Mr. Yang is an entrepreneur, not a lifelong politician, with experience leading a test-prep company and a nonprofit organization.
And true to his roots, Mr. Yang in March created a New York-based nonprofit, Humanity Forward, which has started to distribute more than $1 million to needy families in the Bronx.
The assistance hewed to his presidential campaign pledge to give every American adult $1,000 a month as part of a universal basic income mandate.
Now, with the coronavirus pandemic in full bloom, his efforts have taken on prescient relevance — just as his vision of an America plagued by mass unemployment has taken hold.
His re-emergence in New York has added to the intrigue surrounding a possible 2021 mayoral run, an idea that has been floated in his direction since he suspended his presidential campaign in February.