Mayor Harmon calls for boycott of Amazon despite company’s investment in SLO

February 22, 2019

Mayor Heidi Harmon

Even though Amazon employs workers in the city of San Luis Obispo and contributes millions of dollars to the local economy, SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon has called for a boycott of the online retail giant. [Cal Coast Times]

“I am the mayor of San Luis Obispo and am leaving Amazon as a customer and want to call on other mayors to do the same,” Harmon stated in a Feb. 5 tweet.

Along with the tweet, Harmon posted a photo of herself holding her Amazon Prime card. In the tweet, Harmon also asked for assistance from a local business and anti-monopolization advocate on how to “amplify this message.”

About a week later, Amazon abandoned a plan to construct a secondary headquarters in New York City following stiff opposition from progressives to a deal struck between the company and the city. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose district neighbors the site of the proposed headquarters, was one of the leaders of the opposition to Amazon coming to New York.

Harmon has since tweeted support for Ocasio-Cortez and has issued a statement saying Amazon is “destroying our downtowns and having a negative impact on our communities.” The San Luis Obispo mayor also said in the statement that the abandoned deal with New York City is an opportunity for everyone to consider breaking up with Amazon. [Tribune]

“Amazon’s Valentine’s Day break-up with New York city is the perfect time for us all to consider breaking up with Amazon and rekindling our relationship with local small businesses,” Harmon said. “While there may be some benefits to Amazon, it’s time to put the long term economic viability of our local community over the short term economic gains of a few.”

The online retail giant operates a branch office in San Luis Obispo. A company spokesperson told the Tribune that Amazon has created more than 130 direct, high-paying jobs in SLO County.

Amazon invested more than $33 million in the city of SLO last year alone and paid more than $25 million in compensation to its employees, the spokesperson said. The $33 million investment in the city includes spending on infrastructure, employee compensation and funds Amazon spends locally to keep the San Luis Obispo office running.

Additionally, Amazon is currently hiring for 20 positions. Many of the employees who work in Amazon’s SLO office are Cal Poly graduates in computer science who develop software for platforms such as Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace and Prime.

Amazon also says its investments have contributed to the creation of 240 additional jobs in SLO, since its employees spend money in the community and the company contracts with many local businesses that have become its suppliers.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Since Trump hates Bezos, the owner of Amazon, and Heidi hates Amazon. Does that mean the Heidi loves Trump? What a confusing world we live in.

Heidi is chair person for Santa Lucia chapter of the Sierra Club Climate Change Task Force ( uh oh )….When I was a kid growing up in SLO County we had a 100 mile enduro motorcycle race in Pozo ,, the Sierra Club would stretch piano wire across trails in order to injure or kill the riders ,,,they would also relocate trail markers to send riders out into no mans land so they could run out of fuel and possibly die ,,,we didn’t have air patrol in SLO county back then …When I observed this I came to the conclusion that the Sierra Club will stop at nothing to promote their radical agenda

I would relocate Amazon’s SLO office to Paso or Santa Maria immediately.

She backs Alexandria Occasional Cortex, need one say more? I shy away from Amazon for the reasons she does, however, it’s the individual choices that we make that destroy local business owners. You drive to Home Depot and save 10% on something you can get in your home town from Joe’s hardware, your driving your buddy Joe out of business. You vote for minimum wages that cost Joe’s college student’s their jobs, you drive Joe out of business. The choices we make! Oh, for those social justice warriors reading my thoughts, please go back and replace Joe with Javier, Sally, Shanaqua or Bernie.

Ms Mayor – want to encourage downtown shopping? Eliminate parking meters. Recently was in Portland- don’t recall seeing a single meter. Also could eliminate parking enforcement. Your welcome.

I think I’ll go shopping at Whole Foods, seeing that Amazon owns them.

When Harmon boycotts Costco who’s net is $80 Billion, Apple who’s net worth in 2018 Was approaching $1 Trillion we’ll talk, until then it seems rather hypocritical to single out Amazon dosent it?. Perhaps its the “sheeple” effect has taken over. Apple is paying 25 cents an hour in China where their products are assembled, we’ve seen this first hand on 60 minutes last year. Costco, Best buy,any of the mega box stores, is there a magic number of wealth that’s not OK anymore?