Full Biography


U.S. Representative Donald M. Payne, Jr. is a lifelong resident of Newark, New Jersey. Since 2012, he has served the people of the 10th Congressional District of New Jersey, which covers portions of Essex, Hudson, and Union counties. Rep. Payne, Jr. is a tireless fighter for New Jersey families, working to create jobs and grow the economy, protect and invest in our children, and ensure the health and safety of our communities.

As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, Rep. Payne, Jr. has built a record of achievement in a divided Congress. He introduced two bills that were signed into Public Law by President Barack Obama, including the Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act of 2015, which ensures that DHS personnel can reliably communicate during emergencies. In 2017, Rep. Payne, Jr. sponsored, H.R. 1372, the “Homeland Security for Children Act” which requires the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans to review and incorporate feedback from organizations representing the needs of children into DHS policy. He also sponsored H.R. 687, the “First Responders Access to Innovative Technologies Act.

In 2017, Rep. Payne, Jr. was appointed to serve as a member of the powerful House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The Committee has jurisdiction over national infrastructure and all modes of transportation, including aviation and mass transit. Rep. Payne, Jr. fought for a $900 million appropriation to fund the Gateway Project, a multi-year, multi-billion-dollar project to rebuild transportation infrastructure between New Jersey and New York. He led the Build America series of convenings to bring together government, industry leaders, small businesses, and women- and minority-owned businesses to increase diversity in federal government contracting projects. Rep. Payne, Jr. also introduced the resolution designating “Infrastructure Week”.

Rep. Payne, Jr. is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act, which provides thousands of New Jerseyans with access to high-quality, affordable health care. He has been a strong advocate for investing in and protecting the health of our children and introduced the TEST for Lead Act to protect children from lead-contaminated drinking water in schools. Rep. Payne, Jr. also is a vocal advocate for cancer prevention. He is lead Democratic co-sponsor of the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Detection Act. Rep. Payne, Jr. also introduced the Donald Payne Sr. Colorectal Cancer Detection Act and the National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Resolution. He is Co-Chair of the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus.

Rep. Payne, Jr. began his long career in public service when he founded Newark South Ward Junior Democrats, becoming its first president. He also served as an adviser to the YMCA Youth in Government program. He attended Kean College (now Kean University), where he studied graphic arts. He lives in Newark with his wife Beatrice and their triplets, Donald III, Jack, and Yvonne.