On January 10th, 2021, all five members of the Outspoken Oppa Editorial Board endorsed Mr. Andrew Yang for New York City Mayor. While Yang was running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, a couple of members of the Editorial Board (Ethan Kim and Mason Pirkey) entertained a Yang presidency in past articles, and Edwin Tieu openly endorsed Andrew Yang in January 2020.
The New York City mayoral race will consist of a primary and a general election. The primary will take place on June 22, 2021, and the general election will take place on November 2, 2021. However, the board believes that since New York has been a blue state for the past few decades, whoever wins the Democratic primary will most likely beat the Republican nominee in a general election. To add on, incumbent New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is unable to run for a third term due to the term limits of the New York Mayor’s office.
The largest rationale for the endorsement was that he has the necessary leadership and connection to the people to lead New York during an unprecedented virus. Mr. Yang has significant name recognition in the country because of his unique presidential run. While Yang ultimately suspended the campaign, he gathered tremendous support because of his interesting ideas, unifying rhetoric, and charismatic appeal.
Yang was also highly regarded because of a seemingly bipartisan campaign. During democratic primary debates, he stated Trump is not the cause of our problems but the symptom, citing rising A.I. was responsible for the shifting in jobs.
Noah Chun, Editor-at-large, agreed Yang was a unifying figure, “Yang seems like a candidate that both the left and the right can get behind. He also seems like he understands the plight of both those on the left and the right, working to actually bring them together. Maybe he will be the next great unifier in this time of extreme political division.”
Edwin Tieu, Managing Editor, expressed a similar sentiment, “Yang is probably my favorite politician in the political sphere right now. He runs based on understanding and trying to relate to regular people. His moral compass seems to be good, and I think he’s a good candidate to be the mayor of NYC. He will be able to bring people together during these challenging and divisive times.”
Along with his personal appeal was his ability to promote his campaign and gather support, according to the New York Times, Yang’s presidential campaign raised 10 million dollars in the third fiscal quarter of 2019; the average donation being $30.
Furthermore, Yang has led an impressive career. In 2011, he founded Venture for America (VFA), a nonprofit organization focused on creating jobs for people that were greatly impacted by the Great Recession. Later, the Obama administration selected him in 2011 as a “Champion of Change” and later tapped him as the “Presidential Ambassador for Global Change” in 2015.
He later ran for the Democratic presidential nominee. During his campaign, the New York Times called him “The Internet’s Favorite Candidate.” His campaign success surprised the nation as he gained tremendous support and a large fan base called the “Yang Gang.” After dropping out, Yang became a CNN political commentator and founded the non-profit political organization called Humanity Forward, which is dedicated to “pushing for solutions to the biggest problems of the 21st Century.”
Yang was born in Schenectady, went to law school at Columbia, and lives in Hell’s Kitchen. He has lived in New York City for 24 years.
The only problem the board sees with his candidacy is that he has never run for in a city election, and he does not have any prior political experience. While these facts alone may hurt his chances of winning office, he has demonstrated a devotion to public service throughout his corporate career and leadership in his presidential campaign.
In a Friday morning interview, he addressed the argument he does not have experience in city government. He replied saying, “If you look at that situation and say, ‘Hey, city government has been working great for us, and we need someone who has been a part of the firmament for X number of years,’ I would disagree with that assessment.”
Cities across the world have been impacted by the ruthless pandemic, and Mayor de Blasio has overseen rising COVID-19 numbers through years of experience in city governance. With seemingly strong compassion for the people’s struggles and past with public service, the board believes Mr. Yang is the best candidate to become New York City’s next mayor.