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Last week, on a bright, brisk Monday afternoon in New York City, about 30 people huddled together on a street corner in the heart of the Queensbridge Houses, a sprawling public-housing community in Long Island City, at the edge of Queens. It was a diverse crowd of local residents—people of different races, ages, and ethnicities—who had come together for a single purpose: to celebrate.

One after another, the people there approached a makeshift microphone in the middle of the sidewalk to rejoice in the news that Amazon, one of the world’s most powerful corporations, had ended its bid to build a new headquarters in their corner of the city.

“People say that they are surprised that Queens is such a force, but I say that we have always been hot, because we have women power, we have immigrant power, and, most importantly, we have people power,” said Tania Mattos, an organizer with the grassroots community group Queens Neighborhoods United, of Amazon’s retreat. “This is a new day for Queens and for New York City. And it feels good to be on the right side of history.”

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