Like I said in the past, the Yang Gang phenomenon reminded me of the ALDUB phenomenon, albeit showbiz, here in the Philippines in 2015 (and onwards) that touched a chord with millions of Filipinos & made the Twitterverse explode. (We also used it as a platform for causes like helping the indigenous people of Mindanao). The same explosion is happening with the Yang Gang, the collective name for Andrew Yang‘s passionate supporters, this time dominating both Twitter and YouTube. Because of the solutions-based campaign of Yang and the intelligence, kindness and authenticity of the man himself, a lot of people from all backgrounds, even those previously politically disengaged, have taken it upon themselves to use all their time, talent and skills to get their hero/idol elected.
And from these talented and avid collection of supporters — just like ALDUB — quite a number of “Yangsters” have emerged as influencers via the content that they create and or the role they play in the Yang Gang universe. This post is an attempt — hardly conclusive or authoritative — to introduce these lovely people to the uninitiated, and to the new Yang Gang members who are just joining and will be joining the Yang Gang due to the Yang Gang’s active Yanging (yes, it’s a verb) & Andrew Yang’s continuing ascent in the polls (as I revise this, Yang just got a surge in popularity and preference post-December 19 debate, & raised $16.5 milliom in the fourth quarter of 2019). Without further ado, here’s the #YangGangFamily!
Of course, there’s the man himself. An underdog when he was a child himself, bullied and tormented by older kids, Andrew didn’t forget the experience, and throughout his life would stick up for the lone person in the corner, the marginalized. This is the reason why he decided to run for president. He saw the growing inequality and that many people living paycheck-to-paycheck will be affected by automation, and concluded that there was no time to waste, and government must act. When no one in Washington D.C. would lift a finger about it, he decided to do it himself.
Andrew’s supportive wife. She left her job to take care of their two children (one of whom is autistic). It takes an extraordinary woman to support her husband’s decision to be mostly away from home for a little more than two years now. The saying “Behind every man’s success is a woman,” has never been truer in this case.
Andrew’s young campaign manager. He and Andrew Yang met at the non-profit SuitUp, which Zach co-founded and Andrew advised. His right-hand man. Dedicated and loyal, the 31-year old sees to it that all the wheels are turning smoothly. The Yang Gang also affectionately calls him “Big Coat Guy” after Stephen Colbert endorsed him at the height of #WhippedCreamGate, one of Andrew Yang’s “meme-able” moments.
Some call him Andrew Yang’s Jedi. The Obi-Wan Kenobi (or UBI-Yang Kenobi?) to Yang’s Luke Skywalker. Long before Andrew taught of running for president, Scott Santens has been advocating for Universal/Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) since 2013. In 2016, they met as Basic Income advocates, and a year later Andrew told him that he will run for president, and the rest was history.
Scott is most active on Twitter, sharing his knowledge and articles on Basic Income. He is also well-known for documenting mainstream media (MSM)’s #YangMediaBlackout, MSM’s exclusion of Andrew Yang in their coverage.
Former mayor of Portsmouth, NH, and two-time gubernatorial candidate of New Hampshire is Andrew Yang’s senior advisor, another of Andrew’s right-hand men. After following Yang for a while, he finally met him in early 2019, and they immediately hit it off.
This beautiful and intelligent actor and writer from California, who just learned about Yang in June, became the first go-to source of all things Yang and Yang Gang when she started to produce regular YouTube video updates & opinions, interviews, and livestreams. Her #YangGang adventures — often hilarious and sometimes suspenseful — with her British fiance Steven “Steve” Butler is must-watch. Yang Gang members and Paget herself have often commented how the Yang Gang is like a reality show. And they are right. But it’s better than a reality show because everything is unedited and unfiltered, mediated only by Paget’s adorable personality and her interaction with the Yang Gang via the chat section. Although she doesn’t want to be called “mom” (Mother of Dragons was the latest iteration/incarnation) by the rest of the Yang Gang, she, in a sense, nurtures the gang with her constant uploads and updates, keeping everyone motivated and engaged with her optimistic — but determined & feisty — outlook.
Steven “Steve” Butler
Paget’s fiance. Also called “Poor Steve” teasingly by the Yang Gang when he and Paget have a mini-fight. But how fateful is it that Paget’s boyfriend is a Tax Consultant and Value Added Tax (VAT) expert? Steve recently explained on Paget’s channel how a VAT works and how it can fund Andrew Yang’s Freedom Dividend.
This 19-year old film major and bundle of energy is a sight to behold with his regular vlog posts on Youtube and Twitter video updates (he has also started podcasting). A former Bernie supporter, he discovered Andrew Yang as an assignment in their high school class. When he researched Yang and met him in person, there was no turning back. Fast-talking Kai is so amped that you can’t help but be infected by his energy. He is so insightful and seldom doubts himself, and just goes for it. For example, this #YangGang moment — when he almost dragged Paget to run after the newly-arrived Andrew just before the start of Yangapalooza — is now a classic. Thank god for his parents and for his mom who regularly “cyberstalks” him with her Youtube pseudonym and donates in his livestreams.
Nerds for Yang’s Tom Leung
Speaking of insightful, itinerant (he is usually overseas working) and chart-loving Tom Leung of Nerds for Yang is the first stop if you want to learn how Andrew is doing in the polls, searches, and gambling odds. I think he is the only vlogger on this list who has interviewed Andrew by himself, holding fundraising challenges for the YangGang so Yang can appear on his show. The latest was the $50K challenge where a dozen or so content-creators were in a competition to raise the most donations via their act blue link so that three of them can interview Andrew Yang — Tom, Paget, Kai, and Aaron of Humanity films won, with Tom moderating (the latest $50K challenge this time is hosted by Paget so the top fundraisers can interview Evelyn.) Speaking of interviews, Tom’s interviews of fellow Yangsters are one of the best out there. He listens well, and knows which questions to ask next.
Fred “the Felon” Ramey
An ex-con, with a very “interesting personality” — an adorable gung-ho attitude with a dash of political incorrectness — Fred Ramey, a former Trump supporter and staunch Republican/conservative, met Andrew Yang in March of 2019, and since then has become an avid Yang Gang member, attending and streaming/recording most of Andrew’s talks, rallies and events. He has also co-founded the PAC Truckers for Yang — with Digital Marketer Sola Obayan — whose goal is to wrap 16 Trucks with Yang material by December and these trucks would travel across the U.S. visiting and going through rural and hard to reach communities. This idea is the outgrowth of the now famous Yang-wrapped trailer driven by Fred himself.
Ted of Yangstream
Wherever Andrew Yang goes, there goes Ted Mclean with his Twitch livestream (YangStream.com redirects to the Twitch channel), which he also simultaneously livestreams on his YouTube channel Humanity for Yang. Because of his omniprescence in the Yang campaign, this I.T & mass communications guy usually collaborates with other Yang Gang content creators. For example, a few weeks ago, he travelled with Fred in South Carolina and had an encounter with this 14-year old whiz kid and Andrew Yang fan & college sophomore (there are lots of young people — even those of non-voting age — who are Yang fans). He also livestreamed remotely different #HonkForYang efforts across the U.S. Most recently, he collaborated with the Zach and Matt show (in particular, Matt, because Zach had to go to school) and Fred to livestream Andrew Yang’s Iowa bus tour.
The Zach and Matt Show
If you missed any of Andrew Yang’s appearances on TV shows, podcasts, rallies, or even videos and appearances of Andrew Yang when he wasn’t yet running for president, childhood friends Zach and Matt are your guys. Hardly has an event finished when its video is already up on their YouTube channel. This chill duo started covering the Democratic primary — with Zach as the UBI advocate and trying-to-be-unbiased Yang supporter — but discovered that they had more engagement when they covered Yang, so they focused instead on his campaign. Recently, they started to collaborate with Ted MacLean’s Yangstream to bring Andrew Yang events live.
Problem Solver Politics
Cardon Ellis and Cody The Oracle (the latter doesn’t want to let the public know about his last name, but I think Cardon outed him in this episode when they interviewed Paget) started as a radio show on FM 98.1 in Los Angeles, with Cardon as the host, and Cody as the board operator. Frustrated that they could not express themselves more in a Sundays-only show, they decided to found their current political podcast channel.
Like Zach and Matt, they started out covering the Democratic primaries, and all the candidates and their policies, but noticed that although the coverage of Andrew Yang was few and far between, the number of views when they talked about Andrew was exponential, so they decided to focus on Andrew — especially his policies and ideas — and his fast-growing grass movement called the Yang Gang. As, Tom Leung of Nerds for Yang described PSP, Cardon and Cody were one of the OG’s. If you watch their first video on Yang, it is interesting to note how their relationship has evolved (e.g. Cody now more assertive) and how Cardon’s opinion of Andrew and his Freedom Dividend/UBI started as skeptical.
The channel created by physical therapy assistant, veteran, and avowed skeptic & atheist Boyce Littlefield, has become the watercooler-cum-town hall of YangGang. This is the default Yang Gang hub, where you can meet and chat with other Yangsters from across the U.S. and even the world, like Sun the Yangstralian, maker of limited-edition MATH hats, artist Ryan Odagawa of WhoIsAndrewYang.com, Burke Andersson who does Ride Shares for Yang, Crystal Fleischman of Minessota’ JGiddins The Father, Dancer & K-pop enthusiast Alyssa Monet Mason, psychiatrist Doctor A, Read my Lips‘ Ronnie, Scott Garibay, and many more, including other Yangsters mentioned on this page.
Boyce — who’s known to moderate the channel for as long as 5 hours without going to the bathroom — invite diverse voices, and guide the topics to all things #YangGang including Andrew Yang’s policies, but the conversation is so free-flowing that it can go on other interesting tangents. Now and then, Boyce would upload shorter videos like updates, and has even featured my article 11 Reasons Why I Support Andrew Yang! Indeed the channel’s title may as well be: Boyce Gathers and Welcomes All Voices.
Shaving with Tully
Described by some as intense, content creator and Tully of New Hampshire walks his talk. He also has some really awesome interviews like his interview with veteran and bio-engineer Russell Toll at Yangapalooza (the lady who spoke later beside him, Heidi, is now part of the campaign) , these young Beto supporters who converted to Yang after the former dropped out during Yangapalooza, and senior cab driver Dennis from Iowa. You can say that Tully is all over the place, as in, literally. He has co-organized the protest against MSNBC (after the network ignored Andrew Yang for 30 minutes after the debate) where he was interviewed by, of all channels, Breitbart. Recently, he’s been travelling between Iowa and New Hampshire, sharing his thoughts about the campaign, and rallying everyone to work hard.
Grassroots for Yang
Grassroots for Yang is an entire family following Yang wherever he goes. Russell, Elasa (and their cute Little #YangGang Zephania) are lifelong conservatives and former Trump supporters who, left their jobs, and now dedicate all of their time to covering Andrew Yang. One of Russell’s early videos sharing why he and his family supports Yang is so heart-wrenching. This video shows you why Andrew Yang, indeed has a passionate and robust grassroots support. (I experienced this too, while campaigning for the opposition candidates here in the Philippines last May, and explaining Universal Basic Income.) Those who have less know their situation the best, and that’s why they totally understand Andrew’s Freedom Dividend policy.
Speaking of James Treakle, the release of his supporter-created videos for Andrew Yang are always a big event in Yang Gang and online community, e.g., #WomenForYang, #BlacksForYang, #TimeForYang, etc.
Aaron of Humanity Films
Aaron is a filmmaker who covers Andrew Yang-related events, does interviews with Yang supporters, and also regularly livestreams his thoughts on Andew’s policies. He loves to answer or react to everyone’s questions and comments on the live chat. He was one of the content creators who was able to interview Andrew Yang via the $50,000 fundraising challenge, and asked excellent policy questions.
Brooke Lea Wood and Stuart “Stu” “Ghosts for Yang” Arbury
Brooke is Universal Basic Income advocate & a designer from Arizona and Stu “Ghosts for Yang” (got his name from a comment by Paget about his skin color) is a filmmaker/producer who reviews books of different candidates on his YouTube channel. The two artists teamed up to create YangDaily10.com, which gives daily tasks for the Yang Gang to help with the campaign.
William Lex Ham
Actor William Lex Ham, more popularly known as Will is an actor and an active Yang Gang member in the South California (So Cal) scene. He is one of the founders of the L.A. Yang Armory together with Loren Tripp & other artists, and also collaborated with fellow actor David Arquette to paint the Andrew Yang mural in Korea town. Always present in big Yang Gang events like Yangapalooza, the Bet on Yang rally in Las Vegas, or the debate party during the Los Angeles debate, he is one of the most cool & enthusiastic Yang Gang members with his trademark “Yeah!” to applaud Andrew Yang — watch this video by Matt of the Zach and Matt Show or Will’s recorded video of Andrew’s post-debate speech himself. One of his most recent posts showed where he got his enthusiastic personality.
Aarika, a kindergarten teacher who prioritizes and loves her students, gained popularity because of her very interesting and high-energy video clips on Twitter where she Yangs not just voters in her community, but shops as well! Her favorite “nemesis” is James the security guard, who is still skeptical about the whole system and Andrew Yang, but will acknowledge that he is wrong if Andrew wins.
Aarika recently appeared on Paget’s livestream, and you can see her creativity and enthusiasm at work when she and Paget and the rest of the Yang Gang came up “on stream,” as it were, with National Cookie Day, on January 13, on Andrew’s birthday (they are still looking for volunteer bakeries in different cities, so you may want to help them, especially because Evelyn Yang has agreed to promote the cookies when she and Andrew appear on The View in January). She also appeared on the #BlacksForYang video created by James Treakle in cooperation with the Yang Gang. Her appearance on Paget’s stream also helped her tremendously with her fundraising to canvass in Iowa and the early primary states — so to voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, get ready to welcome the Aarika #YangForce!
That’s it for now, Yang Gang! I’m sure I missed a lot of other popular Yangsters — it’s a huge and diverse family after all — but I’m sure the rest of the Yang Gang will point them out to you in the comments section. This is just to give you an idea of how fun it is to be a part of this life-changing gang. But who knows, I might be able to feature them in the future. For now, what’s important to note is that each of us has an important role to play in this amazing movement, and we will have an awesome and wonderful time doing it!
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