(son of Donald Milford Payne), a Representative from New Jersey; born in Newark, Essex County, N.J., December 17, 1958; attended Kean College, Union, N.J.; New Jersey highway authority, 1990-1996; Essex County educational services commission; freeholder-at-large, Essex County, N.J., board of freeholders, 2005-2012; at-large representative, Newark, N.J., city council, 2006-2012, president, 2010-2012; elected simultaneously as a Democrat to the One Hundred Twelfth and One Hundred Thirteenth Congresses, by special election, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of United States Representative Donald Milford Payne (November 6, 2012-present).
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.
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.more » « less