Donald M. Payne,Jr.
Newark Municipal Councilman-at-Large Donald Payne Jr., a lifelong Newark resident, comes from a family of distinguished individuals dedicated to public service, including his father, the esteemed Congressman Donald Payne, Sr.
Payne Jr. started his career in public service as a teenager, when he founded and became the first president of the Newark South Ward Junior Democrats. While studying graphic arts at Kean College (now Kean University), Payne went on to serve as president of the South Ward Young Democrats and advisor to the YMCA Youth in Government Program. In 1990, Payne took a job at the New Jersey Highway Authority in the tolls division. During his tenure with the Highway Authority, Payne suffered a back injury that forced him to seek less physically demanding employment. In 1996, he started working at the Essex County Educational Services Commission as a school bus monitor and eventually worked his way up to the position of supervisor of student transportation, a position from which he is currently on leave. Payne has been a South Ward district leader for 20 years. Also serving as Essex County freeholder-at-large, Payne seeks to provide the people of Newark and Essex Counties with continuity between county and municipal governments in an effort to minimize bureaucratic red tape and expedite crucial services needed by the people.
As councilman-at-large, Payne has faithfully championed the issues of his constituency, and he also sits on the Health, Education and Recreation Committees of the Newark Municipal Council.
In addition to his legislative activities, Payne supports the following faith- and community-based organizations:
- Above the Rim
- All Together
- Habitat for Humanity Newark (NFHN)
- New Jersey Knights
- North Jersey Youth Club
- Satori Athletic Organizations
Payne also is a member of the Board of the Newark Watershed and Preserve Our Legacy, Inc., a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase awareness and education within the minority community about the benefits of adult stem cell research.
Donald legislative priorities are affordable housing, children’s issues, health issues, and economic and workforce development. He hopes that the Payne legacy of political participation will continue to thrive through his triplets Donald III, Jack, and Yvonne.