Baraka Mourns Congressman Payne

MAYOR RAS J. BARAKA’S STATEMENT

Representative Donald M. Payne, Jr. carried his devotion to the residents of Newark from his first teenage involvement as founder of the Newark South Ward Junior Democrats, through his service as President of our Municipal Council, to his acclaimed advocacy for New Jersey as Representative in Congress. His dogged determination to win appropriations to win federal funding for the Gateway Project resulted in a $900 million appropriation to upgrade and refashion the infrastructure connecting downtown New York City to the heart of Newark, and reinvigorate the greater Northeast transportation corridor.

“Through his career, Representative Payne gained expertise in transportation, bridges, and tunnels, but his personal traits also fostered connections. He had a talent for engaging a wide spectrum of collaborators for projects he promoted, and strived to increase inclusive opportunities and diversity by inviting women- and minority-owned businesses.

“As the son and namesake of the first African-American to represent New Jersey as a U.S. Congressman, Representative Payne had leadership and love for Newark in his DNA.

“All Newarkers mourn the loss of this great, compassionate man today. I mourn the loss of a stalwart friend and ally and send my deepest condolences to his wife Beatrice, his children, and all his loved ones.”

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