Thinking Citizen Blog — Could Andrew Yang be New York City’s next Mayor?
Thinking Citizen Blog — Sunday is Political Process, Campaign Strategy, and Candidate Selection Day
Today’s Topic: Could Andrew Yang be New York City’s next Mayor? who is he? would you vote for him?
Andrew Yang’s campaign pitch is that he will “make New York City fun again.” Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times says he could win. But who is he really? Is a pragmatic progressive whose big idea as a failed presidential candidate was universal basic income or is a pro-business conservative who supports charter schools? In a March poll Yang was the leading candidate with 16% of respondents picking him as their top choice. In second place was Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President at 10%. But 50% remain undecided. His top selling point seems to be his “ebullience” and positivity. His biggest liability is his lack of experience. In fact, he “has been so detached from city politics that he has never before voted in a mayoral election.” Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES: son of Taiwanese immigrants, lawyer, entrepreneur
1. Born in Schenectady, New York in 1975, he is the son of two Taiwanese immigrants. His father is a physicist with over 50 patents who has worked at IBM and GE. His mother has a master’s degree in statistics, worked as a systems administrator, and has become an artist.
2. While at Phillips Exeter, Yang was on the US national debate team and competed at the World Championships in London. He majored in economics and political science at Brown, graduating in 1996, before going to Columbia Law School (class of 1999).
3. After five months of misery, he quit a corporate law firm to do the start-up thing. Eventually, he became president of a test prep company (Manhattan Prep) that sold out to Kaplan, Inc.
NB: In 2011, he launched “Ventures for America” a non-profit “to create economic opportunity in American cities by mobilizing the next generation of entrepreneurs and equipping them with the skills and resources they need to create jobs.” The goal was to create 100,000. The actual achievement was 4000. In 2017, he left the venture to launch his campaign for US President.
THE US PRESIDENTIAL (2020) AND MAYORAL (2021) CAMPAIGNS
1. Presidential campaign slogans: “Humanity First,” “Not Left, not Right, but Forward,” and “Make America Think Harder” (MATH). His signature policy proposal was universal basic income. Filing with the Federal Election Commission in November 2017, he was able to meet the polling and fundraising thresholds to qualify for the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth Democratic debates.
2. He dropped out of the race in February 2020 and endorsed Biden in March.
3. He announced his candidacy for Mayor of New York in January 2021. He has been endorsed by New York City Council member Margaret Chin, New York Assemblyman Ron Kim, civil rights leader Martin Luther King III, and comedian Whoopi Goldberg. The Democratic and Republican primaries will be held on June 22, 2021 and the general election will be on November 2, 2021.
NB: “He’s a charismatic novice with good branding dominating in a fragmented field of experienced political figures…He has a self-perpetuating way of sucking up all the media oxygen: to write about the Yang phenomenon, as I am here, is to contribute to it.” (Michele Goldberg, NYT)
FIRST YEAR OF RANKED CHOICE VOTING IN NEW YORK CITY
1. “It could help Yang because he’s so well known, leading supporters of other candidates to pick him as their second or third choice.”
2. “Or it could hurt him by consolidating the voters of constituencies that he has alienated.”
3. In ranked choice voting you can vote for up to five candidates in order of preference.
NB: See last link for more details on how ranked choice voting works.
Here is a link to the last three years of posts organized by theme:
Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to political process or campaign strategy or 2020 candidate selection or anything else for that matter.
This is your chance to make some one else’s day or change their thinking. Or to consolidate in your own memory something worth remembering that might otherwise be lost. Or to clarify or deepen your own understanding of something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.