Why I'm Running for Mayor
I moved to Manhattan when I was 21 years old, right after college. I remember driving in my parents’ Honda Accord full of belongings to my first apartment, which I shared with a roommate. The city felt enormous, but arriving here felt like a victory.
I went to my friends’ shows. I was at the Garden for Larry Johnson’s 4-point play. I watched the towers fall, and was part of the crowd that silently walked uptown away from the smoke.
I came of age, fell in love, and became a father here. My wife, Evelyn, is from Queens; we went on our first date at Amy’s Bread on 9th Avenue. Both my sons were born at St. Luke’s Hospital. I used to bike them to school on the West Side Highway, but they’ve been on Zoom lately.
I started a small business that failed, but the energy of this city kept me going. Eventually, I became CEO at an education company in Koreatown, and we grew it to be among the largest in the country. I started a non-profit here called Venture for America, which helps young people build small businesses across the nation, particularly in struggling cities. President Obama named me a Champion of Change and an Ambassador of Entrepreneurship. When I ran for President, I set our offices here, and recruited our team from all five boroughs.
It was here we built an anti-poverty movement.
Whatever I aspired to and whatever I accomplished, it was because of New York City.
Seeing New York the way it is now hurts my heart. The thought that I might be able to contribute to my city’s revival is both an incredible responsibility and opportunity. What we do in the months ahead will determine our city’s trajectory for decades to come.
That’s why I’m running for mayor. I want to serve my community in this time of need and bring bold, innovative solutions to the table. I want to lead us forward as we rise above our current politics. I want to see every last New Yorker thrive in our City.
We will run the largest basic income program in US history and we will rebuild the economy and how the City is run so that it doesn’t simply restore the status quo, but creates a City that works for all New Yorkers.
This will be a spirited race. But if we put forward a positive vision — that we understand the problems people face and that we are here to help — we will win. Most importantly, we will rebuild and restore the city we love — not as it was, but how it deserves to be.
The Democratic primary is June 22nd, 2021. I can’t wait for you to join us on our campaign to revive our city, our home.