Assemblymember Ron Kim officially endorses Andrew Yang for mayor

Assemblymember Ron Kim officially endorsed Andrew Yang for mayor in Flushing on Friday. (Photo: Jacob Henry)

Assemblymember Ron Kim welcomed Andrew Yang to his district on Friday in Flushing, and officially endorsed the candidate for mayor of New York City.  

“He’s a leader of principle of character and a vision,” Kim said.  “It is time for bold policies that center around New Yorkers closest to the pain and that’s why I’m proud to endorse Andrew’s policies.”

Yang visited NYCHA’s Bland Houses with Kim, where many residents were left without gas for months over the summer.

“No one should be living without heat in the 21st century in New York City,” Yang said. “There are resources we can activate to invest in these complexes to help make them safer, more modern, and make repairs that should have been made years ago.”

Kim and Yang followed this by a walking through La Jornada, Queen’s largest food pantry, where the mayoral candidate spoke about how it was designed to feed thousands, but “is now being asked to feed ten times that many.”

“That should not be the case in the richest city in the world,” Yang said. “We can do better than that.”

Kim also brought Yang to the site of where immigrant sex-worker Yang Song jumped to her death in 2018 after harassment by New York police officers.

“There are many people working as migrant workers in the sex industry that have been victimized and harassed,” Yang said. “We need to decriminalize sex work here in New York City to show a model for what the better approach is.”

Kim said that he is endorsing Yang for mayor because the candidate is not just here for a photo, but to see the community’s real struggles, which have been made even worse due to the pandemic.

“Our poverty and pain cannot remain invisible to the top executive of our city,” Kim said. “I am proud to endorse Andrew Yang for mayor.”

Yang also spoke about how New Yorkers are frustrated with the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, and even wished that workers at the food pantry could be vaccinated.

“I wish that the protocols were more reflective of the situations and realities that people are facing everyday,” Yang said. “A lot of us want the state and the city to get on the same page. As mayor, I will be intent on working very closely to make sure that New Yorkers are not frustrated.

Throughout all this, the mayoral candidate was seen taking pictures and saying hello to dozens of Flushing residents who seemed excited about the prospect of having Yang running their city.

“We will alleviate extreme poverty in New York City and have a guaranteed minimum income,” Yang said. “that is my pledge as mayor.  That was championed by Martin Luther King and many others.  It is decades and generations overdue but we will make it happen.”

Read more: Queens Ledger

Andrew Yang meets BP Richards for lunch in Flushing

Andrew Yang and Queens BP Donovan Richards at Szechuan House in Flushing, Queens. (Photo: Jacob Henry)
Andrew Yang and Queens BP Donovan Richards at Szechuan House in Flushing, Queens. (Photo: Jacob Henry)

After Andrew Yang announced his official run for mayor of New York City, the former 2020 presidential candidate met with Queens Borough President Donovan Richards on Thursday for lunch in Flushing.

Richards joked that he tried to get Yang to “endorse the Knicks,” while discussing the many challenges that Queens has faced during the pandemic, including adding more hospitals, protecting residents from evictions and improving transportation.

“Many of the issues that have really been exacerbated by this pandemic,” Richards said.  “We were the epicenter of the epicenter of this crisis.”

He would not officially endorse Yang for mayor, but said he is “looking for ideas” from all the candidates in the race.

“I am looking for someone who’s going to have a vision, that’s going to move this city forward, but also, an individual who’s going to make sure that Queens is front and center in this recovery,” Richards said.

Yang said that Richards is someone that everyone admires, and the candidate who receives the Borough President’s endorsement should be “very grateful.”

“He’s someone who works with anybody,” Yang said.  “That’s exactly the kind of leadership this city needs.”

Yang also touched on the issues facing the city as a whole, bringing up a conversation he had with a restaurant owner in Queens who had to close up shop after 35 years in business.

“That decision is playing out over and over again here in Queens and around the city,” Yang said.

He talked about how he has lived in New York City with his wife Evelyn for 25 years and called it “the greatest city in the world.”

“I’m running because we are in the midst of a historic crisis,” Yang said.  “I believe I can help.”

He is running on a platform that involves Universal Basic Income (UBI), which comes with the promise of giving direct cash payments to people in poverty.

“If you’re in extreme poverty, you’re trying to survive, you’re having difficulty keeping a roof over your head, or feeding yourself or your family,” Yang said. “If you have a little bit of money in your hands, it’s going to give you a much better chance at actually potentially finding a job.”

While there are critics of the UBI program, Yang said that these much-needed resources will be essential in helping New Yorkers to get back on their feet.

“Anyone who thinks that getting a little bit of money in the hands of the extremely poor is going to somehow curb their work ethic, in my opinion, has never actually spent time with people who are poor, and should do so before they have that kind of critique,” Yang said.

With the insurrection at the Capitol last week still fresh in every American’s mind, Yang also brought up Donald Trump, and said the president’s name on buildings in New York needs to go.

“It has bothered me even before he incited a riot that took multiple lives in our nation’s Capital,” Yang said.  At a minimum, we should be excising Trump’s name so that New Yorkers do not have to see it and think that somehow he’s associated with our city.”

Andrew Yang may be a buzzworthy candidate, but he still has to face off with established New York politicians like Comptroller Scott Stringer, Wall Street favorite Ray McGuire, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and many more.

The New York City Mayor race is crowded, with multiple candidates vying to win the Democratic nomination, with the primary officially taking place on June 22, 2021.

Read more: Queens Ledger