Hey, Jeff Bezos! The mayor says come to LR! | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hey, Jeff Bezos! The mayor says come to LR!

Posted By on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 10:28 AM

Mayor Mark Stodola must be feeling the re-election campaign heat. He tweeted yesterday that he's going to put Little Rock in the mix for the new $8 billion Amazon headquarters:
click to enlarge screen_shot_2017-09-12_at_9.45.11_am.png

Amazon is looking for a metropolitan area of 1 million people, an international airport, mass transit and a workforce of thousands of technology-talented workers. 

So how will we win Jeff Bezos over? Will it be our airport, with its non-stop flights to ... St. Louis? Will it be our population, despite the fact that even if you take in the counties surrounding Little Rock it's still a quarter of a million short? Will it be our chamber's (and voters') forward-looking ideas that reject mass transit and would instead gouge out a swath of developable land downtown for a 7-mile, 14-lane freeway? Will the fact that the chamber once described our public schools as a "wasted investment" tempt Amazon?

Or will it be our welcoming attitude toward the LGBT community, as illustrated by a group of people a woman in Leawood who scared off a shelter for homeless gay and transgender kids with threats to out them to people who would harm them? Our legislature's desire to make people lift their skirts before going to the ladies' room to make sure their parts match a birth certificate's gender designation?

And then there is our crime-free reputation.

Yessiree, Little Rock is the perfect place for Amazon to locate.

Sure, it would be great. But when has Little Rock's leadership ever acted "big" and been "creative"?

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