Two Seattleites want people to stop buying products and services from Amazon.com until the company shows more concern for its impact on Seattle.
Reifman is a veteran of the Seattle-area tech community who has examined Amazon’s effect on Seattle with everything from dating to political engagement. In a blog post announcing Flee the Jungle, Reifman wrote that he does not have hostility toward Amazon, but is not supportive of the company due to its lack of “responsible investments in transit and our community.”
“I am deeply concerned about Amazon’s harmful impacts on our beloved Emerald City and how little CEO Jeff Bezos and the company seems to care,” he wrote.
Here’s more from Reifman on the inspiration for Flee the Jungle:
“If you’re wondering why we would build a site like this to impact a great company like Amazon, the answer is that Amazon’s run by a wealthy libertarian who’s shown only modest concern for his home community as his company’s growth has dramatically impacted the city — good in some ways, but largely problematically in many: we have massive traffic, rising un-affordability forcing residents out of their neighborhoods, severe gender problems, gentrification and even a rise in hate crimes against the LGBTQ community here.”
Reifman launched Flee the Jungle with Snowden, an artist and social media consultant who just moved back home from the Bay Area.
“She was disappointed to see a lot of the changes that drove her to leave happening here,” Reifman said of Snowden.
Reifman said he’ll support Amazon if the company makes a series of changes. He asks Amazon to commit 2.5 percent of its revenue to public transit development in Seattle, announce political support for comprehensive affordable housing initiatives, and support the hiring of more woman and minorities.
“The truth is that Amazon’s quickly turning Seattle into a traffic-congested mess for a wealthy mostly white male class of what many call ‘brogrammers,'” he wrote. “If the rest of us wish to restore mobility, housing affordability and cultural diversity here, it’s time to slow Amazon down and force them to engage in these issues progressively.”
Last week, Amazon blew past Wall Street’s expectations for its second quarter earnings and posted a surprising $92 million in profit off $23.18 billion in revenue. As a result, Amazon’s stock went soaring in after-hours trading, rising 17 percent to an all-time high of $567 per share, while pushing Amazon’s market capitalization past Walmart to $250 billion.
“As the company approaches $100 billion in annual revenue, it certainly has the funds to build a brighter future in Seattle — it’s just currently choosing to ignore its harmful impacts on our city,” Reifman wrote today.