LETTER: Legislative action hurts Indy’s Amazon chances

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Rumors and stories in the media have the Indy metro area as one of the top 10 or top four in the bidding for Amazon’s HQ2, which would mean 50,000 jobs plus another 35,000 jobs created to support Amazon.

Indy has many assets, especially land and low cost of living. But it lacks in one of Amazon’s requirements—strong public transit. Indy is working on that, however. The real place it’s lacking is in the suburbs. In Hamilton County, Fishers and Noblesville took steps backward by dumping the train to the fairgrounds rather than improve it and connect it to the Indy bus system which could take people to downtown.

Perhaps most detrimental to our area’s bid for HQ2 is the backward image created for our state by the actions and lack of actions by our state government. It is good to remember that Amazon would be bringing or seeking to attract thousands of highly educated personnel from Seattle, California, the East Coast and universities in the Midwest.

We are among the bottom six states in wage disparity between men and women. We are one of only five states without CBD legalization. Legislation has passed that will stifle an infant solar industry. Our air quality has been decried as one of the worst in the nation. Our current administration and Legislature gives the impression that special-interest money is in control as shown in the Yellowwood State Forest and loan-shark rate actions. We are still one of only five states without hate crime legislation. No redistricting reform. And that’s not even counting the damage done by former Gov. Mike Pence and his anti-LBGTQ actions. Remember, diversity is one of the requirements Amazon is looking for.

Coming up behind Amazon is a new campus planned by Apple. If the dominant Republicans in control of Indiana’s government cannot move us ahead so we become the magnet for Amazon, Apple and other far-sighted corporations, then it is time to give the other side a chance to move us forward.

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Michael Boland

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