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Chicago civic leaders team up in new push for Amazon’s HQ2

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Chicagoans are “all in,” says the campaign video

A conceptual rendering of Amazon’s HQ2 at Bronzeville’s old Michael Reese Hospital site.

Though things have been relatively quiet on the Amazon front since Chicago made the shortlist of 20 North American cities still being considered for the company’s lucrative HQ2 campus, a newly formed group—entirely independent of Chicago’s official bid—has embarked on its own marketing push to woo the tech giant.

Consisting of 18 local public relations and communications companies, the People’s Pitch has launched a campaign dubbed “We’re All In for Amazon.” Its latest video features 16 Chicago business, cultural, and civic leaders including Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy, DePaul University’s Monsignor Ken Velo, and the staff of Kuma’s Corner.

The two-minute clip touts many of Chicago’s key selling points such as the city’s diverse population, vibrant neighborhoods, and educational resources.

According to the People’s Pitch, the individuals in the video are just the tip of the iceberg and are joined by a growing list of more then 600 Chicago leaders and organizations. The campaign allows regular Chicagoans who may not have participated in City Hall’s official bid to join the cause and be heard.

“My colleagues and I work with people all over the city and we have heard overwhelming support for Amazon and one common question: How can I help? How can I get involved?” explained David Goldenberg of Resolute Consulting, one of the 18 firms behind the campaign.

“Obviously Amazon is good for Chicago, but we want to show what Chicago can do for Amazon,” said Goldenberg. “We want to hear about it from Chicagoans.” The People’s Pitch will kickoff a citywide contest to crowdsource the “Ultimate Chicago Itinerary” for Amazon officials visiting the city.

The campaign is expected to roll out more video testimonials in the coming weeks. The city’s official HQ2 pitch video—reportedly narrated by William Shatner to appeal to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo’s deep love of Star Trek—has yet to be made publicly available.

Considered to be the most coveted prize in corporate expansion history, the HQ2 deal is estimated to bring 50,000 high-tech jobs and a $5 billion of investment to its host city. No word yet as to when the Amazon is expected to announce its winner.

The 20 North American cities still in the running for Amazon’s HQ2. The finalists were culled from a list of over 230 applicants.