Top line

The reaction was swift and tough Monday after Andrew Yang, the entrepreneur and former Democratic presidential candidate who deposit paperwork to run for mayor of New York, complained in an interview from his cramped Manhattan apartment as he tried to justify leaving the city during the pandemic, a response that has led some to wonder if the top candidate was ready to take on the vigor of a grueling primary loaded with many litmus tests of what constitutes a true “New Yorker”.


In a maintenance with the New York Times which went viral on Monday, Yang was asked why he decided to flee the city for his second home in upstate New York, a fact Politics reported Friday: “We live in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan,” Yang replied, before rhetorically asking, “Can you imagine trying to have two kids in virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment and then trying to work yourself? “

“Nobody except all the parents in New York”, Kristen Johnston, an actress, tweeted in response, echoing the innumerable others on Twitter who noted that most New Yorkers did not have the luxury of a country home to escape to as the pandemic ravaged the city.

“Yes, I actually can,” Scott Stringer, comptroller of New York City and Democratic candidate for mayor. noted on Twitter, responding to a tweet with the quote from Yang.

Yang has two children, one of whom is autistic, and his wife, Evelyn, has ventilated on the stress of caring for a spectrum child during the pandemic.

In a declaration to Business Insider US after criticism mounted, Yang said he spent his “time pretty much equally across New York City, where my children and my son with special needs are enrolled in school” and in the upstate, where his “children could spend more time outside in the depths of the first wave,” and in Georgia, “where I am proud to have worked day and night to elect my friends the Reverend Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the Senate.

What to watch out for

Yang has yet to officially announce his candidacy for mayor, but has started to prepare for a candidacy, including noting that he will hire Martin Luther King III to co-chair his campaign, according to New York Times.

Key context

More than 400,000 people, mostly from the city’s wealthiest areas, fled the city between March 1 and May 1 of last year, data shows examined by the New York Times.

Surprising fact

Yang has yet to vote in the New York municipal election. Asked about his voting history, Yang Recount the Times he may have taken the job “a bit for granted”.

Crucial quote

“Do you know something I’m proud of?” Yang said on Twitter Monday. “I didn’t have to attack anyone to get here. Thank you #yanggang. Great days to come.

What to watch out for

Yang told the Times he plans to operate on a platform similar to the one he did during the presidential race, including universal basic income and enhanced broadband access, as well as the creation of a “People’s Bank of New York” which would help poor New Yorkers.

Further reading

Andrew Yang files documents for possible New York mayor race (Forbes)

Andrew Yang weighs bid for New York City mayor (Forbes)

Can Andrew Yang succeed in New York politics? (New York Times)


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