Andrew Yang dropped out of the presidential race on February 11, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Yang wants to give Americans a universal basic income of $1,000 a month to address economic inequality. The son of immigrants from Taiwan briefly worked as a lawyer before entering the world of startups.
B.A., Brown University, 1996; Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 1999
January 13, 1975
Founder, Venture for America, 2011-2017; Managing director, then CEO, of Manhattan Prep, 2006-2011; Vice president of a health care startup, 2002-2005
YANG IN THE NEWS
Why Andrew Yang's mayoral campaign failed
Updated 8:59 AM ET, Thu Jun 24, 2021
As soon as the election returns started coming in Tuesday night in New York City, it was clear things had not gone well for mayoral candidate Andrew Yang. In the first round of rank choice voting tabulations, he finished a distant fourth -- after having spent much of the winter and spring as a leading candidate in this race. Yang entered the mayoral campaign fresh off an unsuccessful presidential campaign, where his innovative ideas around universal basic income, sharp focus on the challenges posed by automation and artificial intelligence, and upbeat demeanor seemingly caught the attention of pundits and voters alike. Yet he failed to realize the kind of coalition he would need to build to win a Democratic primary in New York. Instead of focusing much energy on Black and Latino voters, he tried to cobble together a new coalition of Asian Americans, ultra-Orthodox Jews and young moderates. And, even in that, he appears to have only partially succeeded. While there is no exit poll data, according to a New York Times map created from Board of Elections data, Yang performed well in the Chinese Americans parts of Queens and Manhattan. But overall in Queens, which should have been his strongest borough because of its substantial Asian American population, Yang finished a disappointing third behind two African American candidates, Eric Adams and Maya Wiley. Yang also finished third in Staten Island, the borough that produced by far the fewest votes in Tuesday's primary, and fourth in the other three boroughs. Yang's ultra-Orthodox Jewish supporters, according to precinct level data, stuck with him, but he did not expand his base much beyond that. Additionally, in more moderate parts of Manhattan, like the Upper East Side, he was trounced by Kathryn Garcia. Yang's campaign got very little support in heavily Black and Latino parts of the city, including central Brooklyn, southeast Queens, northern Manhattan and almost all of the Bronx. In those areas, which constitute a significant portion of primary voters, Adams and Wiley performed best -- and this is likely why they have been catapulted to first and second place in the first round of ballot counting. But there is more to Yang's dismal showing than just demographics and the enduring power of the Black vote in New York City Democratic politics. During the campaign, Yang transformed from the upbeat and innovative candidate we saw in 2020 presidential race into a seemingly angry urban reactionary. Yang began the race as cheerleader for post-Covid New York. Although he presented several policy proposals to get the city back on track, such as providing cash for the poorest people in the city and free tutoring for public school children, as the campaign progressed and crime became a dominant issue, Yang drifted from his idealism to fiery conservative rhetoric about getting tough on crime. He even began the last debate by boasting of the support he had from the Captain's Benevolent Association, a prominent police union. It was almost as if Yang didn't realize that police unions are not so popular among Democratic primary voters in New York. In that same debate, Yang responded to a question about helping people who are mentally ill by showing a flash of temper when he said they "have rights, but you know who else have rights? We do. The people and families of the city" -- further minimizing the needs of this already marginalized community. Shortly after, in a radio interview, he fleshed out his comments. "We all see these mentally ill people on our streets and subways. And you know who else sees them? Tourists. And then they don't come back, and they tell their friends, 'Don't go to New York City.'" To be sure, there is an audience for that kind of insensitivity, but, as is evidence from some of the early precinct data, they do not reside in neighborhoods like the Upper West Side, Chelsea, Harlem, Park Slope or other areas where large numbers of Democratic primary voters live. Additionally, the candidate who ran for president by claiming he wanted to "Make America Think Harder," found himself arguing that ultra-Orthodox yeshivas should not have to improve their non-religious curricula, even though, according to education nonprofit Yaffed, they often offer subpar secular education. Mayoral candidate Yang, who as a presidential candidate stressed the need for Americans to learn more science and math, was willing to give ultra-Orthodox Jews a pass on that in exchange for their votes. Yang has run for office twice and lost badly each time, so he likely does not have a future in elected politics. Some might say this is unfortunate since Yang has a lot to offer. But based on what we saw Tuesday, New York Democrats decided they weren't interested in anything the former presidential candidate was offering.
Yang supports the vision outlined in the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, though he’s expressed skepticism about how quickly its goals could be achieved. He released a plan in August 2019 calling on the US to be a global leader on an issue that is “destabilizing the world.” His plan calls for the US to “move our people to higher ground” while investing in research on removing carbon from the atmosphere and expanding the sustainable energy sector. Yang also proposes passing a constitutional amendment “that creates a duty on the federal and state governments to be stewards for the environment.” He has said he would ensure the US participates in the Paris climate agreement – a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon – but argues that the agreement should do more to curb climate change. More on Yang’s climate crisis policy
Yang’s central focus has been his push for a universal basic income, which he has dubbed “the Freedom Dividend.” His plan would provide $1,000 a month for American citizens 18 and older, to be paid for by a value-added tax – which is harder for companies or individuals to avoid than traditional corporate and income taxes, Yang argues. He has also promised new government positions and agencies – including a Department of Technology based in Silicon Valley – to address industrial automation and the spread of artificial intelligence. “The goal should not be to save jobs,” he told CNN in April 2019. “The goal should be to make our lives better.” More on Yang’s economic policy
Yang opposes making four-year colleges tuition-free, a step he argues would benefit too few people. Instead, he proposes investing in vocational training, including by making community colleges free or nearly free. To reduce student debt, Yang says, he would immediately lower interest rates on government-backed loans. He would also support various debt forgiveness measures, and backs closing colleges with low employment rates for graduates and “high loan default rates,” according to his campaign’s website. More on Yang’s education policy
Yang would work to establish a three-tiered, federally mandated gun licensing system. Each tier would expand the type of firearms an individual would be able to purchase or own. He would also create a voluntary gun buyback program, increase funding for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and US Department of Veterans Affairs suicide prevention efforts and invest in “a more robust mental health infrastructure,” according to his campaign website. More on Yang’s gun violence policy
Yang advocates universal, government-backed health care, though he wouldn’t outlaw private insurance. He also favors having the government set prices for medical services. He supports lowering drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies, as well as by having the government manufacture generic drugs. More on Yang’s health care policy
Yang wants to expand visa programs to attract skilled workers and retain graduates of US colleges, including granting automatic green cards to all students who earn graduate degrees from US universities. He supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, particularly young adults brought to the US as children, as part of a comprehensive immigration overhaul. He would also create a new category with an 18-year path to citizenship for those who have paid taxes and not been convicted of any felonies. More on Yang’s immigration policy
LATEST POLITICAL NEWS
Ex-Oregon GOP state lawmaker banned from state Capitol after pleading guilty to misconduct charge
Updated 10:34 PM ET, Tue Jul 27, 2021
Former Oregon GOP state Rep. Mike Nearman has been banned from the state Capitol and its grounds after pleading guilty Tuesday to official misconduct in the first degree, a charge that stemmed from an incident in December in which he helped protesters enter the closed building. Nearman was sentenced to serve 18 months of probation and to perform 80 hours of community service, according to a release from the Marion County district attorney's office. He was also ordered to pay $2,700 in restitution for damage caused to the building, in addition to the ban. CNN has reached out to Nearman's attorney for comment. Nearman had been charged with misconduct and second-degree criminal trespass, according to court records, in connection with help he gave to protesters opposed to the state's Covid-19 restrictions. In early June, newly surfaced video showed him appearing to give protesters insights into how to access the state Capitol, which led to a scuffle between protesters and police in December 2020. In the 78-minute video reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting, Nearman is seen speaking to an unidentified audience about steps to take to set up "Operation Hall Pass." The clip, which is posted on YouTube, says it was streamed on December 16, 2020. At the beginning of the video, Nearman tells the people in attendance that this will allow them to "develop some kinds of tools as far as knowing what the legislature is doing and how to participate in what the legislature is doing." It is unclear whether he is aware he's being recorded. Later in the video, Nearman and the audience were discussing people not being able to access the Capitol because of Covid-19 restrictions. He then begins to detail how to possibly get access to the building and whom to call. Surveillance video at the state Capitol allegedly shows Nearman leaving the building on December 21 through a locked door that was surrounded by anti-restriction protesters, which allowed the protesters to enter. Protesters were not able to enter the main chamber, but there was a physical confrontation with officers during which, Oregon State Police said, "a protester sprayed some kind of chemical irritant." Nearman was expelled by the state's House of Representatives in June, after every Republican in the chamber said in a letter that they "strongly recommend" he resign from his position in the legislature. "Given the newest evidence that has come to light regarding the events of December 21, 2020, it is our belief as friends and colleagues that it is in the best interests of your caucus, your family, yourself, and the state of Oregon for you to step down from office," the letter said at the time. Early this year, in a statement reported by The Oregonian, Nearman said he was subjected to "mob justice," does not condone violence and that the Capitol is constitutionally required to remain open to the public.