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为什么杨安泽一定要参选纽约市长?

为什么杨安泽一定要参选纽约市长?

NICOLE GOODKIND 2021年04月05日
这是美国政界最难干的一份工作,也是风水最差的一个职位

很多美国人可能很难理解,为什么在这个时候还有人愿意去当纽约市长。

纽约市长是一份吃力不讨好的工作,纽约人对历届市长都不太友好。(所有纽约队主场的体育比赛,你都能听见有人在嘘自己的主队,这也算是纽约的一个奇景了。)

纽约市长可以说是美国政界最难干的一份工作,同时也是风水最差的一个职位。每一位还活着的纽约市长,都曾经尝试过竞选美国总统,但没有一个成功的。

但是,刚参加完总统竞选的华人科技企业家杨安泽却很想得到这份工作。

杨安泽原本只在商界小有名气,但却因为参加竞选,一夜之间成为美国的政治明星。特别是他在竞选辩论阶段提出了要向全民提供基本收入等理念。只不过这些理念随着他的退选而搁浅。

杨安泽在网上也有大量粉丝,号称“杨派”。在他竞选总统期间,他还发行了一种名叫“Math”的竞选代币。广大粉丝高举“Math”字样的横幅标语,为他声援助威。

杨安泽的民调结果很好,也有足够的资金,让他在大选中一直走到了2020年2月。这远远超出了此前人们的预期,同时也让他在政界声名鹊起。

这次新冠疫情夺走了无数美国人的生命,剥夺了无数美国人的工作,让许多企业陷入困境,最终倒闭。

不过杨安泽认为,随着纽约经济逐渐从疫情复苏,他看到了一个千载难逢的重塑美国经济的机会。

杨安泽以一个局外人的姿态,杀入了纽约根深蒂固的政治格局,这着实震惊了一些人。而纽约当地的人大都抱着幸灾乐祸的态度,准备看他的笑话。但杨安泽却确实展现出了赢家的底气。

根据其竞选团队的内部民调,他目前在市长选举中处于领跑地位,获得了25%的首选票,而且以两位数的优势领先于最有力的竞争对手、布鲁克林大区区长埃里克·亚当斯。外部民调也显示,杨安泽的支持率位居第一,不过领先优势较小。

不过到目前为止,可能还有半数民主党选民尚未决定他们的首选对象。

《财富》通过电话采访了杨安泽,谈论了他打算如何赢得选民支持、他对纽约经济的未来规划,以及他为什么一定要参选纽约市长。

《财富》:如果你赢了这次市长选举,你将在2022年1月就职。到那时,可能纽约的大部分人都已经接种了新冠疫苗,城市也进入了复苏状态。你上任后要做的事是什么?

杨安泽:我是一个喜欢数字的人,你可以从数字中看出纽约面临的危机有多深。这里已经失去了3万条生命,他们之中有些还是我们的朋友、家人和邻居。我们还失去了60万个工作岗位、84%的通勤工作者、6000万游客、70%的地铁乘客。成千上万的小企业要么已经倒闭,要么濒临倒闭。

所以,如果你想扭转这种局面,首要任务就是给予企业信心,让大家回到工作岗位。因为如果员工不在办公室里,不仅仅会伤害企业本身,还会影响到保安、清洁工、食品运输车司机、零售商店和餐馆等各方面,因为他们将没有任何业务。

希望到明年年初我上任的时候,很多人已经接种了疫苗,而且有更多的人回到了这座城市。但我们要面对现实,情况不会一下子恢复到疫情前的水平。

很多企业已经对业务流程做出了重大调整,比如引入了更高水平的远程工作。我跟一些CEO交谈过,很多CEO跟我说,他们会把员工叫回办公室上班,但可能不是一周五天,而是一周三天。所以我们必须尽量鼓励大家通勤上班,因为这是我们经济的支柱之一。

比如说,如果你每周到纽约上班五天,你可能会获得一张50美元的礼品券,你可以用它去某个餐厅或酒吧消费,和朋友们聚一聚。商家可以拿这张礼品券到市政府进行兑换。这些都是我们为了吸引人们回来上班而应该采取的措施。

另外,纽约还失去了6000万游客,而旅游业支撑起了几十万个工作岗位。旅游业可能还需要几年的时间才能恢复到以前的水平,所以我们必须想方设法加快这一进程。

比如我们可以在阵亡将士纪念日那一天和那一周实行地铁免票政策。这样一来,很多人可能会坐地铁探索纽约的各个地区。这可以起到鼓励人们来纽约的作用,有些人可能已经有几个月没来纽约了。

从历史上看,纽约在鼓励人们前来旅游方面,投入的资源相对较少,有部分原因是之前我们不需要这么做,每个人都想来这里。但是现在,我们必须更认真、更持续地在这方面进行投资。

激励员工来上班是一个有意思的想法,但企业和CEO是怎么想的呢?如果人们不愿意来纽约,你怎样才能让企业留在纽约,支付高额的办公场所租金呢?

我们必须证明,没有任何地方有比纽约更好的环境来建立一家世界级的企业。而当人们聚在一起的时候,他们的创造力和创新能力会达到更高的水平。

有大量研究表明,当员工们在同一个地方工作时,他们会更有创造力和创新力。

从很多方面看,这都是纽约的核心价值主张。远程办公在某些方面确实很有好处,但它不利于文化建设,不利于培养下一代的人才和领导者。虽然你可以通过Zoom完成某些工作,但你没有办法通过它建立一个成功的企业文化。

事实证明,在同一个地方办公的团队,往往具有巨大的优势。这一点在科技、媒体或者金融等竞争极其激烈的行业尤为明显。在这些行业里,如果你比别人更具有创新性和创造力,就能获得巨大的经济回报。

你对宏观经济有何构想?你会在纽约普及全民基本收入吗?

我们需要尽一切所能,确保人们有安全而稳定的生活,所以我支持定向的现金救济。我支持让更多的纽约人用上高速的互联网,让更多人获得基本的金融服务。

现在将近八分之一的纽约人仍然没有银行账户,这在作为世界金融之都的纽约是一个很不合理的现象。

我认为,纽约经济的一个重要机会,是吸引下一代的企业家,将纽约打造成更高竞争水平上的一个主要科技中心。我认为我们应该有“争当第一”的精神。纽约的经济规模和经济的多样化水平要超过美国任何地方。

如果纽约是一个国家,它将相当于世界第11大经济体。科技公司在这里能找到巨大的商机,特别是消费品、媒体、金融、文化和时尚领域的领导者大量聚集在纽约,科技公司可以利用这种“近水楼台”的优势打造下一代企业。

我认为下一批创新者会把科技融合到其他产业中,而纽约正是这方面的一个理想平台。

你是想为广大初创公司打造一个科技中心吗?或者,你有没有想过让谷歌和苹果等知名科技公司把总部搬到纽约?

有件事很让人高兴,谷歌刚刚为它的纽约办事处投资了2亿多美元。

另外,我还有一个叫艾略特·霍洛维茨的朋友,他是一个很成功的创业者。他在纽约市创办了一家新的科技公司。他表示,在纽约创业有很大的竞争优势,因为这里的优秀人才很多,毕竟人才都对纽约感兴趣。

另外,亚马逊公司在纽约有26000个工作岗位,我们不可能让他们离开纽约。所以我要让纽约成为大企业、小企业、新公司和老公司都想来的地方。

你曾说过,要把纽约变成一个数字货币中心。那将会是什么样子?你打算如何实现这个计划?

我要再次强调,纽约是世界金融之都。目前,数字货币和比特币已经成为一个具有上万亿美元规模的资产类别。纽约的很多大公司、大银行都在投资数字货币及其应用。

我的目标是,支持这些技术的研发,找到区块链技术的更多用途,以促进这项技术的应用。

作为世界金融之都,对这个上万亿美元资产类别的创新进行投资,是毫无疑问的。

我们谈了很多关于创新和金融的问题。接下来,你打算怎样保护自由职业者呢?你打算做些工作来保护和提高自由职业者的经济安全水平吗?特别是纽约的自由职业者。

我们可以做一些事情来更好地保护自由职业者,比如在需要签订合同的时候,适当降低门槛,并且向自由职业者预付一定比例的报酬等等。我认为,这样可以把一些不怀好意的人筛选出去。

另外,我们还应该让自由职业者享有以往只有全职员工才能享受的一些福利待遇。首先自然是医保,其次是各种劳动保护。

我的目标是建立一个福利项目,通过一个基金来帮助向自由职业者提供福利,同时消化一部分雇佣自由职业者的成本,从而让这个计划更加具有可持续性。

纽约好像已经批准了一项大麻合法化的政策,这是一个潜在规模达42亿美元的产业。如果你当选了市长,你会怎样对待这个产业?

我很高兴纽约州也加入了大麻合法化的行列。我也认为这是一个巨大的经济机会,很多创业者都可以利用这个机会。我希望纽约市能成为这方面的领导者。

我认为,我们首先要确保一些以往受相关执法活动影响的群体,能够从大麻合法化中直接受益。这种情况可能不会自动发生,所以我们可能需要提供一些帮助,以确保这些群体真正参与到这个机会中来。

我认为大麻合法化可以给当地经济带来数亿美元的收入。另外,我之所以支持大麻合法化,还因为在治疗疼痛方面,它比一些已经夺走了很多美国人生命的物质更安全。

很多前任的纽约市长都竞选过美国总统,但最后都以失败告终。都说纽约市长是一份不好干的工作,而且在政治上好像也是一份没有前途的工作。你除了当市长以外,还有什么政治目标吗?

在这场百年不遇的危机中,作为全世界最伟大城市的市长,我认为除了考虑工作本身的职责,考虑其他事情都是愚蠢的。

如果我能加快纽约的复苏,带领大家共克时艰,我会说:“这是我做过的最有意义的事。”我会把这段经历视为我人生的高光时刻。

我认为对于任何一个从事类似工作的人来说,这都是唯一的选择。

我的精力都集中在让这座城市尽快复苏上,我希望让企业仍然愿意在这里投资,父母仍然愿意在这里养育子女,人们仍然能在这里出人头地——就像25年前的我一样,人们可以在这里,过上在美国其他地方梦想中的生活。

能帮助这座城市复苏,这本身就是一件令人激动的事情。如果这时你还在考虑别的,那你就错了。

你在推特上很活跃,也有很多粉丝。你是如何使用这个媒介的?

我的推特是我在总统竞选期间,用来激发能量、让大家认识我的一个工具。但是现在,我认为它确实能让大家了解我的一些工作,所以我觉得它是有用的。

但我也认为,不管出于什么原因,有些人可能对它感兴趣过头了(笑),他们好像是要分析出我每一句话背后的潜台词——不管我到底有没有那个意思。其实我们只是想把我们的愿景和信息传达出来。(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

很多美国人可能很难理解,为什么在这个时候还有人愿意去当纽约市长。

纽约市长是一份吃力不讨好的工作,纽约人对历届市长都不太友好。(所有纽约队主场的体育比赛,你都能听见有人在嘘自己的主队,这也算是纽约的一个奇景了。)

纽约市长可以说是美国政界最难干的一份工作,同时也是风水最差的一个职位。每一位还活着的纽约市长,都曾经尝试过竞选美国总统,但没有一个成功的。

但是,刚参加完总统竞选的华人科技企业家杨安泽却很想得到这份工作。

杨安泽原本只在商界小有名气,但却因为参加竞选,一夜之间成为美国的政治明星。特别是他在竞选辩论阶段提出了要向全民提供基本收入等理念。只不过这些理念随着他的退选而搁浅。

杨安泽在网上也有大量粉丝,号称“杨派”。在他竞选总统期间,他还发行了一种名叫“Math”的竞选代币。广大粉丝高举“Math”字样的横幅标语,为他声援助威。

杨安泽的民调结果很好,也有足够的资金,让他在大选中一直走到了2020年2月。这远远超出了此前人们的预期,同时也让他在政界声名鹊起。

这次新冠疫情夺走了无数美国人的生命,剥夺了无数美国人的工作,让许多企业陷入困境,最终倒闭。

不过杨安泽认为,随着纽约经济逐渐从疫情复苏,他看到了一个千载难逢的重塑美国经济的机会。

杨安泽以一个局外人的姿态,杀入了纽约根深蒂固的政治格局,这着实震惊了一些人。而纽约当地的人大都抱着幸灾乐祸的态度,准备看他的笑话。但杨安泽却确实展现出了赢家的底气。

根据其竞选团队的内部民调,他目前在市长选举中处于领跑地位,获得了25%的首选票,而且以两位数的优势领先于最有力的竞争对手、布鲁克林大区区长埃里克·亚当斯。外部民调也显示,杨安泽的支持率位居第一,不过领先优势较小。

不过到目前为止,可能还有半数民主党选民尚未决定他们的首选对象。

《财富》通过电话采访了杨安泽,谈论了他打算如何赢得选民支持、他对纽约经济的未来规划,以及他为什么一定要参选纽约市长。

《财富》:如果你赢了这次市长选举,你将在2022年1月就职。到那时,可能纽约的大部分人都已经接种了新冠疫苗,城市也进入了复苏状态。你上任后要做的事是什么?

杨安泽:我是一个喜欢数字的人,你可以从数字中看出纽约面临的危机有多深。这里已经失去了3万条生命,他们之中有些还是我们的朋友、家人和邻居。我们还失去了60万个工作岗位、84%的通勤工作者、6000万游客、70%的地铁乘客。成千上万的小企业要么已经倒闭,要么濒临倒闭。

所以,如果你想扭转这种局面,首要任务就是给予企业信心,让大家回到工作岗位。因为如果员工不在办公室里,不仅仅会伤害企业本身,还会影响到保安、清洁工、食品运输车司机、零售商店和餐馆等各方面,因为他们将没有任何业务。

希望到明年年初我上任的时候,很多人已经接种了疫苗,而且有更多的人回到了这座城市。但我们要面对现实,情况不会一下子恢复到疫情前的水平。

很多企业已经对业务流程做出了重大调整,比如引入了更高水平的远程工作。我跟一些CEO交谈过,很多CEO跟我说,他们会把员工叫回办公室上班,但可能不是一周五天,而是一周三天。所以我们必须尽量鼓励大家通勤上班,因为这是我们经济的支柱之一。

比如说,如果你每周到纽约上班五天,你可能会获得一张50美元的礼品券,你可以用它去某个餐厅或酒吧消费,和朋友们聚一聚。商家可以拿这张礼品券到市政府进行兑换。这些都是我们为了吸引人们回来上班而应该采取的措施。

另外,纽约还失去了6000万游客,而旅游业支撑起了几十万个工作岗位。旅游业可能还需要几年的时间才能恢复到以前的水平,所以我们必须想方设法加快这一进程。

比如我们可以在阵亡将士纪念日那一天和那一周实行地铁免票政策。这样一来,很多人可能会坐地铁探索纽约的各个地区。这可以起到鼓励人们来纽约的作用,有些人可能已经有几个月没来纽约了。

从历史上看,纽约在鼓励人们前来旅游方面,投入的资源相对较少,有部分原因是之前我们不需要这么做,每个人都想来这里。但是现在,我们必须更认真、更持续地在这方面进行投资。

激励员工来上班是一个有意思的想法,但企业和CEO是怎么想的呢?如果人们不愿意来纽约,你怎样才能让企业留在纽约,支付高额的办公场所租金呢?

我们必须证明,没有任何地方有比纽约更好的环境来建立一家世界级的企业。而当人们聚在一起的时候,他们的创造力和创新能力会达到更高的水平。

有大量研究表明,当员工们在同一个地方工作时,他们会更有创造力和创新力。

从很多方面看,这都是纽约的核心价值主张。远程办公在某些方面确实很有好处,但它不利于文化建设,不利于培养下一代的人才和领导者。虽然你可以通过Zoom完成某些工作,但你没有办法通过它建立一个成功的企业文化。

事实证明,在同一个地方办公的团队,往往具有巨大的优势。这一点在科技、媒体或者金融等竞争极其激烈的行业尤为明显。在这些行业里,如果你比别人更具有创新性和创造力,就能获得巨大的经济回报。

你对宏观经济有何构想?你会在纽约普及全民基本收入吗?

我们需要尽一切所能,确保人们有安全而稳定的生活,所以我支持定向的现金救济。我支持让更多的纽约人用上高速的互联网,让更多人获得基本的金融服务。

现在将近八分之一的纽约人仍然没有银行账户,这在作为世界金融之都的纽约是一个很不合理的现象。

我认为,纽约经济的一个重要机会,是吸引下一代的企业家,将纽约打造成更高竞争水平上的一个主要科技中心。我认为我们应该有“争当第一”的精神。纽约的经济规模和经济的多样化水平要超过美国任何地方。

如果纽约是一个国家,它将相当于世界第11大经济体。科技公司在这里能找到巨大的商机,特别是消费品、媒体、金融、文化和时尚领域的领导者大量聚集在纽约,科技公司可以利用这种“近水楼台”的优势打造下一代企业。

我认为下一批创新者会把科技融合到其他产业中,而纽约正是这方面的一个理想平台。

你是想为广大初创公司打造一个科技中心吗?或者,你有没有想过让谷歌和苹果等知名科技公司把总部搬到纽约?

有件事很让人高兴,谷歌刚刚为它的纽约办事处投资了2亿多美元。

另外,我还有一个叫艾略特·霍洛维茨的朋友,他是一个很成功的创业者。他在纽约市创办了一家新的科技公司。他表示,在纽约创业有很大的竞争优势,因为这里的优秀人才很多,毕竟人才都对纽约感兴趣。

另外,亚马逊公司在纽约有26000个工作岗位,我们不可能让他们离开纽约。所以我要让纽约成为大企业、小企业、新公司和老公司都想来的地方。

你曾说过,要把纽约变成一个数字货币中心。那将会是什么样子?你打算如何实现这个计划?

我要再次强调,纽约是世界金融之都。目前,数字货币和比特币已经成为一个具有上万亿美元规模的资产类别。纽约的很多大公司、大银行都在投资数字货币及其应用。

我的目标是,支持这些技术的研发,找到区块链技术的更多用途,以促进这项技术的应用。

作为世界金融之都,对这个上万亿美元资产类别的创新进行投资,是毫无疑问的。

我们谈了很多关于创新和金融的问题。接下来,你打算怎样保护自由职业者呢?你打算做些工作来保护和提高自由职业者的经济安全水平吗?特别是纽约的自由职业者。

我们可以做一些事情来更好地保护自由职业者,比如在需要签订合同的时候,适当降低门槛,并且向自由职业者预付一定比例的报酬等等。我认为,这样可以把一些不怀好意的人筛选出去。

另外,我们还应该让自由职业者享有以往只有全职员工才能享受的一些福利待遇。首先自然是医保,其次是各种劳动保护。

我的目标是建立一个福利项目,通过一个基金来帮助向自由职业者提供福利,同时消化一部分雇佣自由职业者的成本,从而让这个计划更加具有可持续性。

纽约好像已经批准了一项大麻合法化的政策,这是一个潜在规模达42亿美元的产业。如果你当选了市长,你会怎样对待这个产业?

我很高兴纽约州也加入了大麻合法化的行列。我也认为这是一个巨大的经济机会,很多创业者都可以利用这个机会。我希望纽约市能成为这方面的领导者。

我认为,我们首先要确保一些以往受相关执法活动影响的群体,能够从大麻合法化中直接受益。这种情况可能不会自动发生,所以我们可能需要提供一些帮助,以确保这些群体真正参与到这个机会中来。

我认为大麻合法化可以给当地经济带来数亿美元的收入。另外,我之所以支持大麻合法化,还因为在治疗疼痛方面,它比一些已经夺走了很多美国人生命的物质更安全。

很多前任的纽约市长都竞选过美国总统,但最后都以失败告终。都说纽约市长是一份不好干的工作,而且在政治上好像也是一份没有前途的工作。你除了当市长以外,还有什么政治目标吗?

在这场百年不遇的危机中,作为全世界最伟大城市的市长,我认为除了考虑工作本身的职责,考虑其他事情都是愚蠢的。

如果我能加快纽约的复苏,带领大家共克时艰,我会说:“这是我做过的最有意义的事。”我会把这段经历视为我人生的高光时刻。

我认为对于任何一个从事类似工作的人来说,这都是唯一的选择。

我的精力都集中在让这座城市尽快复苏上,我希望让企业仍然愿意在这里投资,父母仍然愿意在这里养育子女,人们仍然能在这里出人头地——就像25年前的我一样,人们可以在这里,过上在美国其他地方梦想中的生活。

能帮助这座城市复苏,这本身就是一件令人激动的事情。如果这时你还在考虑别的,那你就错了。

你在推特上很活跃,也有很多粉丝。你是如何使用这个媒介的?

我的推特是我在总统竞选期间,用来激发能量、让大家认识我的一个工具。但是现在,我认为它确实能让大家了解我的一些工作,所以我觉得它是有用的。

但我也认为,不管出于什么原因,有些人可能对它感兴趣过头了(笑),他们好像是要分析出我每一句话背后的潜台词——不管我到底有没有那个意思。其实我们只是想把我们的愿景和信息传达出来。(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

It’s difficult to understand why anyone would want to be the mayor of New York City.

The role is thankless, New Yorkers are typically unkind to their mayors (go to any Mets game and you’ll hear fans booing their own team, that’s the kind of city this is). The job is one of the hardest in all of politics, and it’s a known career crusher: Every living mayor of New York City has attempted a presidential run, and not one has succeeded.

And yet Andrew Yang, the former tech entrepreneur and executive fresh off of a presidential run, wants the title.

Yang shot to political stardom seemingly overnight by bringing ideas like Universal Basic Income to the presidential debate stage. And to the surprise of political pundits, his ideas stuck.

Fans of his banded together, largely online, as the “Yang Gang” and rallied behind simple phrases like “Math.” He polled well enough and brought in enough money to stay on the trail until February 2020, far surpassing earlier predictions and cementing his name in national politics.

Now, Yang says he sees a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine New York’s economy as it begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic that took so many lives, jobs, and shuttered so many businesses.

His outsider approach to New York’s deeply-entrenched political order has shocked some, and New Yorkers are more than ready to jump on any faux pas, perceived or real. But he’s still winning. According to internal polls by the Yang campaign, he is currently polling in first, with 25% of first-choice votes, and a double-digit lead over his closest competitor, Eric Adams, the Borough President of Brooklyn. External polls also put Yang in first place, but with a smaller lead.

Still, half of likely Democratic voters are currently undecided about their top choice. Fortune spoke with Yang over the phone to discuss how he plans to win those voters over, his plans for the future of the New York economy, and why he wants the job.

Fortune: If you win this mayoral race, you’ll be taking office in January 2022. Hopefully most of the city is vaccinated by that point and we’re in COVID-19 recovery mode. What’s the first thing you do?

Yang: I'm a numbers guy, and you can see the depth of the crisis that New York City is facing in the numbers. We've lost 30,000 lives, including those of friends, family members and neighbors. We’ve lost 600,000 jobs, 84% of commuters, 60 million tourists, 70% of subway riders, and thousands of small businesses have either closed or on the verge of closing.

So, if you want to turn this around the first thing you have to do is give organizations and companies the confidence to get to go back to the office, because when workers are not in the office, it doesn’t just hurt the company. It impacts the security guards, and the cleaning staff, the food truck operators, the retail or the restaurants that are not seeing any business.

Hopefully by the time I take office early next year, many more people will be vaccinated and more people will be coming back to the city. But we should be realistic that it's not all just going to snap back to the way that it was pre-COVID. Many organizations have meaningfully adjusted their operations to include higher levels of remote work. When I talk to CEOs, many of them say to me that they're bringing people back to the office but it might not be five days a week, it might be three days a week. And so we're going to be in a position where we're going to have to encourage folks to commute as much as possible because that is one of the pillars of our economy. Imagine for example, if you were to commute into New York City five days a week, then you’d get a $50 gift certificate to a New York City restaurant or bar that you could use to stay a little bit later and get together with friends. Then the business can redeem that gift certificate with the city. Those are the kinds of measures that we actually should be adopting to encourage folks to come back.

We’re also missing 60 million tourists who supported hundreds of thousands of jobs. It's going to be, in all likelihood, a multi-year process to recover that level of tourism. So we have to try and speed it up, however we can. One thing that I championed was a subway fare holiday on Memorial Day and that whole week. A lot more people would be riding the subway and exploring different parts of New York City, and it would encourage folks to come into the city, who right now maybe haven't been in for a number of months. Historically, New York has invested relatively low levels of resources in encouraging people to visit, in part because we didn't have to. Everyone has wanted to come here anyway. But now we're going to have to invest more earnestly and consistently.

It’s an interesting idea to try to incentivize workers, but what about CEOs and businesses in general? How do you get them to stay in New York and invest in expensive office space if people aren’t coming in?

We need to make the case that there's no better environment to build a world class organization than New York City, and that innovation and creativity happen at higher levels when people are physically together, and this happens to be true. Numerous studies have demonstrated that workers are more innovative and creative when they're in the same place.

This, in many ways, is the central value proposition of New York City. Remote work is very good for some things, but it's not good for culture building, not good for grooming the next generation of talent and leadership. You can get work done over Zoom but you can’t build a winning culture, and the facts show that there's a massive advantage for teams that are in the same place. This is particularly true when you are in hyper competitive industries like technology or media or finance where there are massive economic returns to being more innovative and creative than others.

What are some of your big picture ideas for the economy? Would you bring universal basic income to New York?

We need to do everything we can to help keep people in secure and stable situations, so I'm for targeted cash relief. I'm for getting more New Yorkers high speed internet. I'm for getting more people access to basic financial services. Almost one in eight New Yorkers does not have a bank account, which is unconscionable in the world financial capital.

I do think one of the major areas of opportunity for New York City is to attract the next generation of entrepreneurs and compete to make New York City a major tech hub at an even higher level than it is. I think that we should be number one, and New York City's economy is larger and more diverse than any other place in the U.S. If we were a country, we would be the 11th biggest economy in the world. There are massive opportunities for technology companies in particular to take advantage of close proximity to leaders in consumer products, media, finance, culture, and fashion to build the next generation of companies. I think the next set of innovators are going to be incorporating technology into other industries, and New York City is the ideal place for that.

Would you seek to develop a tech hub for startups or are you thinking about trying to draw already established tech companies like Google and Apple to move their headquarters here?

I'm thrilled by Google just about there investing over $200 million in their New York City office. I have a friend, Eliot Horowitz, who's a very accomplished founder, he's starting a new technology company in New York City and he says that it's a massive competitive advantage in terms of getting talented people here because people are excited about New York. Letting Amazon and its 26,000 jobs walk away from New York City was not a good thing, and so I'm going to be championing New York City as a place for companies big and small, and for companies both new and mature.

You’ve mentioned that you want to turn New York City into a hub for cryptocurrency. What would that look like and how would you make that happen?

Again, New York City is the world's financial capital, and at this point cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin are a trillion dollar asset class. Many major New York firms and banks are already investing in cryptocurrencies and their applications. My goal would be to support the development of these technologies and find more uses for blockchain technologies in order to spur adoption. If you're the world's financial capital and you have a trillion dollar asset class, it's something of a no brainer to invest in innovation in that area.

We're talking a lot about innovation and finance, but what about protections for freelance workers? What would you like to see done, particularly in New York, to protect and add to the financial security of freelancers?

There are things that we can do to better protect freelance workers like having a lower threshold for when a contract is necessary and having some proportion of payment upfront, which I think really does screen out bad actors.

A lot of what we need to do is try to develop for freelancers some of the benefits that traditionally full time employees have enjoyed. That's health care obviously, that’s various worker protections. One of my goals is to initiate a portable benefits program that will help internalize the cost of hiring freelancers to a fund that will help provide benefits to freelancers, so that it's more sustainable.

New York appears to have reached a deal to legalize recreational marijuana, that’s a potential $4.2 billion industry. How would you utilize that if elected mayor?

I’m thrilled that New York State is joining the other states utilizing marijuana. I agree that it's a massive economic opportunity, where many entrepreneurs are going to take advantage of the new status of marijuana, and I want New York City to be a leader in that.

I think that one thing we'll want to do is ensure that some of the communities that have been impacted by the way marijuana laws have been enforced are in a position to benefit directly from its legalization. That may not happen on its own, so we might need to provide some help to make sure that there's a real opportunity for folks in those communities to participate in what should be a boom. I think that it could drive hundreds of millions of dollars in the local economy. I'm excited about the legalization of marijuana in part because it's frankly safer than some of the other substances that have been taking lives away in many cases for many Americans, in terms of pain management.

Many former New York City mayors have tried, and failed, in presidential runs. It’s a tough job, and kind of a dead-end job politically, too. Do you have political ambitions beyond City Hall?

If you're going to become the mayor of the greatest city in the world during a generational crisis, I think it would be sheer folly to be thinking about anything other than that job and that role. If I'm able to speed up our recovery and bring us through this time, I would look at that and say, ‘this is the greatest thing I've ever done’ and I'm going to be thrilled with this as a high point of my working life. I think that should be the only approach someone has to this kind of job and this type of role.

I'm laser-focused on getting our city up and running again as quickly as possible and see to it that, we are still a place that businesses are excited to invest in and grow within, that families are excited to raise our kids here, that individuals can show up like I did 25 years ago and still have the kind of lives that they could only have dreamt of in another part of the country. So, it's invigorating to potentially have a hand in our city’s recovery. But I will say I think if you're thinking about anything else at this point then you are doing it wrong.

You’re pretty active on Twitter and have quite a following there. What’s your approach to the medium?

My Twitter was something that I used on the presidential trail to generate energy and awareness about the campaign, but now I think it does give you a bit of a glimpse into what I'm seeing and doing and I find that useful. I do think that for whatever reason some people are a little bit too interested (laughs) and that they seem to be trying to discern subtext that may or may not be there. In our case we're just trying to get our vision out and get our message out.

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