By Ashley Kooblall
Frontrunner mayoral candidate Andrew Yang is one of eight Democratic candidates looking to get New Yorkers back on their feet as state pandemic numbers drop, and succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), whose term in office expires at the end of the year.
“I love this city, with all my heart,” the former 2020 presidential candidate said. “I could not stand back and just do nothing. That’s not me, it’s not in my matrix. I want to step in and help as many people as I can,” Yang added in anticipation of making history as NYC’s first Asian American mayor.
A son of Taiwanese immigrants, Yang’s progressive run comes at a critical moment for Asian Americans who want to climb out of political invisibility – both nationally and locally.
“New York City has left behind countless communities across the city, including many of our West Indian neighbors who stepped up during the pandemic as essential workers, and who struggle every single day to make ends meet,” Yang said of his diverse coalition of support.
The tech entrepreneur has not only shown an escalating approval rate among many diverse Asian American communities in New York City, but in that vein, more than a dozen Asian American candidates have been motivated to run for City Council this year, one of which includes Japneet Singh, eyeing the seat for District 28.
Singh, who believes Yang’s presidential campaign was not only an inspiration to Asian Americans across the country, comments that Yang’s mayoral run in New York City is equally monumental. “Yang is an important political player for the NYC mayoral race because it adds accountability and ensures that people can make the choice that best represents their interests,” the 27-year-old Punjabi American said.
However, Yang’s increasingly powerful force lies in is his plan on setting up a “people’s bank,” launching the largest basic income program in the history of the country. If successful, the initiative will provide $1 billion in cash relief directly in the hands of New Yorkers who need it the most.
Yang’s promise to become the “people’s mayor,” – a moniker he may very well earn through the development of the “people’s bank,” – is a highly anticipated development to be revealed.
The Democratic primary is scheduled for June 22nd.