Opinion: Students lobbying for Atlanta as ideal home of Amazon HQ2

Dear Amazon:

We are writing to you on behalf of the over 600 students from 12 universities across Georgia who are excited and prepared to welcome Amazon’s HQ2 to Atlanta.

We are Emory University students who came together to launch the #WhyAtlanta campaign because we believe Atlanta is the best location for your HQ2. We know that after multiple rounds of city visits you have collected a tremendous amount of data, analyzed countless offer proposals, and have met with each city’s government, corporate, and education leaders.

However, we want to shed light on the perspective of your future workforce – students. We asked college students across the state of Georgia to join us in sharing our voice in your HQ2 selection process.

From our perspective, this is #WhyAtlanta.

Atlanta is in a formative growth period. This growth is dynamic, influenced not only by traditional institutions but also by the people who experience it directly. As students ourselves we are taking charge in shaping the direction of our home. Our love for Atlanta transcends traditional city loyalty; we are not only proud of our city, we are also personally invested in driving it forward.

This mindset is what sparked the #WhyAtlanta campaign, a student-driven initiative that highlights young adult perspectives in Atlanta through a video contest and survey. Over 600 students from Georgia Tech, UGA, Emory, The Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Southern University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Oglethorpe University, the University of North Georgia, Kennesaw State University and Mercer University joined us in this movement.

The #WhyAtlanta campaign is evidence of its own message — Atlanta’s students are uniquely poised and driven to deliver positive change and innovation. What we see in Amazon as a company is what we see in ourselves as a community – a group of people motivated by the relentless drive to be the change we wish to see.

Why listen to us? You have expressed that both university students and a talented workforce are critical elements of your decision criteria. We know you have a large amount of data on students across the nation, and our goal is to add color, perspective, and spirit to that data.

Statistics can show where we have worked, what we have studied, and what we have achieved.

However, what data can’t fully provide is the qualitative context of what drives our decisions right now, and will drive them in the future.

Because we are on the ground at these Georgia universities and engage with students every day, we are uniquely positioned to represent the culture, priorities, goals, and motivations of many of our collegiate peers. Our drive at all levels to make an impact in our city originates from Atlanta’s talented workforce, dynamic economic climate, and strong community culture.

These qualities make Atlanta an ideal second home for Amazon.

We are humbled and excited by the passion and platform this initiative has afforded students across the state of Georgia. This collective voice, this drive toward impact, and this love for our community is, for us, #WhyAtlanta.