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Gov. Snyder, Help Flint Win the New Amazon Headquarters Bid [OPINION]

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Many people believe that Governor Rick Snyder has failed the City of Flint, but he could play a pivotal role in an unprecedented comeback for the city.

Amazon just announced that they were looking for a second home. A new city in which to setup up another headquarters, outside of their current Seattle location. They are currently accepting bids and proposals from community leaders, as the new headquarters brings roughly 50,000 good-paying jobs to whichever community is chosen. This is exactly the kind of thing Flint needs to jump start our slow moving economic

This is exactly the kind of thing Flint needs to jump start our currently slow-moving comeback. Sure, Flint has its problems, but an economic boost like this would make large strides in solving a great many of the problems our city faces. With a jump in the tax base, a boatload of new jobs, and capable leadership (which we do not have at the moment) — most of our problems would be easily fixed. We could fix our infrastructure, increase police presence, and blight removal would essentially take care of itself with all the new housing and businesses that would be needed.

That all sounds great on paper, but how do we get there? Why would Amazon want to come here? Well, it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Detroit has seen more and more industry coming there in the last decade, but they’re running out of space. As MLive mentioned last week, Southeast Michigan is running out of available acreage near freeways — not us though. The kind of real estate a giant like Amazon would need is the one thing that Flint has to offer that the others do not… and a lot of it. Plus, we offer virtually all of the same advantages to businesses that the Detroit area does.

Over the past six years, Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle have resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy. Imagine what that could do for Flint. We have been hurting since the erosion of our automotive industry began decades ago, and have yet to fill that void. For years, I have hoped that somebody would decide to help us. Really, all it would take is one giant company to step in to turn things around. So Jeff Bezos and the people at Amazon, if you’re reading this — please consider Flint for your new home. Together, we could do some truly remarkable things.

This is where Governor Rick Snyder comes in. He is, at the end of the day, a businessman and could play a major role in making sure Flint puts forth a proper proposal to pull in the new Amazon headquarters. Working together with local officials, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, and other local economic development entities, they could put together a deal so sweet that Amazon couldn’t say no.

Rick, your relationship with Flint has not always been the best, and that’s putting it lightly. Help us do this one thing right, and it will speak volumes about the kind of person you are, and how committed you are to making life better for the people of Flint, and your constituents at large. Making things like this happen for Michigan is exactly what you campaigned on, is it not?

Sure, this all sounds like a pipe dream now, and maybe it is, but nothing would look better than headlines like “Amazon: The Company That Saved an Entire City.” Big companies love that kind of publicity. It’s crazy, but it’s not that crazy.

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