Amazon HQ2 Bid (San Francisco, CA)

Adanya Lustig filed this request with the The Bay Area Council of San Francisco, CA.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Adanya Lustig

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act (California Government Code §§ 6250), I hereby request the following records:

A copy of the bid submitted in response to Amazon's request for proposals for the site of its second headquarters, any contracts with third-party providers for services rendered regarding the Amazon HQ2 bid, and any marketing budgets regarding Amazon-related expenditures from September 1, 2017 to the date this request is received.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Adanya Lustig

From: The Bay Area Council

The public records request is a little bit of overkill.

Link to the bid: http://documents.bayareacouncil.org/amazonbid.pdf

This is publicly available on the Bay Area Council website.

There were no third-party service contracts.

Rufus Jeffris
Vice President: Media, Communications & Major Events
Bay Area Council
(415) 946-8725, O
(415) 606-2337, M
353 Sacramento St., 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
@BayAreaCouncil

From: Alpha Assistance

Document provided by Agency.

From: Adanya Lustig

Hi Rufus,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! I really appreciate it. I wouldn't know there weren't third-party service contracts unless I asked :)

Sincerely,
Adanya Lustig

From: The Bay Area Council

Angela,

Read your story.

Strange that you think the proposal should tell Amazon – the employer whose $5 billion investment and 50,000 new jobs we’re trying to attract – that their new HQ will only put stress on the housing market and fundamentally change the region’s culture. We might have done that if it was our goal to actually try to discourage Amazon from coming here.

And that’s not to suggest that we don’t fully appreciate the nature of a problem that you accurately describe as a “crisis.”

But in the same sentence you seem to quickly dismiss the importance of trying to address that very problem. The housing problem is one that the Bay Area Council is working to solve every single day. With every tool available to us. We’ve supported numerous and local affordable housing bond measures. We succeeded in passing streamlining legislation in 2015 that is unleashing a tsunami of affordable accessory dwelling unit (granny units) construction across the state. We’re partnering with local YIMBY groups to fight NIMBY opposition to new housing. And we supported a package of bills this year aimed at making it easier, faster and less expensive to build housing of all types for all income levels – unfortunately, many of the bills only make just minor progress. We’ll back in Sacramento in 2018 fighting again for reforms that can speed new housing production.

We know well that the housing problem is hitting lower and middle income communities the hardest and it scares us to death. Without a diverse economy the Bay Area faces a very uncertain future.

And yet, we can’t not continue to compete for jobs like those that Amazon would bring to the Bay Area. Given the outsize contribution our region makes to public coffers, having our economy implode would be devastating to the region, the state and the nation. And disadvantaged communities do benefit from high-paying jobs like those that Amazon promises. Our research shows that these high-paying jobs support 4.5 other jobs in the economy, including service workers, teachers, public safety and on and on.

It would be great to see you use your muckracking and public records gathering skills to highlight how local cities ignore their responsibility to meet housing obligations. How building trades unions kill housing reform legislation that would eliminate their leverage to ensure only higher-cost union workers can build housing. How even environmental groups fight new housing; and, as a result, force lower and middle income residents on longer and longer polluting commutes that undermine the state’s own climate change goals.

Rufus

Rufus Jeffris
Vice President: Media, Communications & Major Events
Bay Area Council
(415) 946-8725, O
(415) 606-2337, M
353 Sacramento St., 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
@BayAreaCouncil

From: Adanya Lustig

Hi Rufus,

I appreciate your thoughtful response, thank you for reaching out!

Are you saying that the Bay Area Council submitted a bid to Amazon because without Amazon, the Bay Area's economy might implode? How would Amazon's second headquarters stop that implosion?

To clarify, I do not think that the bid should have told Amazon that the second headquarters would fundamentally change the region's culture, the bid itself used the concept of "reinventing" the Bay Area.

I'm happy to hear about the work that the Bay Area Council is doing to alleviate the housing crisis--if I'm ever to write about housing in the Bay Area, I'll be sure to look to your organization. This story was just about what the bid told Amazon. And while I appreciate the other story ideas, we do think that the Amazon proposal process is worthy of some deeper attention.

Sincerely,
Adanya Lustig

From: The Bay Area Council

Hi,

No, I wasn’t suggesting that not getting Amazon would implode the Bay Area economy. Not competing, however, and not working to address our housing and transportation challenges would certainly have a powerful negative effect on our economy. You don’t get new business by putting up a closed sign on your front door. We’re already seeing a slowing in the rate of our job growth because of the region’s housing and cost of living. It’s particularly hard on lower and middle income residents and workers.

You might be interested in this novel analysis by a local mathematician that argues the Bay Area is the logical choice for Amazon because of the deep talent pool that we have here: https://appliedmathematician.com/
Best,
Rufus

Rufus Jeffris
Vice President: Media, Communications & Major Events
Bay Area Council
(415) 946-8725, O
(415) 606-2337, M
353 Sacramento St., 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
@BayAreaCouncil

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