It is not an understatement to say that this past year has been incredibly tumultuous; for many people this has been the hardest year of their lives. This city has suffered, tremendously, an unprecedented health crisis that has had a devastating economic effect. Thankfully, there is now light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have a way to go and must remain vigilant for a little bit longer. This great city was not problem-free before this pandemic hit; however, many of the issues have been exacerbated because of it.

There may never be a more important time for fresh leadership. Whoever next takes the reins of City Hall must have a bright, bold vision for this city. They must be independent, open to new ideas, and willing to listen. Andrew Yang has constantly proved himself to be a creative problem-solver who thinks outside the box. I am proud to endorse Andrew Yang in his campaign to be the 110th Mayor of the City of New York.

The past year has seen an unfortunate spike in hate crimes. These crimes are detestable and must be condemned at every level. More than half of all hate crimes in New York were committed against the Jewish Community. Anti-Semitic incidents have reached a 40-year high. In this past year, anti-Asian hate crimes have gone up 900 percent. This is personal for me, and I know this is personal for Andrew. There is no room for intolerance in this city.

Andrew is dedicated to protecting this community and all those targeted by hate. Certain groups have turned Israel into a political football, and despite pressure, he took an early and courageous decision that he would not tolerate the anti-Semitic BDS movement. Yang said just last week that “BDS does not recognize the right of Israel to exist. Not recognizing Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitic. I strongly oppose BDS.” He will not allow any group to be targeted and knows, while not an easy task, it is possible to stem the tide of hate through community engagement, awareness campaigns, and partnering with the NYPD.

Education can be the silver bullet to elevating yourself in this country. This is a sentiment that Andrew fervently believes in. He works tirelessly to bring awareness to the value and vitality of education. Andrew wants to streamline and help facilitate the opening of more daycare centers, as well as work to bring the cost down. He will push to expand the New York City Department of Education’s Universal 3-K program. Andrew knows the frustrating amount of red-tape parents of children who need Individualized Education Programs have to go through.

Experienced in doing business in New York City, Andrew has been a small business owner, a CEO of a large company, a founder of a non-profit that helps young people start their own companies, and an entrepreneur. Andrew is the embodiment of New York hustle. He believes that the only way to get the city back on its feet is to strengthen the backbone of the local economy, and that is its small businesses, the Main Street businesses.

This pandemic has shown us the fragility of our food ecosystem. We must ensure that every New Yorker can go to bed with access to healthful and affordable meals. Andrew Yang has a plan to centralize and streamline the city agencies that help provide food. He wants to increase access to fresh food for senior centers and food pantries and prioritize contracts to New York-based businesses. He has a plan to create a database of all food pantries and resources so that anyone who needs help can get it. Additionally, temporary school closures affect access to food for many children, and Andrew wants to help ensure that students have access to “to-go meals” during all school closures, including the summer months.

In order for New York City to recover and thrive, affordable living must be made a priority. We want people to be able to raise their families here. Andrew Yang knows what it is like to raise a family in New York City. He is committed to ensuring that affordability is a linchpin of his administration. He knows that community input is crucial to understanding the needs and wants of a particular neighborhood.

As we begin the road to recovery, there will be many difficult decisions that have to be made, but there will also be many opportunities. I know that Andrew will consider a range of ideas, give each issue the careful and deserved thought it needs, then make a decision that will benefit this great city. Andrew is inquisitive with unmatched passion and an enormous capacity for empathy. I am confident in his ability, his drive, and his desire to make this city the best it can be. We need a Mayor who is forward thinking. Andrew Yang is not looking to rebuild the city of yesterday; he’s working to create the city of tomorrow.

By Assemblymember
Daniel Rosenthal