Friday, June 15, 2012


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 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.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


It appears an overwhelming common goal of many who responded, especially many of the newer members (and I will add this was one of my goals as well) is that to be more effective in our campaigns, we must take our work to a more local level as we did with the 2012 Civil Rights Marches this past April. Had we already maintained a stronger local presence at that time, the marches and messages they conveyed could have easily been quadrupled. This is an easy accomplishment and appears to be at the top of the suggestion list. This group here, along with our off facebook website is the core of the campaign where administrators, leaders, members, etc. can exchange ideas and get their own LGBTQIA related issues in the forefront for advancing our rights, as we all agreed in the suggestions is one of the reasons for our advocacy and our existence.

To accomplish this, we need to gather those interested in being on a few different committees to get this under way and while the strength of the Let's Reach 1 Million Campaign is not only in our ability to generate media attention (which, according to many messages received after the marches, many activists, both LGBTQIA and our allies, said they had never seen so much publicity generated for a one day event), but also our ability to educate and enlighten society as to our plight in many other ways. Our facebook campaign currently is focused with a group, which the majority of those who responded agreed a group carries more clout that a page with only likes, but that in our expansion to local levels of states, cities, etc. those interested in heading a Let's Reach 1 Million Campaign locally need to be assigned a territory with a corresponding facebook PAGE so as to distinguish it from the overall national group campaign and that by doing this, those leaders of the local territories can grow their local campaigns quickly in clout with likes, while encouraging those liking their page to join the national group campaign as a member as well. Many of you said you felt in doing this, more members of the national group campaign will take a more active role in their respective localities and I totally agree with that.

Another common goal of many of you were to get our activists and members to post their agenda, petitions, etc. not only in the national group to gain support and attention, but most members in the group are already an integral part of the achievement of LGBTQIA rights and these posts need to be made in other outside places to garner more support and more allies for our fight for equality and in doing this we will see a growth in support from many others not already in this with us.

Of course many had their own ways of carrying on their own work on their own goals and that is so fantastic for those who have the initiative to do this on their own and in going forward with our evolution, it would be nice to have maybe a certain day a week devoted to posts about how those members work on their own personal goals for our equality.

Lastly, a common mention by many is that we need to regroup our administrators of the main national campaign group of Let's Reach 1 Million People Campaign to include only those members who truly desire and want to be an active part in going forward and working toward LGBTQIA equality.

A great place to start would be for those interested to comment here and let us know you want to be an integral part of this evolution, especially those of you who would like to be a local leader of a branch of the Let's Reach 1 Million Campaign as mentioned above.

Please at this time, post your responses here in the group rather than by private message as that will definitely be beneficial for all members in getting this evolution going forward in this ever so important election year.