|Name||Donald M. Payne|
|Address||21 Bock Ave. |
Newark, New Jersey 07112, United States
|| July 16, 1934
|Died||March 06, 2012
|Last Modifed||eddy 9_99|
Mar 06, 2012 08:15am
|Info||Donald M. Payne, a native of Newark, New Jersey, was elected to represent the 10th Congressional District of New Jersey in 1988 as New Jersey's first African American Congressman by an overwhelming majority and has been returned by a wide margin of the vote in each subsequent election. In 2002, he won election to his eighth term to represent the 10th District in the 108th Congress. Congressman Payne was chosen by newly elected House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the powerful Democratic Steering Committee, whose membership determines each individual committee assignment for Democratic members and plays an active role in shaping the legislative agenda. |
Congressman Payne is a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he serves on three subcommittees - the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, and the Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness, which has jurisdiction over higher education issues. He is also a member of the International Relations Committee and its Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere and Subcommittee on Africa, where he holds the position of Ranking Member. A past Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, he is a member of the Democratic Whip Organization and has served as a member of the House Democratic Leadership Advisory Group. As a leading advocate of education, he has been instrumental in the passage of key legislation, including the Goals 2000 initiative to improve elementary and secondary schools; the School-to-Work Opportunities Act; the National Service Act and the Student Loan Bill.
In the 107th Congress, during consideration of welfare reform legislation, Congressman Payne introduced an amendment which was approved on a bipartisan basis by his colleagues on the Committee on Education and the Workforce to add poverty reduction as a basic purpose of the work participation requirements. His amendment promotes long-term income security to reduce the extent and severity of poverty. During organizational meetings for the 108th Congress, an amendment offered by Congressman Payne reaffirmed that the issue of affirmative action will remain under the jurisdiction of the Committee.
Congressman Payne led an effort during consideration of the Education Flexibility Partnership Act to ensure that Title I funds continue to benefit students in school districts with the highest poverty levels; he was appointed to serve on the House/Senate Conference Committee on the bill. Congressman Payne successfully worked to establish a National Literacy Institute and fought to restore funding for Head Start, Summer Jobs for Youth, Pell Grants, Legal Services and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which benefits seniors. He was a key sponsor of the minimum wage increase, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the law to improve the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act to help "boarder babies." His record on environmental issues has been rated one of the best in Congress by conservationist groups, and he has received top ratings for his excellent record in support of social security, Medicare and other programs to benefit retirees.
The Congressman has convened a number of Congressional hearings in his district to call attention to issues including the AIDS epidemic, the rising incidence of tuberculosis, and the impact of incineration on public health. In response to the rash of church burnings which swept the country, he convened a hearing in Washington which brought together national leaders of civil rights groups, businesses, labor and religious organizations and led to the passage of legislation to protect churches and other places of worship.
Through his efforts in Washington, several million dollars for economic development and other key programs have been allocated to Essex, Hudson and Union Counties in the Tenth Congressional District.
On the international front, Congressman Payne has been at the forefront of efforts to restore democracy and human rights in nations throughout the globe, including South Africa, Namibia, Haiti, Zaire, Nigeria, China, Eastern Europe and Northern Ireland. He was one of five members of Congress chosen to accompany President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton on their historic six-nation tour of Africa.
A member of the Balkans Caucus, he was also named by the Speaker of the House to a delegation which met with NATO officials in Brussels and visited refugee camps in Macedonia to assess the crisis in Kosovo. Congressman Payne's support of humanitarian assistance in war-torn Somalia led him to spearhead an effort among pharmaceutical companies to donate over $2 million worth of medicine and supplies. He also headed a Presidential mission to war-torn Rwanda to help find solutions to that country's political and humanitarian crises.
Congressman Payne joined with his colleagues on the International Relations Committee to introduce a measure which was subsequently approved by Congress to strengthen the Microenterprise Act, providing small business loans to people in developing nations. The new law contains language that directs at least half of the loans towards the poorest people - those who subsist on less than $1 a day.
The Tenth District Congressman also introduced a version of the Sudan Peace Act, a measure to facilitate famine relief efforts and a comprehensive solution to the war in Sudan. Subsequently passed in the House and the Senate, this version of the Peace Act was the culmination of more than two years' work by many churches, religious organizations, anti-slavery groups, and resettled Sudanese through broad grass-roots support. The Sudan Peace Act was signed into law by President Bush.
Congressman Payne gained national recognition when he was selected to manage the debate on the floor of the House of Representatives in opposition to the use of force in Iraq before fully exploring a diplomatic solution.
Before being elected to serve as New Jersey's first African American Congressman, his career included service on the Newark Municipal Council; the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders; an executive of the Prudential Insurance Company; Vice President of Urban Data Systems, Inc. and an educator in the Newark public school system. A former national President of the YMCA, he served as Chairman of the World Refugee and Rehabilitation Committee.
He has served on the board of directors of the National Endowment for Democracy, TransAfrica, Discovery Channel Global Education Fund, the Congressional Award Foundation, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark, the Newark Day Center, the Fighting Back Initiative and the Newark YMCA. He has received numerous awards and honors from national, international and community-based organizations.
A graduate of Seton Hall University, he pursued graduate studies at Springfield College in Massachusetts. He holds honorary doctorates from Chicago State University, Drew University, Essex County College and William Paterson University. Congressman Payne, a widower, is the father of 3 and grandfather of 4.