Andrew Yang is running for New York mayor. He wants universal basic income — and ‘TikTok Hype Houses.’

“We need to realize Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a guaranteed minimum income and get cash into the hands of people who need it most,” Yang, 46, stated within the two-and-a-half minute advert.

Yang’s video made official his entry to a crowded subject of seasoned native politicians hoping to exchange New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), who is term-limited from running once more.

Fresh off the thrill of an upstart presidential marketing campaign that earned Yang a loyal following within the Democratic primaries that coalesced underneath the #YangGang moniker, he figures to be a significant fundraiser and severe contender.

But in New York, some critics have already begun circling, questioning why Yang and his household left city through the pandemic and highlighting a few of his extra uncommon marketing campaign pledges — together with a vow to deliver “TikTok Hype Houses” to the town.

Yang, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, was born in Schenectady, N.Y., and moved to Manhattan for regulation faculty. He stayed, and now lives within the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood together with his spouse and two sons. He joined the jam-packed Democratic major subject in March 2019 as a largely unknown determine, however constructed a substantial following by the point he dropped his bid last February.

Yang filed his paperwork to run for New York mayor earlier, however he made his official debut as a candidate together with his Wednesday video. Once once more, he’s an outsider within the race — he’s by no means labored in metropolis authorities and didn’t vote previously 4 mayoral elections. Yang has centered his bid round an identical promise as his presidential marketing campaign: a assured minimal income for New York City residents. He additionally proposes creating “a People’s Bank so it stops being so expensive to be poor,” as he stated within the video.

Some critics have already questioned his dedication to the town — a chorus that escalated after a profile in the New York Times on Monday famous he had been driving out the pandemic in Upstate New York.

“We live in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. And so, like, can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?” Yang instructed the Times.

Scott Stringer, the town’s comptroller and a mayoral candidate, tweeted in response to the quote: “Yes, actually I can.”

Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president and one other candidate for mayor, tweeted that the town deserved a pacesetter who was not “out-of-touch.” Dianne Morales, a former nonprofit govt who is additionally running, said she spent the yr “living with THREE generations under one roof, AND running a campaign from home.”

In a statement to the Times, Yang defended his household’s choice to spend most of their time within the Hudson Valley.

“We took our two kids, including my autistic son, to Upstate New York to help him adapt to our new normal,” Yang stated. “Evelyn and I know how lucky we are to have that option, which is why I’ve committed the past several years of my life to lifting up working families and eliminating poverty.”

On Wednesday, Yang discovered one other coverage to shake up the race: TikTok Hype Houses. Yang’s proposal, highlighted in a viral tweet from a Times reporter, would appeal to younger Internet creators to the town to type collectives, like these the place TikTok stars live together and collaborate.

“We need to help create similar artist collectives that utilize new technologies,” Yang writes.

The concept result in some taunting on Twitter, the place some known as on Yang to focus extra on common New Yorkers who can’t afford lease slightly than teenagers who go viral on TikTok.

In his announcement video, which was directed by the Oscar-nominated director Darren Aronofsky, Yang additionally pledged to enhance know-how within the metropolis’s classroom.

“We’ll bring New York City into the 21st century by getting everyone high-speed Internet so our kids can learn,” he stated.

Another promise, although, appeared destined to spark its personal battle amongst basketball followers.

“Maybe we can even save the Knicks,” Yang stated.

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