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.


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slomark

What an embarrassment.


shelworth

Wackos, electing Wackos, to enact Wacko laws. I am going straight to Amazon and buy something I don’t need.


Cmonnow

I have to say this first..the Mayor’s children are more likely to die from a dreaded single payer medical system (not the nice one the City of SLO (aka us taxpayers) provide…) than climate change. No? Well she could try one like the VA for a year and see how much they enjoy it…. Now, Amazon blossomed because it served a niche many many people wanted and now enjoy. Downtown SLO looks pretty prosperous to me. Hardly looks depressed from Amazon… Just take care of making the City run and stop grandstanding about statues we don’t need, pretending to stand-up to Amazon, and any other of your personal pet peeves. News flash… Amazon doesn’t need SLO…But SLO could use jobs and tax revenue and all that silly stuff. Let the rest of us shop in peace…downtown or on Amazon as we choose. People of SLO…. really?


Smith

Little fish in a big pond.


incompingov

This woman is an idiot.


This is the “progressive” approach. Demonize the successful and have government take over all control. Why have a good amazon job when the government can take care of you and give you a job sweeping the streets for a few dollars a day?


kayaknut

Excuse me while I order twice as much from Amazon………


aye-caramba

LOL! She’s so strange…. like straws, styrofoam cups, plastic bottles and cars were not bad enough, this wacko is now after Amazon? The problem is that she has made life so challenging for those wishing to access downtown business as well. She really ONLY wants to climb up the “weirdo ladder”, Democrats, you need a candidate for the next election who actually leads.


Slosum

This crazy chick is an absolute menace. Between changing Columbus Day to indigenous person’s day, to banning straws to making SLO a “welcoming city” for all manner of blight (note the Napa police shooting yesterday, it can, and probably will happen here with this kind of nonsense) Harmon needs to go. What an embarrassment.


Kidholm

The only people responsible for destroying downtown are Harmon and the city council.


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