Andrew Yang, the businessman who won nationally during his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, officially announced the launch of his campaign for mayor of New York on Wednesday evening.
Yang, 46, is on the headlines of a group of candidates touting their intention to reopen the city following a coronavirus pandemic that has virtually shut down local businesses in recent months. The former entrepreneur described several of the platform’s goals in a video post announcing his candidacy, including establishing a universal basic income for New York residents.
“Seeing my city as it is now breaks my heart,” Yang said. “We need to realize Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a guaranteed minimum income and put money in the hands of those who need it most. our children can learn. We will take back control of our metro. “
Yang was considered one of the early favorites in the New York mayoral race when he filed documents last month to run for office. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, has come under heavy criticism in recent months for his handling of the pandemic. He is in his second term and cannot seek a third.
The founder of the nonprofit Venture for America, Yang exceeded expectations during a presidential campaign in which he called for the implementation of the “freedom dividend”, or universal basic income of $ 1000 per month, as a control against job losses related to automation. He retired from the race last February as President-elect Joe Biden clearly gained a lead.
“I am running for mayor for my two boys, for you and for every New Yorker,” Yang said. “Let’s fight for a future New York that we can all be proud of.”
In the days leading up to his mayoral bid being announced, Yang faced mounting scrutiny from critics who questioned the strength of his ties to New York. This criticism escalated after Yang confirmed that he had moved from his New York apartment to his family home in New Paltz during the pandemic.
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Yang caused an uproar on social media after telling the New York Times that he decided to move because of the cramped conditions in his two-bedroom apartment. Critics have pointed out that New Yorkers have faced the same scenario for months, often in apartments smaller than his.
“All parents in New York have struggled to educate our children during a time of COVID. I have been proud to live, work and raise my children in this city for 25 years,” Yang said in response to criticism. “After COVID closed our public schools, we took our two children, including my autistic son, to upstate New York to help him adjust to our new normal.”
Other early mayoral candidates include New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.