Business & Finance

Christie, Booker, and Baraka show strong support for Newark to be next Amazon HQ

ee9755f42ee316138736_AmazonAnnouncement.jpg
Mayor Ras Baraka, Gov. Chris Christie and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker announce they are supporting Newark's bid for Amazon's second headquarters. Credits: Mark J. Bonamo
ee9755f42ee316138736_AmazonAnnouncement.jpg

NEWARK, NJ--A bipartisan trinity of New Jersey politico firepower assembled in downtown Newark to shoot the first salvo needed to score a major economic triumph for New Jersey's largest city: the construction in Newark of the new corporate headquarters for Amazon, the world's largest online retailer.  

All three of the prime politicians in place inside Rutgers Business School on Monday - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Senator and former Newark mayor Cory Booker, and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka - have ties to the city. Booker and Baraka, both Democrats, respectively was, and is, Newark's chief executive. Christie, a Republican, was born in Newark, his childhood home just off of South Orange Avenue near West Side High School, before his family left for the leafy streets of suburban Livingston. 

But Christie, on the day that he announced that he had selected Newark as the state's endorsed recommendation to be the Seattle-based retail giant’s next corporate headquarters, proved that a well-known literary adage - you can't go home again - is a lie.

Sign Up for E-News

Christie came back to Newark, fully intending to work with Booker, Baraka, and a host of other New Jersey politicians on both sides of the aisle to bring home the biggest business prize that the more-than 350-year-old city has ever seen. 

"Newark was the clear winner of this competition, and Newark has earned the state's support," said Christie, citing the city's status as a unique education, technology, transportation, and cultural hub. 

Newark now joins more than 50 municipalities nationwide that are formally bidding on the project.

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, announced its solicitation of North American regions earlier this year in a highly-competitive selection process for its second corporate headquarters, or HQ2.

The opportunity could bring 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars of private investment to the state. All bids must be sent to Amazon by Thursday. 

Christie noted that the state was willing to give $5 billion dollars in tax incentives over ten years upon the creation of the 50,000 new jobs. 

"Let any other state go and try and beat that package," Christie said, also noting that the City of Newark was willing to offer a local, 20-year property tax abatement that could be worth another $1 billion dollars, and would waive its municipal wage tax to encourage Amazon to come to the city.

"Newark's renaissance can no longer be talk. It has to be action. And the final crowning achievement of that is when Newark is named this spring as the new headquarters for Amazon," Christie said. 

"Newark, New Jersey has often been maligned over the previous decades, but let's tell the truth about this incredible city. For centuries, Newark led this nation in innovation, in invention, and in industry as one of America's premier cities," said Booker, who served as the city's mayor from 2006 to 2013.

"Like all major Northeastern industrial cities, we saw tough times. But the truth of Newark in the last decade plus has been of a city charging back, and reclaiming its space, step by step, as one of America's greatest cities," Booker said. 

"Newark is not a charity case. It is the choice for companies who want to relocate and remain competitive and strong, not just in New Jersey and not just in our nation, but in a global context," Booker added.

Booker said Amazon would be smart to come to Newark because of the city's "unassailable" assets.

"We sit smack dab in the middle of the New York metropolitan region. And by Amazon locating in this great city, they will demonstrate to this nation that our inner-city spaces are not places to be avoided," Booker said.

"They are an undiscovered treasure, right here in our Newark neighborhoods, right here in America. Wherever American cities are going, Newark must get there first. Because of if we do, then the true dream of America is still possible," Booker said. 

"Newark is obviously the place that I believe that Amazon should be. There is no other place in the country where Amazon should go. Everything else is a cliche. Brooklyn sounds like a cliche, and so does Denver," said Baraka as he dissed Newark's nationwide competition. "This is one hurdle, and we have many more hurdles to go. But I believe that we have the stamina to get over all of them." 

One hurdle to getting Amazon to come to Newark won't be election-season partisan politics: gubernatorial candidates Phil Murphy and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno have reportedly both said they will support the measure.

State legislators from Newark were also enthusiastic about the prospect of Amazon moving to Brick City

"The City of Newark has all the elements to not only meet, but exceed Amazon’s needs as it grows its operations," said state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz, a Democrat who represents Newark.

“Our city is at a turning point and is experiencing a residential and commercial development boom, and we are poised to embrace the next venture that will take our city to the next level," Ruiz said. "We are the perfect fit to serve as Seattle’s counterpart in hosting Amazon’s new headquarters and we have elected officials at all levels that are committed to its success."

State Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin called Newark is an ideal location for Amazon's headquarters.

"I can think of no place in America that offers the great potential that Newark does for Amazon," Pintor Marin said. "Amazon would be another key piece of the city’s already great future."

As for the current governor, Christie noted that he has just over 90 days left on top in Trenton. But Christie focused on a different number as he made Newark's case. Christie and his family left Newark 50 years ago, just before the 1967 civil disturbances, a riot to some, a rebellion to others. It was a traumatic event that almost annihilated the civic fabric of the city. But instead of tragedy and loss, Christie looked to Newark's ultimate triumph and victory in the days ahead. 

"The senator, the mayor, and I believe in this city. If the problems that [Booker] referenced in his remarks had not happened, my parents would have never left here. This is where their parents, and their grandparents, immigrated to, from Ireland and from Italy," Christie said. "My father told me years later that my mother was distraught for months when we moved. She viewed Livingston in 1967 as the wilderness. To me, to have her son be able to be part of a team that can finish this job, and bring Newark to the next level, will be very, very satisfying once it happens." 

TAPintoElizabeth.net is Elizabeth’s free daily news source. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TAPElizabeth and Twitter @TAPElizabeth. 

 

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Elizabeth

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 4, 2:00 PM

Elizabeth Public Library, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Public Library Book Sale

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Tue, June 5, 2:00 PM

Elizabeth Public Library, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Public Library Book Sale

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Wed, June 6, 2:00 PM

Elizabeth Public Library, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Public Library Book Sale

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Goethals Bridge to New Jersey to be Closed Friday Night through Sunday

May 16, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Goethals Bridge to New Jersey will be closed to all traffic beginning 9 p.m. Friday, May 18 until 9 p.m. Sunday, May 20. 

The Eastbound to NY will remain open. Officials said the closure is necessary to construct the entry and exit ramps for the new westbound span.

At 9 p.m. Sunday night, the westbound span is expected to open in its final configuration, three ...

The 15th Annual Tour de Elizabeth Comes to Elizabeth this Sunday

ELIZABETH, NJ - Cyclists of every skill level are readying their bicycles in anticipation as the 15th annual Tour de Elizabeth that will roll through the city.\ this coming Sunday. 

This year’s ride, which is titled “Destination Elizabeth,” will begin and end at City Hall, is a family-friendly, 15-mile recreational tour of the City of Elizabeth’s historic ...

Elizabeth Receives $125k Infrastructure Grant from Union County

May 7, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ – The City of Elizabeth will receive $125,000 through the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders’ fourth annual Union County Infrastructure grant.

The annual grant is dedicated to funding projects aimed towards economic development growth and improvements to roads, facilities and more. Approximately $1.5 million in grant funding was awarded throughout Union County ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

May 17, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

'The Sting' with Harry Connick Jr. Slithers and Shakes at Paper Mill

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and Chicago.  Scott Joplin’s music is intertwined with the show, especially “The ...

Sample Ballots Now Available on Union County Clerk Elections Website and App

May 17, 2018

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi announces that sample ballots for the June 5 Primary Election are now available on the Union County Votes mobile app for Apple and Android devices, and on the County Clerk’s election website at unioncountyvotes.com.

“The mobile app and website enable voters to see their sample ballots quickly and conveniently on their computers, laptops and other ...