Former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has officially announced his bid to become the city’s next mayor, which he announced alongside a promise to institute a cash giveaway program to half-a-million New Yorkers.
His official plans for announcing his candidacy were revealed on Wednesday when it was reported that Yang would unveil his candidacy in Morningside Heights, where the Schenectady native first lived when he moved to New York City in 1996. He did just that today, before making his way through different parts of the city, via public transportation, to meet with elected officials in voter-rich neighborhoods. He is also planning a lunch with Queens Borough President Donovan Richards along with a walking tour with Assemblymember Latrice Walker, who represents Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Yang posted about the historic move on Instagram, captioning a photo of himself wearing a mask that says “Forward New York.”
“I moved to New York City 25 years ago. I came of age, fell in love, and became a father here,” he wrote. “Seeing our City in so much pain breaks my heart. Let’s fight for a future New York City that we can be proud of – together.”
During this rollout, Yang announced a local version of his “Universal Basic Income” proposal, something he focused on heavily during his attempt to become the Democratic party’s presidential nominee last year.
The mayoral hopeful is vowing to launch what his team said would be the largest program of its kind nationally — a proposal to give 500,000 New Yorkers living in poverty between $2,000 and $5,000 per year. His 2-page plan indicated that he would spend $1 billion a year from the roughly $90 billion city budget while relying on grants from philanthropic groups to support the initiative.
One thing that’s been brought up since Yang announced his plan to run for Mayor of New York City is the fact that he, himself, didn’t even vote for the position in past elections. When asked about his voting history today, he said, “I would definitely admit to being one of approximately 87 percent of New Yorkers” who didn’t vote in a local election.