Technology entrepreneur and one-time Democratic Party presidential hopeful Andrew Yang on Thursday will formally join the already crowded field seeking to replace a term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2021, The Post has learned.
The announcement comes on the heels of a rocky rollout after Yang acknowledged he and his family spent the harshest months of the COVID-19 pandemic in their second home in upstate New Paltz.
Yang, a neophyte in Big Apple politics, rose to prominence during his long-shot 2020 bid for the White House by campaigning on the promise of providing guaranteed cash payments to Americans as one way to combat poverty, a controversial proposal known as basic income.
He plans to roll out a similar plan guaranteeing cash payments to half-a-million New Yorkers up to $5,000 annually when he launches his campaign in Morningside Heights — a program that will carry a $1 billion price tag, according to a document reviewed by The Post.
The document makes no mention of the $3.8 billion deficit that city budget writers have to close by July 1 or the estimated $3 billion shortfall that the Big Apple faces the year after that.
Yang has flirted with a possible campaign for months and hired a high-profile political consulting firm as he explored jumping into the 2021 Democratic mayoral primary. The field already has more than two-dozen candidates — including City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, former top de Blasio adviser Maya Wiley and former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.
Boosters say that his name recognition from his 2020 campaign and appearances as a political analyst on CNN will offer him a big leg up as he seeks to break through.
However, his nascent campaign has been hit hard by criticism in recent days after Politico New York revealed that he spent much of the spring with his family at their second home in New Paltz and Board of Elections records obtained by City & State showed that Yang has never once voted for mayor.