Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) released the following statement on the passing of New Jersey Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ):
"Today, we lost a true public servant, who fought on behalf of his constituents in the 10th Congressional District of New Jersey and the rest of Americans across the nation. He made history as the first African American in New Jersey elected to Congress. Along with many others, I considered Rep. Payne not just an accomplished colleague but a role model and dear friend.
"He was a relentless advocate for the continent of Africa, the African Diaspora as well as the Caribbean. He boldly spoke out against genocide in Darfur and Rwanda, and fought alongside the Congressional Black Caucus to help Haiti recover from the devastating earthquake that struck the nation in 2010. I am confident that we will never forget his passion, zeal, and commitment to improve the United States' diplomatic relations around the world.
"I extend my thoughts and prayers to his family, close friends, staff and the 10th Congressional District of New Jersey. Know that he has left behind a great legacy and foundation for future generations of leaders. We will continue to celebrate the contributions of this great statesman."