|Donald M. Payne, Sr.|
|Son, Donald Payne, Jr.|
NEWS ALERT: The subsequent passing of this Congressman is truly a sad day for all mankind. A truly great advocate for basic human and civil rights has left the stage and will be missed by all. Congressman Donald M. Payne, Sr. issued a personal challenge to the Let's Reach 1 Million People Campaign in 2011 for LGBT Equality. The young grassroots organization issued a release on July 18, 2011 summarizing his challenge.
The organization is in the process of drafting correspondence to his son, Donald Payne, Jr., Newark Council President and Essex County Freeholder, who recently beat out five other candidates in the primary to get his name on November's ballot, to find out his intent on carrying out and continuing the support shown for the LGBT by his father and whether or not he was even aware of the challenge his father gave to the grassroots organization, as well as his knowing what plans his father alluded to in the challenge for potentially stepping up his support for LGBT Equality. Donald Payne, Jr. was also the winner of a special election to fill the unexpired term of his father, who died suddenly this past March of colon cancer.
The following is an excerpt from a June 6, 2012 article written by Monica Miller in NEWSWORKS New Jersey:
"Well, I wouldn't even kid you to think that I could fill those shoes. But, I'm standing on his shoulders," said Payne, Jr. "I understand what he wanted for this community. I understand what he wanted for this state. I understand what he wanted for this world. So, no one -- no one better than I can continue to do the work that the late Congressman Donald Payne did for everyone."
While it may appear this news alert is coming a little late being a short while since his passing; the organization thought it best to wait and see how the primary turned out last week as to whether his son looks to be the one to carry on the legacy of Congressman Payne...it does so look for that to be the case! (Because this district is so heavily Democratic, Donald Payne, Jr. will most likely win in November's general election.)
Congressman Payne was a progressive, staunch champion of civil, women's and labor rights, as well as an ally of the LGBT. He was steadfast in his support for equality. Congressman Payne was also up for re-election this year. He always thought representatives, at the end of the day, should side with constituents and was quoted once in an article as saying the following, "Members listen to constituents and will side with them over lobbyists if they assert themselves and hold their representatives accountable. Church groups and advocacy organizations can be particularly effective." This philosophy of his can definitely be seen in the challenge he issued in 2011.
This grassroots organization is particularly interested in ascertaining that his son, Donald Payne, Jr. will stand for the same progressive values his father stood for, including civil, human, women's, workers', immigrant and LGBT rights. He already has the support and endorsement of Jesse Jackson, Jr.
In closing: Was the challenge issued in 2011 so confidential because the congressman was up for re-election? I shouldn't think so as he had never really encountered any challenges of his own in continuing on in Congress for all of those years. We hope to find out some answers with correspondence in the works to Donald Payne, Jr.