NYC Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa pitches universal basic income pilot program of $1,100 a month for 500 people for two years.

Curtis Sliwa, the Republican candidate for mayor, holds a news conference to discuss his platform on crime prevention, Monday, July 19, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Despite his loss in the Democratic primary, it appears at least one candidate for the general election in the New York City mayoral race will be carrying on Andrew Yang’s signature policy.

By:: Stephen M. Lepore

Republican Curtis Sliwa, political newcomer and founder of The Guardian Angels, took to Twitter Wednesday to pitch his version of a pilot program for Universal Basic Income, which Yang used to hit the spotlight in the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary.

“I am a candidate that has always been open to new ideas that can improve our City,” Sliwa said in a statement. “For decades, our City has squandered taxpayer money on inefficient programs like ThriveNYC. This corrupt program has cost our City nearly $1.25 billion—with little to no positive results for the people. While City bureaucrats make six-figure salaries at taxpayer expense, our poorest residents are stuck on the streets.”

The UBI pilot will provide $1,100 a month to 500 residents with what Sliwa calls “no strings attached and no means testing.” The candidate promised that it won’t require any new tax revenue and will instead redirect revenue from ThriveNYC.

“When faced with the option to continue the status quo of wasting taxpayer dollars or the option of giving new ideas a chance, I will opt for the latter,” Sliwa added. “The status quo is wasting billions of dollars annually on failed government programs. Let’s try out a new approach, and trust the people with their own money.”

Yang appears to have noticed Sliwa’s proposal, retweeting a supporter who posted about the news.

Sliwa has made multiple attempts to reach the entrepreneur’s supporters, including posting a video asking them to join his campaign after Yang’s defeat. Yang finished in fourth in the primary with 14.8% of the vote on round six of the ranked choice ballots.

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