Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Bottom Line

Most companies just look at the bottom line, however some companies look at social issues and they want not only a diverse work force but also take into account the surrounding communities.
The unspoken factor in Amazon’s search for a new home: Jeff Bezos’s support for gay rights
The Washington Post
By Jonathan O'Connell
April 20, 2018

When Amazon executives recently toured the Dallas-Fort Worth area, one of 20 finalists for a second company headquarters, local officials touted its growing workforce and low taxes as perfectly suited to accommodate 50,000 planned Amazon jobs.

But the local team also brought an unexpected guest: the Rev. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas, pastor of a predominantly gay megachurch in Dallas. He impressed upon the Amazon representatives how inclusive and welcoming the community has been to him, his husband and the 4,000 congregants at his church, according to people familiar with the meeting.

In the high-stakes contest to become’s new location, it may have been a shrewd move. Although the company’s search materials don’t make it explicit, Amazon has quietly made rights for and acceptance of gay and transgender people part of its criteria in choosing a second headquarters, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk freely.

As Amazon executives recently toured finalist locations to help select what they’ve dubbed HQ2, they asked public officials about what sort of “compatible cultural and community environment” — the wording from the company’s search parameters — each city offers, adding to speculation about whether Amazon will choose a liberal stronghold.

In North Carolina, company representatives asked pointed questions of Gov. Roy Cooper (D) about several state policies such as the “bathroom bill,” which restricted the use of public facilities by transgender people, according to a person in the room. In another city, an Amazon executive groaned at the mention of proposed legislation in Georgia that would restrict funding for same-sex adoption, according to another person who attended the meeting between the company and state and local officials.
I have heard many negative things about how Amazon treats their employees and I have mixed feelings about the company, but hopefully they will go where all their employees feel safe.

There has been pushback from conservatives,
But by raising a social issue during its search, Amazon also risks alienating conservative political leaders, including President Trump, who has recently criticized the company’s taxes and its contract with the U.S. Postal Service, which delivers many of its packages.
The sponsor of the Georgia bill, state Sen. William T. Ligon Jr. (R), said the issue of same-sex adoption wasn’t intended to be discriminatory. In his view, the legislation would benefit children because church-based adoption agencies would shut down if they were forced to serve same-sex couples.

Ligon said he hoped any company would support the bill.

“If you’re against, then I think we need to think hard about whether you ought to come here,” he said. “We need to seriously consider whether we want you to come here.”

That sentiment has not played well at Amazon, according to a person who has been on tour with Amazon as it meets with local officials. “I just think Atlanta’s out,” the person, who is not an Amazon employee, said.
The bill failed to come to a vote before the session ended, but I wouldn’t put it past the Republicans to introduce the bill after Amazon makes up its decision.

Meanwhile rumors have it that Boston is in the running,
Boston, D.C. likely picks for Amazon
Boston Herald
By Jordan Graham, Dan Atkinson
April 20, 2018

Boston and Washington, D.C., could be front-runners in the race to land Amazon’s second headquarters, according to an analysis of the kind of jobs the company is already posting in the 20 finalist cities.

“Given the relatively large number of ads for headquarter caliber occupations and the growth rate in those ads, the Washington, DC metro area and Boston seem the most likely candidates for a second headquarters,” The Conference Board said in a report released yesterday. “Amazon’s current footprint in these cities could ease the hiring of 50,000 new employees and growing demand signals their desire to increase their presence.”
“I am proud that Boston is on Amazon’s shortlist for its second North American headquarters,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement. “As a thriving city with a talented and diverse workforce, culture of innovation and opportunity for all, I see no better city than Boston for Amazon to call their second home.”
Let’s hope that they do chose Boston, it will be a big boost to not only Boston’s economy but also the region. Maybe it will kick some life into the Northeast.

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