Pavel Payano for State Senate

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ABout Pavel payano

My Story

Pavel Payano is one of Lawrence’s young, talented, and driven individuals that many residents and activists have been watching for the past several years. Pavel's family came to Lawrence in the late 80s in search of the American dream. His parents have been lifelong educators working the past several decades as teachers in the Lawrence Public Schools. They taught the importance of hard work, the value of an education, and a commitment to serving others.

Pavel demonstrated these values at a young age, graduating from the Robert Frost School and Lawrence High School with honors. He got his first job at the age of 15 serving as an aide to the Recycling Coordinator at Lawrence’s Department of Public Work.

In 2006, Pavel received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While in college he served as President of the UMass Student Government overseeing a $1.8 million student activity budget and he led efforts to establish Student Bridges, an organization dedicated to support urban college students and advocate on issues dealing with affordability and accessibility in Higher Education.

Since then he served in several roles such as Special Assistant to Congresswoman Tsongas, where he worked on economic development and helped advocate for constituents with issues with the IRS and Social Security. During our most recent financial crash, Pavel worked as a social worker to the Department of Transitional Assistance where he experienced firsthand the flaws of our outdated welfare system and saw how poor economic opportunities can affect the thousands of hardworking families that make Lawrence their home.

In 2011, after receiving a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Massachusetts Boston, he took on the role of Project Manager for the Merrimack Valley Sandbox Initiative.  This initiative was a collaboration between UMass Lowell's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Deshpande Foundation, which sought to increase leadership and entrepreneurship in the Lawrence and Lowell area. As Program Manager, he helped establish the Mill City Leadership Institute which offers professional and leadership development to workers in both the private and non-profit sector.

As senior member of the Lawrence School Committee, he has advocated for the last 6 years for initiatives that lower the achievement gap and increase enrollment in higher education. He also serves on the board of the Lawrence Family Development, Inc. a nonprofit that houses the Lawrence Family Development Charter School, Youthbuild, and the Quintana Center. He is an active board member of the Greater Lawrence Summer Fund which allocates ~$200k a year to summer programs in Lawrence. He is also the President and Founder of the Greater Lawrence Young Professionals Network, an organization whose mission is to attract, retain, and engage young professionals in the Lawrence area. 

After graduating from Suffolk University Law School he became an Adjunct Professor at Merrimack College and he serves as the Director of Operations for ALPFA, a non-profit organization charged with expanding opportunities for leaders in the global market.

He now is the Director of  ALPFA, Inc.'s Boston Chapter where he works to empower and develop the over 6,000 professional men and women to be leaders of character for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 


2014 - Distinguished Young Professionals Award, Mas TV

2014 - Young Professional Excellence Award, Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

2013 - 40 Under 40, MVB Magazine

2011 - Public Service Award, University of Massachusetts Boston

2007 - National Prize in Political Leadership, Government of the Dominican Republic

2006 - UMass Leadership Award, BCP UMass Amherst




1998 - Robert Frost Middle School 

2002 - Lawrence High School

2006 - BA in Political Science from University of Massachusetts Amherst

2011 - Master of Public Affairs from University of Massachusetts Boston

2015 - Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School

Professional Experience

2016 - Director of Boston Operations, ALPFA Inc.

2015 - Adjunct Professor, Merrimack College

2015 - Board Member, Lawrence Family Development, Inc.

2014 - Board Member, Greater Lawrence Summer Fund

2011 - Project Manager, Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, UMass Lowell

2011 - School Committee Member, Lawrence Public Schools

2010 - Founding President, Greater Lawrence Young Professionals Network

2009 - Social Worker, Department of Transitional Assistance

2007 - Special Assistant, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas



Improving our Education System

As a former member of the Lawrence School Committee I understand how public education are vital to a city's growth and success. I am committed to ensure that our school system develops 21st century leaders.  Some of my top priorities as a State Senator will be:

  • Support initiatives that increase the dropout age to 18 and expand early childhood to full day starting at 4 years old.
  • Work to make higher education more affordable.
  • Advocate for more resources to our public schools.

Helping Small Businesses Thrive

Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of any community and I am committed to help them grow and be successful. We need to make it easier for business to start up in our city and we need to be more attractive for outside businesses to want to set up roots here. This will increase our tax base and provide for the expansion of public services.

Improving Public Safety



Affordable Housing

I am committed to focus on creating and supporting current initiatives that target our current rise in violent crimes and the opium addiction epidemic we face. As a former social worker and public education advocate I understand how lack of economic opportunities and poor education systems play a contributing factor to the rise in violent crimes and drug addictions.  To successfully target this epidemic that is crippling our city we need to targets the roots of the problem and also ensure that Police Departments have the resources, training, and support they need to keep our communities safe.

Our communities are facing a serious housing crisis (high rent and shortage of affordable housing). We need a comprehensive housing approach to address the impact it has on municipal service, education, traffic, and public safety. We need to have a conversion with our neighboring communities about having a regionalized approach to solving this issue.


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