The previous Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang formally introduced his run as New York Metropolis mayor on Thursday morning, promising to rebuild a metropolis that has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The formal announcement got here after Yang launched his first marketing campaign video, directed by the movie director and producer Darren Aronofsky, on Wednesday evening. The video confirmed Yang, sporting a masks that learn “Ahead New York”, going across the metropolis speaking to and elbow-bumping residents.
“The fears for our future that triggered me to run for president have accelerated since this pandemic began,” Yang instructed a small crowd of supporters in Manhattan on Thursday morning. “We have to make New York Metropolis the Covid comeback metropolis, but additionally the anti-poverty metropolis.”
Yang is coming into a crowded subject of a few dozen mayoral candidates that features present and former metropolis officers, a member of Barack Obama’s White Home cupboard and an ex-Wall Road govt. The majority of the motion within the race might be across the Democratic major, which is about to happen on 22 June earlier than the overall election in November.
Earlier than his presidential marketing campaign, Yang, who has not held workplace earlier than, had a low profile because the founding father of Enterprise for America, a not-for-profit group that aimed to assist create jobs in cities harm by the Nice Recession. The launch of his internet-friendly presidential marketing campaign helped him acquire one thing of a cult following, with supporters nicknaming themselves the “Yang Gang”.
On Thursday, Yang dived into the specifics of his platform, on the prime of which is a plan to implement common fundamental revenue – what was the hallmark of his presidential marketing campaign earlier than it led to February of final 12 months. Yang promised to institute “the biggest fundamental revenue program within the historical past of the nation”.
“Two years in the past, nobody would have fathomed Congress would ever ship tens of tens of millions of People across the nation cash with no strings connected,” Yang stated, referring to the stimulus checks that had been included in Congress’s two coronavirus aid payments.
Although he has not but publicly outlined what this system would appear to be, sources have stated the plan may entail 500,000 of the town’s residents receiving between $2,000 and $5,000 and can price an estimated $1bn a 12 months, in line with Gothamist.
Yang stated he additionally goals to repair the town’s “mass transmit mess”, saying that he would push for municipal management of the town’s subways and buses – that are at present beneath state-level management – and promised to have a completely electrical bus system by 2030.
“As mayor, I’ll get across the metropolis by subway, bus or bike as a result of that’s how most New Yorkers get round,” Yang stated, a delicate dig on the present mayor, Invoice de Blasio, who has notoriously taken a black automotive across the metropolis as a substitute of utilizing public transportation.
De Blasio’s reputation has considerably declined throughout his two phrases, after successful on a progressive agenda promising financial and social change in 2013.
The brand new mayor faces long-existing problems with inequality, significantly round housing and policing, which were exacerbated by the pandemic and new ones Covid-19 created.
After shutdown orders and journey restrictions decimated the variety of vacationers and commuters coming into the town, New York now faces an unemployment charge that’s nearly double the nationwide charge and a possible $13bn finances shortfall. The pandemic has shuttered hundreds of small companies within the metropolis.