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Economy

What Andrew Yang’s UBI Proposal Would Mean for NYC

Yang popularized universal basic income during his presidential run. Now he’s bringing new attention to cash relief in his campaign for New York City mayor.

As in his presidential campaign, Andrew Yang has made his pitch for a guaranteed income a signature feature of his mayoral run. But he’s one of a number of candidates pitching the idea. 

As in his presidential campaign, Andrew Yang has made his pitch for a guaranteed income a signature feature of his mayoral run. But he’s one of a number of candidates pitching the idea. 

Photographer: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images 

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By traditional metrics, Andrew Yang’s 2020 presidential bid ended in defeat. But the political newcomer’s legacy endures, as his campaign centerpiece, universal basic income, slowly becomes more mainstream in cities across the country. 

Now, as Yang embarks on a new campaign for mayor of New York City, he’s again made cash relief a pillar of his platform. It’s unclear yet how Yang will fare against an early slate of nearly three dozen candidates — thus far, he’s garnered criticism for wrongly identifying a bodega, and for comments viewed as out of touch with regular New Yorkers. But as during his national run, he’s bringing serious policy attention to the concept of giving residents recurring cash payments, no strings attached.