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14 September 2018, 05:29 | Kelvin Horton
While communities across the country earned looks from Amazon, the D.C. region has always been viewed as a favorite to earn Amazon's new headquarters after the company listed Northern Virginia, Maryland and D.C. among its 20 finalists in January.
- Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos was in the District Thursday night as he was the featured guest at the Economic Club of Washington D.C.'s Milestone Celebration Dinner at the Washington Hilton. "You're really improving their odds".
But the attacks on the press - while risky - aren't stronger than USA institutions, Bezos said. Where are the opportunities to make things better?
In January, Bezos donated $33 million for college scholarships to "Dreamers"- childhood undocumented immigrants allowed to stay in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the world's largest private nonprofit foundation has an endowment worth over $40 billion USA and has long supported homelessness services for families in the city.
Bezos, and Amazon, have been criticized in Seattle for not doing more to help the needy and have become focal points in the booming region's angry debate about traffic, housing prices and homelessness. And Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has held Bezos up as an example of a leader of a company that does not pay its workers enough. "That is what a rigged economy looks like".
Within this, the "Day 1 Families Fund" will support existing non-profit organizations that offer shelter and food to young homeless families.
Despite his "world's wealthiest man" title, Bezos isn't known for his philanthropy in the same way as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, often preferring to focus on long-term initiatives. Almost 200 people from 22 countries have signed on, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla's Elon Musk, Carl Icahn, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Turner.
While the online retail giant's presence made Seattle the fastest-growing big city in the USA, it also has taken a toll on its residents, driving up rent prices, clogging traffic and overwhelming public transportation. Bezos responded: "Yeah, if there's anything left after I finish building Blue Origin". "I don't feel the need to defend Amazon". "But I will say this: I do think it's a mistake for any elected official to attack media and journalists".
What Trump "should say (of criticism) is, 'This is right, this is good. I am glad I am being scrutinized, ' and that would be so secure and confident", Bezos said in comments reported by Reuters.
Demonising the media and calling them "the enemies of the people" is risky, Bezos said. It's unsafe to call the media low-lifes. "It's risky to call the media lowlifes".
"September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and each year Amazon partners with @ACCOrg to raise awareness of childhood cancer - second leading cause of death for kids in the United States between ages 4 and 14', he wrote in an Instagram post shared". The child will be the customer. "Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession", he tweeted. "We're going to be scientific when we can be, and we're going to use heart and intuition when we have to".
Jeff Bezos said the new Day One Fund was inspired by his "Day 1 mentality".
With a personal fortune of US$163.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the Amazon chief executive officer had been largely invisible in the world of philanthropy.
"We live in a society where it's not just the laws of the land that protect us", he added.
This article was written by Christian Davenport and Abha Bhattarai, reporters for The Washington Post.
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