MANHATTAN — On Tuesday, at the Fort Washington Armory mass vaccination site, Andrew Yang introduced and thanked Huge Ma as the creator of a bot that scans city and state sites for vaccine appointments and tweets out what’s available.
“You know who I’m taking about: the legendary TurboVax," Yang said.
TurboVax is credited with helping many New Yorkers get their shots.
What You Need To Know
- Yang thanked TurboVax coder as private citizen filling a void left by government
- His proposed basic-income plan uses $1B in city money, seeks other revenue and philanthropists
- Other parts of his platform involve partnering with big firms
In Ma, Yang sees a private citizen filling a void left by government.
“We don’t think that government has all the answers," the Democratic candidate for mayor told NY1. "We think that the private sector is going to be key to the city’s recovery.”
Yang is about big ideas without big government.
Many of his policy proposals involve public-private partnerships and he talks often about his outreach to corporations.
“I just talked to the CEO Of JetBlue last week as one example of an organization that’s done a lot for the city that I think will employing thousands of people here for years to come," he said Tuesday, adding that the philanthropic and tech sectors also are ready to help the city.
Yang is seeking private sector buy-in for his basic income plan for the poorest New Yorkers, his so-called People’s Bank for New York and his pitch for reviving the performing arts.
At his mid-January campaign launch, he said of funding for his direct relief vision: “I actually know people who’ve already expressed interest in helping make New York City the anti-poverty city, so I think we can go beyond a billion."
A month later, he said a city-backed financial institution would use “$100 million in working capital from New York City in a nonprofit corporation that can then be leveraged by CDFIs [Community Development Financial Institutions] and other institutions.”
Earlier this week, in boosting the arts, he said, “We’re also going to buy tickets directly through a plan we’re calling ‘Always New York’ that’s going to partner with various companies that want a bit of the halo that Broadway provides.”
On that plan, Yang’s campaign site names J.P. Morgan, Deloitte and others as those who may match ticket purchases.
His overall platform includes a broader call on big banks, local tech firms and large landlords to pitch in to help small businesses.
But he hasn’t yet filled in all the details.
His rivals have seen an opening in his basic-income plan.
Eric Adams called it a U-B-lie.
Scott Stringer criticized the proposal as half-baked.
Yang's campaign counters that he's been "crystal clear" about funding for his proposal to give New Yorkers living in extreme poverty $2,000 a year, beginning with using $1 billion in city funds.
And Yang has also proposed that universities pay for city services and that tax breaks be scrapped for Madison Square Garden.