Andrew Yang’s Bid for NYC Mayor

Andrew Yangs Bid for NYC Mayor

By Jieun Paik

To those who have been following the progression of the 2020 election, Andrew Yang is a familiar name amongst previous Democratic candidates. He started his campaign on November 6, 2017 with the memorable slogan “Make America Think Harder” (MATH, for short). At first, the idea of being president seemed daunting and impossible, but he was able to garner attention when he guest-starred in former comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast. The two-hour podcast turned out to be a risky but essential step in his career, as he was able to tackle his policies in a way that was approachable even to the average listener. As he started to gain traction in the polls, his approachability proved to be the key to his success as a candidate. By what he calls a “miracle”, he was able to scrape by in numbers, barely qualifying for the Democratic primary debates.

His campaign unofficially ended when he did not qualify for January’s debate. Yang realized that it would be more beneficial to endorse another Democratic candidate rather than continue on, and he officially ended his campaign on February 11, 2020. He endorsed Joe Biden for president just a month later.

To many, he represents a future of Asian Americans in politics. Yang states that he is proud to be the first Asian-American Democratic presidential candidate to run in the primaries, and has paved the way for many more to come.

One of my goals in the campaign was imagining what it’d be like for me as a young Asian American kid turning on the TV and seeing an Asian American presidential candidate on the debate stage,” Yang said on CNN. “And the fact that we made that happen seven times and helped open people’s eyes to the fact that Asian Americans can contribute to this country at the highest levels, it gives me a lot of joy and pride.”

When he announced his withdrawal from the election, he also mentioned the possibility of running in the NYC Mayor’s race.

There wasn’t much word on his plans after that, but on January 14th, he announced his run to be New York’s mayor. His policies stayed largely the same, but in a turn for the slightly bizarre, he also announced that he would include a policy to attract Tiktokers to New York in a Hype-House-like collective of viral teens. This obviously led to some backlash, being critiqued as a cheap way to draw in young people and not actually a stable policy. But it seems to have done its job, going viral on Twitter, although if as a joke or not remains to be unseen. Yang has also stated that he will do his best to reopen New York City post-covid and to “speed up” vaccinations by sending out mobile vaccination stations.

Martin Luther King Jr Day, January 18, Martin Luther King III shared his endorsement of Andrew Yang. He explained that Yang’s policy of universal basic income was what his father advocated for and that Yang’s policies and leadership would qualify him as a mayor for NYC. King stated that he would be the co-chairman in Yang’s campaign.

Although Andrew Yang remains a wild-card among candidates, there is no doubt that he is one of the most well-recognized names in the running, thanks to his past running for president. There is no guarantee of his success, however, but many remain hopeful for his pragmatic approach to politics.

“I think that his return to politics after dropping out of the 2020 Presidential Election race is interesting, and wonder what he’ll try bringing to the table. I also wonder how experienced he is, considering that he is pretty young and that this is his first time running for mayor.” Hills Sophomore Sophia Kim says.

The primary elections are set for June 22, 2021.