Andrew Yang Endorses Rev. Wendy Hamilton for Congress 2022

Image Courtesy of Rev. Wendy’s Instagram

By Christian Rubio and Mariah Solis

Reverend Wendy Hamilton hosted a campaign fundraiser to discuss running for the US House of Representatives in 2022, with the presence and endorsement of former 2020 Presidential candidate Andrew Yang, at His & Hers Restaurant on October 6th. 

Hamilton is an ordained minister, a Howard University graduate, and a single mother passionate about economic justice and universal basic income (UBI). Yang is a Presidential Ambassador for entrepreneurship, a graduate of Brown University and Columbia Law School, founder of national nonprofit Humanity Forward, author of two books, and is well known for his support of universal basic income. Their common goal to implement UBI has led to Yang’s support for Hamilton for Congress 2022. 

The event was held in a small room at a local restaurant in an effort to support small businesses in the city. Approximately 30 people were in attendance. Hamilton’s campaign manager, Maxine Davis, kicked off the evening introducing a variety of speakers to share their support for Hamilton, including Gary Murray, representative of DC State Board of Education; small business owners; close friends; and relatives. During these short speeches, hors d’oeuvres were served and guests were encouraged to mingle as they waited for Yang and Hamilton’s main speeches. 

Yang and Hamilton both support Universal Basic Income, the focus topic of the event. UBI is still opposed by the majority of Americans, but not by much; according to Pew, 54% oppose it and 45% support it. Yang joked that being proposed by the “magical Asian man” has given it increased credibility since his presidential run. While the idea has certainly had a resurgence, he and Hamilton pointed out that it is far from a new idea; it was supported by Martin Luther King Jr. and even famed conservative economist Milton Friedman.

Many would consider UBI to be a big government policy for obvious reasons; redistributing wealth to the population is quintessential big government economics. However, Friedman and now Yang actually make a small government case for it. Yang argued that America currently has “inhuman bureaucracies grinding us to dust,” and that simply giving every American $1,000 a month without any questions asked would actually eliminate a great deal of bureaucracy.

Hamilton sees D.C. statehood as a good way to make UBI a reality. She intends to advocate for the policy as a delegate, but she pointed out that in the event of D.C. statehood being passed, she would become a full voting member of the House. Both she and Yang were in strong support of D.C. becoming the 51st state; their argument was that the founders never anticipated that the District would have a population of nearly 700,000, and they decried the lack of representation in Congress that this large group of people now has. Hamilton argued that this is a direct violation of the principle of no taxation without representation, arguably the most significant violation made against the colonists, which helped foment the American Revolution. 

Another idea that they both support and discussed at the event is ranked-choice voting. This is another proposal that is gaining serious traction; in fact, Maine used the system for the 2020 presidential election and now uses it in all statewide elections. Yang and Hamilton argue that the implementation of ranked-choice voting will encourage more moderate candidates and turn down polarization. Yang described it as a “necessary modernization” of the voting process that will allow “different viewpoints to emerge” and end the “two-party duopoly.” Hamilton’s website says that the current system “drives partisanship and favors extreme candidates who divide constituents rather than bring people together.”

In their advocacy of these policies, Yang and Hamilton seem to have a desire not to present them as “liberal” or “Democratic” proposals, but rather as truly bold ideas outside of the typical right-left disagreements; or as Yang, recently departed from the Democratic Party, says, “not left, not right, but forward.” He and Hamilton were certainly passionate about these issues on Wednesday, but they still face the uphill battle that comes with any big change in America.

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