Andrew Yang has been endorsed by the son of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. for the 2021 New York City mayoral elections.
Martin Luther King III said in an endorsement video shared to YouTube on Monday that Yang’s initiative to give out $1 billion to low-income residents was an idea that his father would have supported.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about the idea for universal basic income in 1967 as a way to tackle systemic poverty, according to Gothamist.
“One of my main policy goals, and one of his dreams, was to establish a basic income for all Americans,” King III added. “Andrew’s commitment to a basic income is why I’m endorsing him, and why we’ve worked tirelessly to support Democrats across the country.”
This version of the UBI plan would grant half a million New Yorkers in need with $2,000-$5,000 every year through the city’s Human Resources Administration, the same agency that administers other benefit programs.
In a statement emailed to Newsweek, Yang approved of the endorsement.
“I am honored to have the support of my friend, Martin Luther King III, one of America’s longest standing advocates for justice and equality. Today, we honor Martin’s father, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the historic work he did to create a more equal America. [I am] deeply proud to carry on Dr. King’s vision for a basic income, and with his son standing beside me in this fight, I know we’ll make it a reality.”
During his campaign for president in 2020, Yang touted the Freedom Dividend, which would have paid “$1,000/month, $12,000 a year for every American adult over the age of 18. This is independent of one’s work status or any other factor.”
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