Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang announces NYC mayoral run, touts 'universal income' plan

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang announced he is running for mayor of New York City, releasing a video Wednesday night before holding his first public appearance on Thursday.

The video, posted on YouTube, was titled "Why I'm Running for Mayor."

Here is a transcript:

"I moved to New York City 25 years ago. I came of age, fell in love, and became a father here. Seeing our City the way it is now breaks my heart. What we do in the coming months will determine our city's trajectory for decades. I am running for mayor because I see a crisis - and I believe I can help. We need to launch the largest basic income program in history, invest in a human-centered economy, return to fact-based governance, and create an accessible healthcare system. We need to do all this while enacting accountable and smart policing, building affordable housing, closing our city's digital divide, modernizing transportation and city services, and more. We will move New York forward - together. The Democratic primary is June 22, 2021. I can't wait for you to join us on our campaign to revive and rebuild our city."

On Thursday, he said he hopes to replace outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio with a bold plan for universal basic income for the poor.

Yang's policy would begin by giving those classified as living in "extreme poverty" about $2,000 a year.

He believes he can help turn the city around by reopening 15,000 businesses during his first year in office. He is also vowing to make sure every New Yorker who wants a COVID vaccine gets it.

To read more about Yang's vision for New York City, visit his campaign website.

Yang joins a crowded field with upwards of two dozen candidates or potential candidates.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has also thrown his hat in the ring, while other possible names running for the spot include former de Blasio Chief Council Maya Wiley, former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, former Bloomberg and Obama administration member Shaun Donovan, former nonprofit executive Dianne Morales, former Veterans' Services Commissioner Loree Sutton, and former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire.

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Yang, an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, will be only the second Asian-American candidate to run for mayor and appear on the ballot.

J.P. Morgan executive Arthur Chang is also planning to run and would be the third.

In 2013, New York State Senator John Liu was a candidate for mayor of New York City, instead of running for re-election as comptroller.

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