A new lawsuit filed against the Chicago Mayor’s office wants more transparency around the city’s bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters.
Lucy Parsons Labs, a Chicago-based non-profit organization focused on government transparency, announced Thursday that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the mayor’s office, seeking a “full disclosure of information” regarding Chicago’s pitch to woo Amazon. The group says it’s looking for full records of the city’s proposal to be chosen as the site for HQ2.
“Rahm Emanuel and the city of Chicago have a history of secretive dealings that put Chicagoans on the hook for millions and potentially billions of dollars,” Lucy Parsons Labs Executive Director Freddy Martinez said in a statement. “The dreadful parking meter deal was rushed through with similar secrecy, with the result that Chicago taxpayers are facing a decades-long hangover thanks to this corporate giveaway.”
“Instead of taxing massive corporations, we are seeing the chronic defunding of schools, mental health clinics, and other essential services,” he added. “This corporate welfare cannot be allowed to proceed in secret and we intend to expose it.”
Little is known about Chicago’s bid to lure Amazon, aside from the roughly $2 billion in incentives the city and state plan to give the e-commerce giant. Chicago is among 20 cities fighting for HQ2, which Amazon says will eventually create 50,000 jobs with average salaries of $100,000.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of a report earlier this week that said Amazon has required all 20 cities to sign non-disclosure agreements, barring government officials from commenting publicly on the details of the selection process.
Amazon is expected to announce its HQ2 location later this year.