This was one of my biggest concerns and observation about the picks for the top 20. As a Mayor of a 98% African American City adjacent to one of the Maryland sites in Prince Georges County, MD, I felt our chances of being selected were going to be outweighed because of the inequality factor that would come into play. It isn’t a perfect haven for the type of employees they currently have working in Seattle. But we provided a good percentage of all the needs of the site selection.
Glenarden and Central Prince Georges County is a totally unique and diverse community that is working hard— together. With Amazon HQ2, our world, our city, our communities would never be the same. An American Dream of equality that could have come true.
Building Equity in Communities
When deciding what public levers to use to lure large investors and employers like Amazon, it is important not to underestimate the impact incentives offered and the influx of workers can have on local infrastructure, housing prices and growing racialized income inequality.
In order to make sure that major investment and development are a net positive for racial equity, city leaders need a thorough understanding of the inequities in outcomes in their cities, and the range of historical factors that have led to them. These inequities situate populations differently to respond to the impacts of a major change like an influx of capital and residents to a city.