By Jorge Fuentelsaz
New York, Jun 1 (EFE).- Andrew Yang is one of the Democratic frontrunners in the race to become New York City’s next mayor. A proud newcomer to politics, he believes fresh leadership will help the city navigate its way out of the pandemic.
“I, like other New Yorkers, see that we need new leadership, we need change, we need people who are going to do things differently in a way that works for us and our families,” he tells Efe during an interview at El Nuevo Taino, a Dominican restaurant that has hung his campaign poster over the window next to the large menu.
The primaries for the New York mayor elections are slated for June 22 ahead of the general election on November 2 but the Democratic stronghold in the Big Apple means the party’s primaries are celebrated as though they were the final result of the vote.
Yang is the only leading Democratic Party candidate without political experience, which his opponents argue is paramount to guide the city through its post-pandemic recovery.
But for the 46-year-old New Yorker, who made his name as a social media-savvy presidential candidate in 2020, his lack of experience is an advantage.
“When people talk about me as an outsider, they’re right, because we know, again, that we need something different,” he says, adding that he wants to offer an alternative to Latino and Asian American communities who feel “left out” by the political process in New York City.
“If you take someone who’s been embedded in these dysfunctional bureaucracies for years and years, climbing that ladder, nothing’s going to change.”
He acknowledges his lack of history in New York City governance, but said that, if elected, he would overcome it by surrounding himself with a team of political veterans
During the interview in the Mattanhan neighborhood of Washington Heights, an area with a large Dominican community, Yang says that many of his policies are geared toward the Latino community, such as the creation of a public bank or basic income payments of $2,000 for those in need.