Amazon's CEO Starts $2 Billion Fund for Schools, Homeless

Bezos Amazon board visiting Washington but no headquarters announcement planned

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seems to be Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant's arch-nemesis, so it only makes sense that she would have something to say about the entrepreneur's $2 billion charitable fund toward homelessness and education.

Citing the Amazon mantra of customer obsession, Bezos said in a tweet "the child will be the customer".

Many on Twitter, however, did not hurry to heap praise on Bezos' new endeavor, pointing out Amazon's practices of underpaying its workers and forcing employees to work in stuffy warehouses without air conditioning. "September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month", he wrote in an Instagram post shared about 10 hours ago, explaining that every year, Amazon ties up with the American Childhood Cancer Organisation to raise awareness of childhood cancer, which is the second leading cause of death for kids in the U.S. between ages 4 and 14. Amazon warehouse employees are known to have bad working conditions, pitiful wages, and have even been forced into homelessness after workplace injuries.

He said the cash will also provide funding to launch and operate "a network of high-quality, full-scholarship" pre-schools in "underserved communities". Naturally, it was easy for Sawant and others to target Amazon, but 500 businesses would have been subject to the tax, which is about 3 percent of the city's companies. His net worth has risen by $64.7 billion this year alone as Amazon's shares have surged.

Bezos solicited ideas on Twitter previous year for ways to donate some of his wealth.

In 2016, Bezos was asked if he planned to pursue philanthropy like Gates has.

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Many Twitter users agreed with that reasoning. "If billionaires like Bezos were properly taxed then we wouldn't need billionaires like Bezos to sweep in and "rescue" people failed by our underfunded systems," one wrote.

The newspaper says Bezos has no involvement in its news coverage.

Among the world's top tech CEOs, Bezos is not known for his philanthropy. "Jeff Bezos is our enemy, he is our enemy", Sawant said before the council voted.

"Another way we're raising awareness is through our special #GoGold boxes - you may receive one during September", he added.

Bezos has yet to sign the Giving Pledge, an initiative launched by Gates encouraging billionaires to commit to giving away most of their wealth.

The Amazon chief's wealth has become problematic for some.

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