Andrew Yang, the New York tech entrepreneur seeking the Democratic presidential nomination with a campaign built on the idea of a $1,000-per-month guaranteed income for every adult, drew approximately 1,000 people Friday evening to Gas Works Park in Seattle.
Yang, 44, garnered cheers from the crowd as he promised a “trickle up” economy and described himself as “the opposite of Donald Trump: an Asian man who likes math.”
The candidate — who’s never held political office and lacks widespread name recognition — touted national polling at 3%, “higher than your governor, Jay Inslee.”
Yang slammed D.C. politicians, including establishment Democrats, for failing to grasp the extent to which robots and e-commerce are changing the country’s economy, and he at one point addressed a certain Seattle company’s employees directly.
“I know some of you work for Amazon,” said Yang, noting the retail giant paid no federal income taxes last year and comparing the company to a giant, money- and commerce-sucking vacuum.
“It’s our fault,” he added, blaming policymakers and arguing that his $1,000 proposal would pump money into communities. He also said he’d overhaul the health-care system.
Sensing some unease in the crowd, Yang jokingly reassured onlookers who might be wondering whether their boss, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, would approve.
At one point, after Yang said he’d use a PowerPoint presentation to deliver a State of the Union address, the rally chanted “PowerPoint! PowerPoint!”
“I really like his proposals … They’re unique, ” said Scott Aldridge, a 30-year-old Redmond fan who “destroys jobs for a living” in his work on automation for a tech company.
Jay Calabig, 48, who came along with someone he’s dating, isn’t sold yet. But an extra $1,000 per month? “Who doesn’t like that?” he said.
Andrew Kim, a Seattle-area volunteer for Yang, said more than 1,250 people checked in at the event and as many as 2,000 attended.