When Amazon Expands, These Communities Pay the Price

12/09/2021
Amazon shipping boxes all stacked up.
Source: Amazon's Facebook page

"Last year, with little warning, a new Amazon delivery station brought the rumble of semitrailer trucks and delivery vans to Chicago’s Gage Park neighborhood.

The warehouse is located within 1,500 feet of five schools, in a residential area where more than half the people living within a mile have low incomes, and almost 90 percent are Hispanic.

The neighborhood is one of hundreds across the U.S. where Amazon’s dramatic recent expansion has introduced huge commercial operations. Residents near the new warehouses say they face increased air pollution from trucks and vans, more dangerous streets for kids walking or biking, and other quality-of-life issues, such as clogged traffic and near-constant noise.

“They come in with the pretense of creating jobs, but in reality we know that these jobs are exploitative of our communities,” says Neighbors for Environmental Justice's Alfredo Romo. “Our communities have historically been asked to sacrifice our health in the name of jobs.”

Like Gage Park, the majority of these neighborhoods nationwide are home to a greater share of residents of color and people with low incomes than the typical neighborhood in the same urban area, according to a Consumer Reports investigation."

Read the full investigation about the detrimental impacts Amazon's arrival has on low-income, communities of color.