• The QWoC MBA

Today I Read that 11/20 potential Amazon HQ2 cities may be out of the running

Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder and tech rainmaker who owns the Washington Post which reported the story) is being urged by activists and actors to locate HQ2 in an LGBTQ friendly state.

Quick Summary: Eleven of the 20 finalist cities for Amazon’s second headquarters (HQ2) have not passed comprehensive legal protections for people based on sexuality or gender- some even restrict adoption rights for same-sex couples. Amazon’s HQ2 is expected to result in 50k new jobs and have far reaching economic impacts for the selected city. Activists are urging Bezos to continue his enormous and long standing support of the LGBTQ community and ensure his company values align with his personal values. Mayors of finalist cities in red states believe Amazon may have the power and clout to bring acceptance of the LGBTQ community if they opt to locate in one of the eleven cities targeted by activists.

Big Takeaway: Although it has yet to be defined by the company, one of Amazon’s HQ2 criteria is ‘the presence and support of a diverse population.’

Something I did not know: Miami would be out of the running if Amazon were to take the activists lead.

Makes me feel/think about: I’m impressed and encouraged by the ‘No Gay No Way’ effort! If successful, it can certainly clear the path for more activism in the business world- which we have already seen with the response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. Delta and other companies are standing up in the face of political and potential economic backlash. The notion that activists can impact the direction of a company is impressive- it makes me hope this becomes the norm. It is definitely hard to break through the noise of social media to get a point across and get people to take action when they’re being pulled in so many different directions. Business and politics have always intersected, but now it seems the business stakes are higher than they have ever been.

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