Statement by the President on the Passing of Congressman Donald Payne
Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Congressman Donald Payne, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and former Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. By any standard, Don lived a full and meaningful life. After serving as the first African American President of the National Council of YMCAs, and then several years in local government, Don went on to become the first African American Congressman to represent the state of New Jersey. In Washington, he made it his mission to fight for working families, increase the minimum wage, ensure worker safety, guarantee affordable health care and improve the educational system. He was a leader in US-Africa policy, making enormous contributions towards helping restore democracy and human rights across the continent. Don will be missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.