broke her silence about her experience during the Capitol riot.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was in the Capitol on Jan. 6 when a group of angry far-right extremists stormed the building. The Congress was in the process of certifying the election results to certify President Joe Biden’s victory. In the chaos, people died and members of Congress were rushed to secure locations to keep everyone safe.

There has been a lot of chatter that some Republican members of Congress are responsible for the attack. Some members of Congress have accused colleagues of giving rioters tours the day before the attack and two senators are facing calls to resign or expulsion over their connection. Sen. Josh Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz are facing sustained nad bipartisan calls to resign after appearing to encourage the insurrection on Jan. 6.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez openly shared that she is a survivor of sexual assault. The moment comes at the beginning of the video as he breaks down the way some of her colleagues have talked about the riot.

“They’re trying to tell us to forget about what happened. They’re trying to tell us that it wasn’t a big deal. They’re trying to tell us to move on without an accountability, without any truth telling, or without actually confronting the extreme damage, physical harm, loss of life, and trauma that was inflicted on, not just me as a person, not just other people as individuals, but on all of us as a collective and on many other people,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says in the IG Live. “We cannot move on without accountability. We cannot heal without accountability. So, all of these people who want to tell us to move on are doing so at their own convenience.”

AOC highlighted how these tactics and this rhetoric is similar to that of an abuser. She calls out those using this rhetoric as hiding from what they did for their own convenience and how it something she has heard before.

“I’m a survivor of sexual assault and I haven’t told many people that in my life,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says as her voice cracks and she tears up. “When we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other and so whether you have a neglectful parent or whether you have someone who was verbally abuse towards you. Whether you are a survivor of abuse, whether you experience any sort of trauma in your life, small to large, these episodes can compound on one another.”

During that moment, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez hid in a colleagues office and feared for her life. In a previous Instagram Live video, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez spoke about how she had a moment when she feared for her life but could not say anything due to security issues. Her latest IG Live is open and free to discuss what happened and it is a terrifying ordeal.

At first, AOC took shelter in her office and had to hide in the bathroom as the attackers broke into her office.

“I just hear these yells of ‘WHERE IS SHE? WHERE IS SHE?’” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez recalls. “This was the moment where I thought everything was over. I thought I was going to die.”

“I felt that if this was the journey my life was taking, I felt that things were going to be okay — and that I had fulfilled my purpose,” Rep. AOC said through tears.

According to AOC, her legislative director Geraldo Bonilla-Chavez, told her to come out of the bathroom and that there was a Capitol police officer there who secured her office. Yet, something seemed off so the two fled to get to another secure location. That’s when they ended up in Rep. Katie Porter’s office.

This is when AOC changed into sneakers and gym clothes so she could run and blend if she had to. She continues to say that a real split between Democrats and Republicans has led to an environment of fear and that on the day of the insurrection, she never felt sully safe or secured.

READ: Rep. AOC Calls Out Sen. Ted Cruz After He Tried To Join Her Fight Against Robinhood

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Handcuffed And Pepper-Sprayed By New York Police Officers

Things That Matter

A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Handcuffed And Pepper-Sprayed By New York Police Officers

Police brutality is a civil rights violation that has long affected the Black community as well as other minority groups. While the issue has been highlighted extensively by these communities it seems that it’s only been very recently that the general public has developed concern over the issue. This is despite the fact that in so many ways police brutality has not only deeply harmed communities but also sparked major political and social movements such as the civil rights movement of the 1960s and anti-war demonstrations. So much so in fact, the United States has developed an ill-famed reputation for cases of police brutality. Particularly when it comes to the police’s mistreatments and murders of minors like Nolan Davis, Cameron Tillman, and Aiyana Stanley-Jones.

Over the weekend, an incident in Rochester, New York brought attention to the issue once again after body camera showed officers handcuffing and pepper-spraying a 9-year-old girl.

The incident which took place last Friday showed officers brutally restraining a little girl after responding to a call for “family trouble.”

The Rochester Police Department in New York released body camera footage Sunday showing officers handcuffing and pepper-spraying a 9-year-old girl while responding to a call for “family trouble.”

In two disturbing videos, the little girl can be screaming for her father as officers attempt to restrain her. “You’re acting like a child,” a male officer yells at her in the video. “I am a child,” she screams in reply.

“I’m gonna pepper-spray you, and I don’t want to,” a woman officer warns the girl while attempting to put her feet inside of the police car.

“This is your last chance. Otherwise pepper spray is going in your eyeballs,” the officer adds.

The girl begged the officers not to spray her before they did.

Once pepper-sprayed, she cried, “It went in my eyes, it went in my eyes.” The child and her family, nor any of the officers involved in the incident have yet to be identified.

“I’m not going to stand here and tell you that for a 9-year-old to have to be pepper-sprayed is OK,” Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan of Rochester said at a press conference Sunday. “It’s not. I don’t see that is who we are as a department.”

This incident isn’t the first for the Rochester Police.

The police department’s top officials resigned last September after protests broke out over the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died of asphyxiation after Rochester officers put a hood over his head. Prude’s face had been pinned to the ground by police.

Speaking about the incident Rochester’s Mayor Lovely Warren said that the pepper spray incident was “not something any of us should want to justify.”

Warren said watching the video of the young girl reminded her of her own daughter. “I have a 10-year-old daughter. So she’s a child. She’s a baby,” Warren explained. “And I can tell you that this video, as a mother, is not anything that you want to see. I saw my baby’s face in her face.”

According to Warren, she has asked for the police chief to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation in relation to the incident. She also noted that she welcomed a review from the police accountability board.

The incident reportedly occurred after officers responding to a report of “family trouble” around 3:21 p.m last Friday. Police reported to the area and were alerted that the 9-year-old girl was “upset” and “suicidal” and had indicated that she “wanted to kill herself and that she wanted to kill her mom.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line.

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