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

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Bezos, the founder of, said he would begin with an initial commitment of $2 billion to create what he called the Day One Fund.

And earlier this year, under pressure from Amazon and other large employers, Seattle's city council repealed an employee head tax that would have funded housing and services for the homeless.

"That's what a rigged economy is about", Sanders said, as he introduced the bill.

Bezos has made headlines lately, promising $2 billion to fight homelessness and substandard preschool education after some bad publicity last week when Sen.

The second will launch a network of "high-quality, full-scholarship" preschools in low-income communities, which a Day One Fund organization will directly operate. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary's Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession.

The announcement marks a deeper foray into philanthropy for Mr Bezos, whose fortune has soared to more than $160 billion thanks to his stake in Amazon, making him the world's richest person, according to Forbes. Jeff Bezos's net worth is about $150 billion, so this campaign represents a little over 1% of that.

Bezos said he selected these two areas after getting thousands of ideas from an appeal he launched on Twitter a year ago. He wrote that he wanted to help "people in the here and now - short term - at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact".

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The missive set off a frenzy of responses, including pleas to support health care, loan forgiveness and even offbeat appeals to back a leather fetish museum in Chicago. "They're still going to want a big selection". The Washington Post's top editor has said that Bezos has no involvement in its news coverage.

"The Bezos Family Foundation - and Jeff obviously has a role in that - has been engaged with early learning initiatives for years now", Burgess said, adding that it could only help the political momentum toward universal pre-K, as Seattle's preschool program is also once again on the ballot in November.

Employees at Amazon followed Jeff Bezos example and also started 'PJammin'.

"I don't know how much I'm going to give away", he told economic club president David Rubenstein. This year, Gates also announced it was taking up systemic poverty in the U.S.

American billionaire philanthropy is spreading elsewhere.

Take the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

Launched in 1994 as an online bookseller, Amazon has become a retail powerhouse operating globally, and has expanded into streaming video, music, cloud computing and other segments, and a year ago acquired the Whole Foods grocery chain.