Jenny Durkan, Mayor of Seattle, Washington, spoke to Joshua Johnson of NPR’s 1A. During the segment, she spoke to D.C.-area leaders as they prepare for Amazon’s arrival here in Arlington. Seattle is home to Amazon’s national headquarters. Listen to the full interview here.
Host Joshua Johnson: “So for the newcomers who come to Washington D.C. when Amazon builds its second headquarters… they’re going to be part of the tax base, they’re going to be part of the voter base, what would you like them to do to help not be part of the problem? They know they’re part of the gentrification, they generally are compassionate, but they’re here for this new job that they work really hard for so they’re kind of caught in the middle. What would you say to them about dealing with this issue?”
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan: “You’ve got to engage. You see a lot of tech companies bring these workers in and they maybe spend a year, two year, sometimes three years, and then they’re on to the next job, sometimes in a different city. Many of them never register to vote, many of them don’t get engaged, and so if I’m a community – get people engaged quickly. Work with the companies themselves to have those kind of forums on campus to have different points of view on campus and let them have the debates right where they work.”
Johnson: “Amazon is building a second headquarters in D.C., any advice for the powers that be here on how to deal with Amazon?”
Mayor Durkan: “One hundred percent first thing – get housing. People underestimate how much of an impact this has on housing. The more compression there is from the top, you get people priced out of the market, and that changes your city forever if you don’t take steps for that… every employer has to be involved in the housing of their workforce.”