Andrew Yang speaks to a young Asian American outside of Cafe Clover in Cheltenham, Montgomery County, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. (Keystone Photo/Jamyra Perry) Andrew Yang
Andrew Yang speaks to a young Asian American outside of Cafe Clover in Cheltenham, Montgomery County, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. (Keystone Photo/Jamyra Perry)

“Many of the Asian Americans and South Asians that I speak to are very excited about having Kamala as the first Asian American vice president. I think that she is clearly the most diverse vice presidential candidate we’ve seen in our nation’s history,” Yang said.

Entrepreneur former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang visited eastern Pennsylvania on Sunday to campaign for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

The trip marked the second time in the last few weeks that Yang has visited the Philadelphia area. He said the Keystone State holds a special place in his heart and in the election.

“Pennsylvania, in all likelihood, is going to be a huge indicator of which way this race goes nationwide,” Yang said. “For me personally, I have a lot of friends in Pennsylvania. I’ve enjoyed my time here. And I know that they’ve been working very hard to try and turn Pennsylvania blue so it was a thrill for me to be able to help in these closing days.”

Asian Americans make up about 3.8% of the Pennsylvania population, and about 7.8% of the Philadelphia population.

“We can easily be the swing vote in Pennsylvania and other swing states,” Yang said. “So one thing I’m excited about is seeing our community vote at higher levels than we have in the past, which I believe is going to happen this cycle.”

The Biden-Harris campaign has been working hard to court Asian American voters in Pennsylvania. The campaign created the Asian American Pacific Islander Leadership Council, a group of Asian leaders from across the Commonwealth.

The Biden-Harris campaign has promised to nominate Asian American federal officials and justices, work to make sure federal agencies consider the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in their programs, make public colleges and universities free for AAPI students whose families have an annual income of less than $125,000, and counter hate crimes.

The campaign has held weekly phone banks targeting Sikh Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Bhutanese Americans, Chinese Americans, South Asians, as well as Filipino Americans. They also previously held an early vote rally featuring Yang, Activist Ai-jen Poo, and US Reps. Ted Lieu and Mark Takano, among others.

Yang said he is happy that the Biden-Harris campaign is working with all of these different Asian American groups who often get ignored when it comes to politics.

“The Asian American community is the most socially, economically diverse community in the country and it’s made up of people from very different backgrounds from people who immigrated here as educated professionals to people who immigrated here as refugees,” Yang said. “I don’t think the diversity of our community gets enough attention.”

Yang said that Kamala Harris, whose parents are Indian and Jamaican, is proof of that diversity.

“Many of the Asian Americans and South Asians that I speak to are very excited about having Kamala as the first Asian American vice president. I think that she is clearly the most diverse vice presidential candidate we’ve seen in our nation’s history, and so many folks I talked to are super excited about it,” Yang said.

Yang, whose presidential run focused largely on economic policy, said he hopes the country can come together and the government can help those in need.

“I would like to see our country come together and realize that the problems in front of us face everyone, and those problems don’t care about your politics,” he said. “I want to see cash relief in the hands of American families who are struggling through this pandemic. I hear from people every single day, who have lost their jobs or had their wages depressed and face a very uncertain future. We need to do more for those people and I’m confident that Joe and Kamala will make that happen when they’re in the White House or maybe even before then.”

Yang had a loyal following during his run and said he’s not done yet.

“I’m determined to do everything I can to solve the problems that I ran on, whether that’s as a candidate, as part of an administration, or in any other capacity, including as a private citizen,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can to try and fix the problems that unfortunately are getting bigger over time rather than smaller.”