Yang’s presidential bid ended earlier this year, and he spent time as a CNN contributor after leaving the campaign trail. By the time he ended his campaign, Yang had said he had no plans to run for mayor of New York, where he has lived for nearly 25 years.
Yang is already participating in a field with dozens of mayoral candidates, according to city records. Competitors are all fighting to take responsibility for a city hit by a pandemic, where unemployment is skyrocketing, poverty and hunger are growing, and a budget button on the horizon could force the next mayor to make deep cuts in jobs and services in the public sector.
Virtually unknown outside of technology circles before the 2020 premiere, Yang won the affection – if not always the votes – of Democrats who valued his happy warrior at the debate stage and campaign track. And he was backed by supporters of the brand “Yang Gang”, which helped him raise $ 40 million during the race – including a surprising $ 16.5 million as the race warmed in the last three months of 2019.
The former chief technology officer pushed the idea of a Universal Basic Income into the mainstream of political conversation during his presidential run. After leaving the race, he founded Humanity Forward, a nonprofit that he used to test some of the ideas that animated his campaign, like UBI. In March, he began giving hundreds of working families in New York $ 1,000 a month to determine the effectiveness of such a program. The organization also approved candidates for voting across the country.