Pavel Payano, Vice Chair of the Lawrence School Committee, has launched an exploratory committee for the Democratic nomination to succeed Senator Barry Finegold to the Second Essex and Middlesex District. Senator Finegold has announced his intention to run for State Treasurer in 2014. Payano has set his sights on becoming the first elected Latino Senator for the District (covering Lawrence, Andover, Dracut and Tewksbury.)
Payano is one of Lawrence’s young, talented, and driven individuals that many residents and activists have been watching for the past several years. He was recently elected for his second term on the Lawrence School Committee. Payano has been an active member of the community, by advocating for initiatives that reduce the achievement gap and increase the number of students that plan to attend college.
He is also the co-founder of the Greater Lawrence Young Professionals Network an organization that seeks to increase and strengthen young professionals in the area and improve the community. Payano is a dedicated Democratic activist, serving on local and national campaigns and initiatives for Governor Deval Patrick, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, as well as serving as Co-Director of President Barack Obama’s Nashua office for Latinos in New Hampshire during the 2008 race for the U.S. Presidency and as Outreach Director for the Massachusetts Democratic Party.
Payano served as Special Assistant to Congresswoman Tsongas, where he worked on economic development and helped advocate for constituents with issues like immigration and social security. While he worked at the Department of Transitional Assistance he experienced firsthand the flaws of our outdated welfare system and also saw how important that safety net is to the thousands of hardworking families that have barely enough to make it by. Understanding the need for innovation in government and for more economic opportunity in his community he accepted a position as a Program Director at the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, a joint initiative between the Deshpande Foundation and UMass Lowell, which seeks to boost the economic and social well being of greater Lawrence and Lowell by advancing entrepreneurship and innovation.
Payano has a passion for public service that began during his college years at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, serving as President of the Student Government Association and overseeing its $1.8 million budget. Pavel has a Master of Science in Public Affairs from the University of Massachusetts-Boston and he is currently finishing his second year at Suffolk University School of Law.
“The opportunity to serve in the legislature has been a goal of mine ever since I was a student at UMass Amherst. I would consider it a great honor to continue the legacy of service to the Merrimack Valley that Senator Finegold and Senator Tucker before him have achieved. I am prepared to serve and I know I can be an effective advocate for the needs of our Senate District. Our district encompasses one of the most diverse constituencies in the state and has a wide range of different needs. I look forward to speaking with as many residents of the district as possible in the months ahead to help me to confirm my decision sometime in January. “
Payano welcomes your input as he looks forward to working together with you to build the prosperity of the Second Essex and Middlesex District.