STATEMENT HONORING THE LIFE OF CONGRESSMAN DONALD PAYNE
From my first days in Congress, I always considered Donald Payne to be a mentor and friend.
He took me and others under his wing and showed us what it means to truly be a Member of Congress—not just a politician.
He showed me, like he showed so many in this Chamber, how much more we accomplish through humility and cooperation than through bravado and partisanship.
He was brilliant and put thought into every word that he said—and because of that, Madam Speaker, his words carried weight on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers.
Most recently, I was privileged to serve under his leadership on the board of the Congressional Black Caucus.
I was able to see up close how he brought together the diverse personalities and opinions of our caucus to achieve a greater purpose.
Donald Payne made our caucus strong and united and while we will attempt to fill the gap he leaves behind, I know we will never have another leader like him.
Madame Speaker, learning to serve in the House is truly an honor—but it is also a challenge. As a young member, I am continuing to grow and find my place amongst my distinguished colleagues.
But I feel just a little more confident because I had a mentor and a role model in Donald Payne.
And as long as I am given the privilege to serve in this House, I look forward to carrying the legacy that he started—to fight for the underprivileged, to bring attention to critical issues that don’t make the front page.
I want to extend my deepest sympathies to his family and to his staff, who know, like I do, how great a Member and how great a man he truly was.
I’m reminded of a passage of a conversation that Jesus had with his disciples in the Book of Matthew, and they were dealing with this notion of leadership.
And Jesus said very succinctly and very clearly and very wisely, and prophetically to them, when he said: ‘‘He who wishes to be chief among you shall first be your servant.’’
Let us remember and honor Donald Payne, a true public servant.
TAX ASSISTANCE INFORMATION