In the beginning, I supported Andrew Yang because he looks like my brother. I’m joking, of course, but I do believe that the young, New York tech entrepreneur-turned-politician will inspire a new generation of Asian Americans to get engaged and participate in the political process. I have been working in the Asian-American community, in various leadership positions, for more than 15 years. The biggest challenge is that most of us are indifferent about politics and civic engagement. Traditionally, Asian Americans tend to think that the political process is ugly, and that all politicians are liars. However, I believe that a true democracy needs everyone’s voice and vote. Otherwise, it is not a democracy, but a banana republic. Being American citizens, it is our right, our privilege and our duty to participate and engage in the political process.
As I learned more about Yang and his campaign, I was inspired by his motivation to run for the presidency. When his business venture succeeded, Yang did not continue to build his wealth; instead, he founded a nonprofit organization, Venture for America. His vision is to train entrepreneurs and send them around the country to create jobs. As a result, Yang was named one of the Obama White House’s Champions of Change. He often says that he is fortunate because his wife is able to stay home and take care of their two sons, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. Yang tells his supporters that it is heartbreaking to imagine a single mother caring for an autistic child, without having access to resources. His sincerity and fatherly passion are genuine.
His platform is humanity first, starting with a bold statement: a Universal Basic Income (UBI) of $1,000 a month for every American adult. As an entrepreneur, I welcome the freedom dividend. It will give me additional funds for marketing and investment. It will increase my success rate. It will help me create more jobs for the community. This is the trickle-up effect. The trickle-down policy has not worked.
Andrew Yang wants to solve our country’s problems with data and science rather emotions and gut feelings. It is time for a different conversation and a different voice! MATH: Make America Think Harder!
Raiti owns and operates The House of Leaf & Bean, an organic restaurant in Jacksonville’s Intracoastal neighborhood.