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Opinion: Los Angeles should not sacrifice its urban soul to lure Amazon

Construction at the Amazon campus in downtown Seattle in April 2017.
(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

To the editor: I find it troubling to see great cities across the country so quickly bending the knee to a corporate behemoth that will, without question, change the cultural fabric that makes the bidding towns great in the first place. (“The groveling to win Amazon’s new headquarters has gotten embarrassing. Stop it,” editorial, Oct. 17)

The cities vying for Amazon’s second headquarters have spent generations establishing their own cultural identities. These cities are rooted in communities who built strong academic and arts-based institutions for societal needs and not those of an online disruptor whose main goal is world domination.

I honestly wonder how many representatives from the bidding cities have visited South Lake Union in Seattle since joining Amazon’s corporate kowtow. Because if they have, they would see how bland and ordinary this pocket of Seattle has become with Amazon as its biggest presence.

I happily choose to be in the minority while praying Amazon doesn’t choose Los Angeles as its new second home. We choose to live in cities for a reason and prefer to leave the suburban corporate office parks where they belong.

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Bill Harrison, West Hollywood

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To the editor: Is it just me, or does the competition to woo Amazon smell just like those NFL relocation dramas?

Yes, the ancillary benefits of having an Amazon campus or distribution center in a city would seem to be much more obvious than those of building a new NFL stadium, but I still question the wisdom of giving up known benefits for the unknown potential.

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Amazon should provide measurable guarantees as to the benefits to be realized, with cities enforcing penalties for any failure to deliver.

Dale S. Weikel, Bullhead City, Ariz.

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