Atlanta mayoral candidate on Amazon's potential move - CBS46 News

Atlanta mayoral candidate on Amazon's potential move

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(Source: MGN) (Source: MGN)

CBS46 is going in-depth and looking at the bid to attract Amazon. It could take $1 billion in incentives to get the company to build its second headquarters, and Atlanta is among the top contenders for the 50,000 new jobs that come along with the project.

But now the bid is becoming entangled in the rapidly approaching Atlanta mayoral election. As mayoral candidate Cathy Woolard says, simply trying to court the company with a dowry of discounts and tax breaks isn't the way to go. 

Woolard believes Amazon has to use its clout and put skin in the game to help prevent the kind of gentrification problems that came with its first headquarters. 

Woolard is a former city council member president who believes in affordability, transportation and livability. 

"I think this campaign is about how this city grows, and transportation and affordability go hand in hand," says Woolard

Despite the fact that she's been out of politics for a decade, she's one of a handful of candidates able to raise $1 million so far. 

"We knocked on well over 10,000 doors [and] probably 150 house parties since we got in," says Woolard.

Woolard wrote an open letter to Amazon, likening the city's bid to lure the company here to a courtship, a modern courtship of equal partners. 

"Really, the days of cities being able to...sort of paying out incentives to come here, I think is sort of an outmoded model," says Woolard. "What we should be thinking about is what is the partnership with Amazon."

Woolard says the city has enough incentives already with the world's busiest airport, universities to supply workers, a booming film industry for Amazon's video content and perfect locations to build. 

"This is an exciting opportunity and one that I embrace fully," says Woolard. "You think about the innovation of a company like Amazon, having them work with us, to think about how to provide affordable housing, for example, on-site for people who need it to work in those facilities." 

Woolard also wants Amazon to lobby the state to use the gas tax to build up mass transit. 

"How do we go to the General Assembly together and say Georgia's the only state in the country that doesn't fund transit out of the state gas tax," says Woolard. "That has to change."

Woolard believes if Amazon talks, the state will listen, especially with billions of dollars in revenue at stake.

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