As the 2020 Presidential Election is approaching, voters are making more efforts to launch support groups for their preferred candidates. In East Lansing, residents in favor of Andrew Yang have recently come together to form a “Yang Gang,” a commonly known title for the followers of Yang’s campaign.
The group has only been active for about a month after the initial meet-up. With just over a dozen members present at the “Yang Gang Hang”, supporters talked about what Yang’s presidency would mean to them. Since then, they have been working together on phone banking for Yang’s campaign.
“It’s just a gathering of people who are similarly minded and willing to help,” member of the East Lansing Yang Gang, Zachary Chupak said. “ ... I’ve always been more left-leaning … so it wasn’t really a choice between a democrat or republican, but which democrat.”
As he read more into Yang’s policies, Chupak, 24, said he noticed the extent of internet literacy expressed by Yang, which, according to him, was not present among the other candidates.
“Why Yang? Humanity first,” said Mike Gorishek, another member of East Lansing Yang Gang. “It means changing the system so that the system works for us, we don’t work for the system.”
Gorishek, 45, said he has kids who are in college. He wants them to be able to feel involved and support them in becoming politically active. One of his main concerns is people finding jobs in the current climate.
“It’s not (the) ideology,” Gorishek said. “It’s about the problems and talking about the solutions in an intelligent way to get to a human centric solution.”
Lansing resident David Ruark said he believes Andrew Yang to be a "21st century solution" to the "21st century problems." To Ruark, Yang is categorically different from all the other candidates.
“He’s much more hopeful ... and his solutions ring true to me,” Ruark said. " ... Obviously his freedom dividend is foundational of everything. ... I think that’s a game changer. It’s going to completely take our economy to the next level.”
Yang's policy on "Freedom Dividend" would provide each American adult $1,000 per month in a universal basic income. Gorishek said this is the policy that personally attracted him to Yang's campaign.
Although members were disappointed about Yang’s absence in the January Democratic debate, they look forward to a possible return if Yang qualifies for the upcoming debate in New Hampshire.
The group plans to meet on Feb. 7 for the February Democratic Debate.
“We’re super friendly folks, if anyone wants to get involved, we’d be happy to have them,” said Ruark. “It’d be great to have more people involved.”