Andrew Yang (born January 13, 1975) is an American businessman, attorney, lobbyist, and political candidate. Yang is best known for being a candidate in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries and the 2021 New York City Democratic mayoral primary.
The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Yang was born and raised in New York State. He attended Brown University and Columbia Law School. Yang became a prominent candidate in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries. His signature policy was a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 a month as a response to job displacement by automation. Yang has been credited with popularizing the idea of universal basic income through his candidacy and activism.
News outlets described Yang as the most surprising candidate of the 2020 election cycle, going from a relative unknown to a major competitor in the race. Yang qualified for and participated in seven of the first eight Democratic debates. His supporters, informally known as the "Yang Gang", included several high-profile celebrities. Yang suspended his campaign on February 11, 2020, shortly after the New Hampshire primary. After his campaign ended, Yang joined CNN as a political commentator, announced the creation of the political nonprofit organization Humanity Forward, and ran in the 2021 New York City Democratic mayoral primary. Yang conceded the race shortly after the initial ranked choice votes were released, which placed him fourth.
On October 4, 2021, Andrew Yang announced that he was leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent, faulting what he characterized as a system stuck in increasing polarization and saying that he is "more comfortable trying to fix the system than being a part of it". On October 5, Yang founded the Forward Party, a political action committee that seeks to form a political party that will alleviate political polarization and reform the U.S. political and economic systems.