I have too much social anxiety to do public speaking on the cuff, so just in case people are allowed to speak on Monday at city council before the Amazon tax (Head tax) vote, I’ve written down what I at least plan to say (I didn’t go to today’s committee hearing because it was way too early in the morning for me). My speech won’t be so much about the tax, but about the possibility of Amazon leaving if the tax passes.
‘To the nine people in front of me to whom I speak, this city does not need Amazon for jobs. We don’t need any corporations. As the governing body of Seattle, the city council’s job is to govern. That includes creating jobs, meaning public sector jobs, unlike Amazon’s private sector jobs. Instead of Amazon creating jobs with no social, environmental or spiritual benefit to our society, the city council could create thousands of jobs covering I-5 with freeway lids that have parks, schools and affordable housing, reducing noise and air pollution while reconnecting neighborhoods and making Seattle more walkable and friendly to life. The city council could create thousands of jobs building light rail on Aurora going north and Highway 509 south to Burien while expanding the streetcar into a European like tram system along the lines of Budapest. If we turned all of our on street parking space into aquaponics food growing areas, we could grow enough food for the entire city while creating thousands of jobs that bring communities together, thus reducing the growing alienation and loneliness caused by late stage capitalism. It’d also make the city more resilient when major ecosystems begin to collapse around 2030. The city council could create jobs putting lids on all the streetlights to reduce light pollution, that way the sky is darker at night and we can actually see the stars again and be able to feel connected with the stars and galaxies and be in awe of the vastness of the universe and life itself. The city council could create jobs growing vertical gardens on all buildings taller than five floors, to reduce the urban heat island effect, reduce pollution, make the city more hospitable for birds and increase oxygen levels in the city. Cities, even those like Seattle with mostly clean air, are notorious for their significantly lower oxygen levels because of the lack of trees and plants.
I could go on but I’m time limited so yea. Anyways, your job is to govern the city of Seattle. Not Amazon. If you do your job, which is to govern, then we won’t need Amazon. So do your jobs. Govern. As Jeremy Corbyn says, for the many, not the few.’