Democratic candidate for mayor Andrew Yang hasn’t run a large enterprise, has no experience navigating the city’s complicated land use process and hasn’t ever voted in a New York City mayoral election, but he’s the top choice for mayor among Democratic voters, according to recent polls.

Yang, who released his first TV ad Thursday, says if elected he’ll focus on delivering the basics to residents and serving as a cheerleader for the five boroughs. 

“I’m someone who believes in delivering the basics; if you don’t feel safe on the street, if the trash isn’t getting picked up, if the services aren’t being delivered, if your schools are not open, then nothing else works,” Yang told Pat Kiernan in an interview on NY1. 

“You have to block and tackle to get anything done,” he continued. “But I do think it’s important to try and accelerate a recovery that we have about two years to speed up because that’s how long the federal money’s going to last.” 

The candidate, who has lived in the city for more than two decades, said if elected he wouldn't pretend to know everything but instead surround himself with the right people who have “been there, done that.”

“The goal is to build a team of people and experts that are frankly not terribly political or ideological, but are just laser-focused on getting results and moving our city in a better direction,” Yang said. “And giving them room to run and cover where they know that if they make a decision, and they have the right values, and the right process, that we’re not frankly going to end up trying to disavow them for any political reasons.”

Yang said a big part of recovery is getting visitors back as tourism is one of the city’s largest economic engines. 

“Having a positive energy and optimism about New York City is actually important to the recovery,” he said. “We need to invest in that."

Yang has faced criticism for having never voted in a NYC mayoral election. He deflected the criticism by saying the current state of the city has prompted him to get involved. 

“About three-quarters of registered Democrats, like me, have not been engaged at the local level, but I think a lot of us feel like our city’s in a really tough spot but we need to engage more at a higher level,” Yang said.

Despite having no government experience, Yang said he’s the right person to lead the city.

“I think I have the kind of experience that a lot of New Yorkers are looking for right now to active different parts of our city — get our government agencies working again yes — but also activate the private sector, the philanthropic sector, the cultural economy and even the tech sector,” he said.

Yang joined “Mornings On 1” Thursday as part of NY1’s ongoing series of interviews with leading candidates for mayor.