Andrew Yang dropped out of the presidential race on February 11, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Yang wants to give Americans a universal basic income of $1,000 a month to address economic inequality. The son of immigrants from Taiwan briefly worked as a lawyer before entering the world of startups.
B.A., Brown University, 1996; Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 1999
January 13, 1975
Founder, Venture for America, 2011-2017; Managing director, then CEO, of Manhattan Prep, 2006-2011; Vice president of a health care startup, 2002-2005
YANG IN THE NEWS
What makes Andrew Yang appealing to New Yorkers?
Updated 4:42 PM ET, Sat May 1, 2021
There is something about Andrew Yang that makes him the candidate to beat in New York City's mayoral race. With less than two months to go before the Democratic primary on June 22, Yang continues to outpace his many rivals in a notoriously tough city. What is it about Yang that has made him such a powerful candidate in 2021? His frontrunner status was not a foregone conclusion. Yang entered this race with no experience in politics, other than his 2020 presidential bid. While his presidential campaign lasted longer than expected, having attracted a loyal group of supporters dubbed the "Yang Gang," he exited the race after the New Hampshire primary without winning any delegates. Yang, who had a brief stint in corporate law, has more substantial experience in business. He worked for a number of start-ups, headed an education company and in 2011, founded the non-profit organization Venture for America in an attempt to create jobs and bring high-tech work to cities that were suffering from the Great Recession. While the Obama administration listed him as one of the 500 "Champions of Change" and a "Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship," Venture for America so far has failed to meet its own goal of creating 100,000 jobs by 2025. But this resume doesn't compare to the kind of experience in politics and public service most of the other Democratic candidates bring to the table. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is a former captain in the New York Police Department. He served in the New York State Senate for almost seven years and has been in his current position since he was elected in 2013. Sean Donovan was the former commissioner of the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and served under three presidents. Maya Wiley, a professor and former legal analyst for NBC and MSNBC, served as the chair of the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board. She was also counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio and worked in the civil division of the US Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York. City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a former New York State assemblyman and Manhattan borough president, is now struggling to stay in the race after a woman who worked on his 2001 race for public advocate accused him of sexual assault (Stringer has denied the allegations, saying they had a consensual relationship). Kathryn Garcia, the former commissioner of the New York City Sanitation Department, has long been in the trenches of city politics. Diane Morales opened the Office of Youth Development and School-Community Services in the city's Department of Education and was the director of the Teaching Commission. Morales also brings impressive non-profit bona fides, having started and headed various organizations that have focused on children and young people through education, development services and initiatives to tackle poverty. Even the other outsider, Ray McGuire, can claim a much more successful record in the private sector as a top executive at Citigroup. But Yang has gained traction by pushing unconventional ideas like a universal basic income. His presidential bid centered around his proposal to offer $1,000 a month to everyone over 18 — a policy he has reworked and narrowed significantly to try to tackle extreme poverty in New York. He has also proposed the Big Apple Corps, an initiative in New York that would hire 10,000 aspiring college graduates to tutor 100,000 public school students. But the key to his appeal has to do with his being a charismatic outsider in a moment of genuine crisis for the city. Capitalizing on the name recognition he enjoys from his presidential bid, Yang is selling his personal story through Instagram and other social media platforms to connect with voters. From his upbringing as an Asian American in the suburbs of New York, where he was bullied as a child, to his passion for what the city can be even after being ravaged by Covid-19, his biographical-centered approach is working, at least for now. His social media posts are filled with him enjoying the life of the city, drinking boba tea, strolling through Coney Island and elbow bumping supporters. Don't tell Yang that this city has no heart, to paraphrase the Grateful Dead, because — he appears to be conveying — he can hear it beat out loud. Some critics compare him to Donald Trump in 2016, given his outsider status and lack of experience. They see a candidate who thrives on incessant media coverage rather than substance. One can imagine a future debate in which an opponent might turn to him, borrow a line from Walter Mondale in the 1984 Democratic debates, and ask: "Where's the beef?" A better comparison might be the 1976 Democratic primaries when former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter defeated many formidable and experienced Democrats despite the common refrain, "Jimmy Who?" Carter then beat President Gerald Ford in the general election. Historians agree that the heart of Carter's appeal was his outsider status. His campaign hammered away at the fact that Carter was a peanut farmer who worked far outside a Washington that seemed to have become corrupted after Vietnam and Watergate. In a nation that had become deeply distrustful of elected officials and desperate for a leader who could bring the nation into a better place, Carter was the perfect candidate for the times. He turned the experience of his opponents against them. They were part of the broken system; he could do better. Voters, Carter said, could trust him. His campaign spots revolved around his life and family, as he offered himself up as a fresh voice in a broken nation. "1976. Across the land, a new beginning is underway, led by a man whose roots are founded in the American tradition," the narrator says in one campaign ad over photos of Carter and his family. To be sure, Yang is no Carter. The Georgian had a significant political record as governor and state senator plus his time as campaign chairman of the Democratic National Committee. But his outsider status and biographical campaign resonate in a similar way to Yang's. Yang is a fresh voice in the world of politics. While Trump offered rage, Yang offers optimism and enthusiasm. He is part of a new generation of people who are working to break through in the world of elected politics — at every level — and he comes from a sector of the economy that many young New Yorkers see as the heart of our future growth. For many of his supporters, his relative youth and fresh perspective is an asset, not a liability. His unyielding belief that this city can be even better than before is alluring to many residents. This shouldn't be a surprise. New York is a city still reeling from Covid-19. The streets are lined with boarded-up storefronts and empty office buildings. Public school children have barely been in the classroom in the last year and families are still trying to recover from severe illnesses and the deaths of their loved ones. Hospital workers have been through many traumatic months. The budget is in bad shape, the future is uncertain, and all the other chronic problems — including police brutality, unaffordable housing, budget shortfalls, economic inequality and more — loom large. It is also, however, a city filled with optimism, ready to live again. It remains unclear whether Yang has the legs or substance to make it to the finish line. It would be big mistake to underestimate the ability of his opponents to thrive in the final months of the campaign. New Yorkers will also be using rank choice voting — which only makes the race all the more unpredictable. Meanwhile, Yang's opponents like Eric Adams and Maya Wiley have received endorsements from major unions — like the Transport Workers Union Local 100, or Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union — that can deliver the vote in city elections. But his opponents should be clear that Yang can win the Democratic nomination. A campaign that revolves around his regularly avowed passion and vision to make New York a center of the world again, a cool and exciting hub of culture and innovation, is what many residents are desperate for. And at a moment when so much of the political system seems to have failed us, there might be a sizable number of voters willing to take risk on someone who has a different point of view. Despite all the skeptics on the campaign trail in 1976, it was ultimately Jimmy Carter — not Frank Church or Birch Bayh or Gerald Ford — who was sworn into office. An earlier version of this article incorrectly mentioned Evan Bayh. His father Birch Bayh was a 1976 presidential candidate.
Yang supports the vision outlined in the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, though he’s expressed skepticism about how quickly its goals could be achieved. He released a plan in August 2019 calling on the US to be a global leader on an issue that is “destabilizing the world.” His plan calls for the US to “move our people to higher ground” while investing in research on removing carbon from the atmosphere and expanding the sustainable energy sector. Yang also proposes passing a constitutional amendment “that creates a duty on the federal and state governments to be stewards for the environment.” He has said he would ensure the US participates in the Paris climate agreement – a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon – but argues that the agreement should do more to curb climate change. More on Yang’s climate crisis policy
Yang’s central focus has been his push for a universal basic income, which he has dubbed “the Freedom Dividend.” His plan would provide $1,000 a month for American citizens 18 and older, to be paid for by a value-added tax – which is harder for companies or individuals to avoid than traditional corporate and income taxes, Yang argues. He has also promised new government positions and agencies – including a Department of Technology based in Silicon Valley – to address industrial automation and the spread of artificial intelligence. “The goal should not be to save jobs,” he told CNN in April 2019. “The goal should be to make our lives better.” More on Yang’s economic policy
Yang opposes making four-year colleges tuition-free, a step he argues would benefit too few people. Instead, he proposes investing in vocational training, including by making community colleges free or nearly free. To reduce student debt, Yang says, he would immediately lower interest rates on government-backed loans. He would also support various debt forgiveness measures, and backs closing colleges with low employment rates for graduates and “high loan default rates,” according to his campaign’s website. More on Yang’s education policy
Yang would work to establish a three-tiered, federally mandated gun licensing system. Each tier would expand the type of firearms an individual would be able to purchase or own. He would also create a voluntary gun buyback program, increase funding for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and US Department of Veterans Affairs suicide prevention efforts and invest in “a more robust mental health infrastructure,” according to his campaign website. More on Yang’s gun violence policy
Yang advocates universal, government-backed health care, though he wouldn’t outlaw private insurance. He also favors having the government set prices for medical services. He supports lowering drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies, as well as by having the government manufacture generic drugs. More on Yang’s health care policy
Yang wants to expand visa programs to attract skilled workers and retain graduates of US colleges, including granting automatic green cards to all students who earn graduate degrees from US universities. He supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, particularly young adults brought to the US as children, as part of a comprehensive immigration overhaul. He would also create a new category with an 18-year path to citizenship for those who have paid taxes and not been convicted of any felonies. More on Yang’s immigration policy
LATEST POLITICAL NEWS
Who's who in the Giuliani-Ukraine search warrants?
Updated 5:00 AM ET, Fri May 7, 2021
The Justice Department's criminal investigation into Rudy Giuliani involves an international cast of characters: Trump White House allies, Republican lawyers, Ukrainian oligarchs, diplomats, right-wing journalists and other figures who aren't household names. The probe burst into public view last week when authorities raided Giuliani's home and office in New York City, where he was mayor two decades ago. Investigators were armed with a search warrant that Giuliani's lawyer said mentioned an investigation into potentially illegal foreign lobbying. Giuliani has denied all wrongdoing and claimed the investigation itself is unconstitutional, and he said on Fox News last week that the "Department of Injustice" should be "investigated for blatantly violating my constitutional rights." RELATED: Decision to seek federal search warrant in Rudy Giuliani probe could be early test for Biden's DOJ Here's a breakdown of the dozen Americans and Ukrainians who CNN has confirmed were mentioned by name in the search warrants against Giuliani. Other people and entities may have been mentioned in the documents, but CNN has confirmed only these 12 names at this point. Businessman Lev Parnas Ukrainian American businessman who is based in Florida.
Key player in former President Donald Trump's first impeachment.
His company paid $500,000 to Giuliani for consulting work in 2018.
Met with Ukrainians and brokered meetings between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials, who were pressured to help Trump's reelection bid by spreading conspiracies about candidate Joe Biden.
Was involved in efforts to oust the US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. This is a key part of the Giuliani investigation, according to The New York Times.
Indicted on campaign finance charges in October 2019. He pleaded not guilty and goes on trial later this year.
Publicly flipped on Trump and Giuliani and implicated them in the anti-Biden schemes in Ukraine. Assisted House Democrats with their impeachment inquiry against Trump in 2019. Businessman Igor Fruman Belarusian American businessman who is based in Florida.
Worked closely with Parnas and Giuliani to dig up dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine, and attended some of the meetings with the Ukrainians.
He was with Parnas and Trump at an intimate dinner for major campaign donors in April 2018, where Parnas urged Trump to fire Yovanovitch. Fruman recorded the audio on his phone, which was later publicly released.
Indicted on campaign finance charges alongside Parnas. He has pleaded not guilty.
He has maintained a low profile since his arrest in October 2019. Ex-Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin Ukraine's top prosecutor from 2015 to 2016, under then-President Petro Poroshenko.
As vice president, Biden pressured Poroshenko to fire Shokin, citing Shokin's unwillingness to crack down on corruption. This view was shared by many other Western leaders.
He later allied with Giuliani to spread false claims of corruption against Biden. He met with Giuliani in Kiev and promoted false claims in a propaganda-style documentary aired by the pro-Trump outlet OANN.
He falsely claimed he was fired because he was investigating Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company where Biden's son served on the board. (US officials later testified that the opposite was true -- Shokin was fired for not doing enough to investigate corruption.)
According to House Democrats' impeachment report, Shokin hired Republican lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova "for the purpose of collecting evidence" about Biden's role in his firing "and presenting such evidence to U.S. and foreign authorities." The retainer was for $25,000 per month, according to The New York Times. Ex-Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko Succeeded Shokin as Ukraine's top prosecutor. Was a close Poroshenko ally.
He had phone calls and meetings with Giuliani, where the Bidens were discussed. They met in Ukraine, New York City, Hungary and Poland. Parnas and Fruman attended some of these meetings.
He also participated in the OANN documentary, where he promoted many of the debunked allegations about the Biden family. He gave interviews to right-wing columnist John Solomon, who repeated the same anti-Biden and pro-Trump conspiracies.
He hired Toensing and diGenova to represent him "in meetings with U.S. officials regarding alleged 'evidence' of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections," according to a retainer agreement cited in the House Democrats' impeachment report. The alleged Ukrainian meddling is actually a pro-Trump conspiracy theory that denies Russian meddling.
Giuliani considered taking Lutsenko on as a client, according to The New York Times. There were drafted retainer agreements where Giuliani would represent Lutsenko or Lutsenko's office regarding corruption issues. Ex-Ukrainian official Kostiantyn Kulyk He was a senior Ukrainian prosecutor who worked under Lutsenko. He was involved in the country's investigation into Burisma. He was fired in 2019 after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky took over from Poroshenko.
He wrote a dossier of disinformation about Biden, his son Hunter Biden and the Burisma case, according to The New York Times, and promoted these false claims to several pro-Trump figures in the US. Many of these false claims were presented to Giuliani at a meeting in New York City.
He gave interviews about these topics to Solomon and was quoted in many of Solomon's columns, which have since been discredited.
Along with Lutsenko, he hired Toensing and diGenova to represent him "in meetings with US officials" about supposed Ukrainian meddling in 2016.
He was sanctioned by the US Treasury in January. The announcement said he "formed an alliance" with a known Russian agent "to spread false accusations of international corruption" about the Bidens.
Years ago, he was indicted on corruption charges in Ukraine and accused of bringing politically motivated cases against his opponents, according to The New York Times. Lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova Well-known Republican lawyers who are married and have a law practice together.
They signed retainer deals with Shokin, Lutsenko and Kulyk, according to the House Democrats' impeachment report.
They also worked for Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch who has been indicted on foreign bribery charges in the US. He denies all wrongdoing. Parnas helped connect them to Firtash. They later privately urged then-US Attorney General William Barr to drop the charges against Firtash.
Met with Parnas, Fruman and Giuliani in DC to discuss their Ukraine dealings.
They are known to spread pro-Trump conspiracies about the "deep state."
Federal investigators seized Toensing's cell phone pursuant to a search warrant last week. Her lawyer told CNN she always followed the "highest legal and ethical standards" and is not a target of the probe. Right-wing columnist John Solomon Conservative political commentator who was a top editor at The Washington Times until 2015.
Throughout 2019, he wrote columns for The Hill that were filled with many of the same pro-Trump and anti-Biden conspiracy theories that were being pushed by Giuliani and his Ukrainian allies. He interviewed Lutsenko and Kulyk, who pushed the conspiracy theories, which have since been debunked.
Phone records unearthed during impeachment proceedings in 2019 revealed that there were regular contacts between Solomon, Giuliani, Toensing, Parnas and other Trump allies while he published those columns.
The Hill later conducted an internal review and criticized Solomon's columns about Ukraine. Its review said some of the main ideas he put forward were "disputed by officials in both Kyiv and Washington" and that he should have disclosed that diGenova and Toensing were his attorneys when citing them. Ex-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Served as President of Ukraine from 2014 until 2019, when he was defeated by Zelensky.
He is an oligarch -- and one of the richest men in Ukraine -- who founded a successful confectionery company.
Met with Parnas and Fruman in early 2019 during the Ukrainian presidential election campaign. Parnas later said he offered a quid pro quo on behalf of Trump and Giuliani: that Trump would endorse Poroshenko if Poroshenko announced investigations into the Biden family. The deal never happened. Ex-Ukrainian lawmaker Glib Zagoriy He served in the Ukrainian parliament as a member of Poroshenko's party.
He attended the January 2019 meeting in New York City with Giuliani, Parnas, Fruman, Lutsenko and Ukrainian prosecutor Gyunduz Mamedov, according to notes compiled by Giuliani and given to the State Department.
During the meeting, Lutsenko pushed discredited claims of corruption by the Bidens. Ukrainian prosecutor Gyunduz Mamedov He is currently the deputy prosecutor general of Ukraine.
He attended the January 2019 meeting in New York City with Zagoriy, Giuliani, Parnas, Fruman and Lutsenko, according to notes compiled by Giuliani and given to the State Department.
During the meeting, Lutsenko pushed discredited claims of corruption by the Bidens. Florida businessman David Correia A business associate of Parnas and Fruman who was indicted with them in 2019.
He is a former professional golfer and restaurateur.
He has met Trump and posted photos of their meetings on social media.
He pleaded guilty last year to charges of defrauding investors and lying to the Federal Election Commission. He is not cooperating with investigators as part of a plea deal.