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"I'm running for State Senator in the First Essex district to move the communities of Haverhill, Methuen and Lawrence forward!”

- Pavel Payano

Pavel smiling in a grey suit

Add your name to our campaign today!

Thanks for joining Team Pavel!

Pavel reading to five children

Pavel's Story

The son of immigrant Lawrencians who dedicated decades to the LPS system, Pavel Payano learned from a very young age, the importance of hard work and the value of a quality education. He also witnessed, by way of strong unions, that communal success is possible when we share a commitment to serving others. 


He took these values with him through his time as a student at Lawrence High School and UMass Amherst, serving constituents in Rep. Niki Tsongas' office, and creating innovative programs like the Mill City Leadership Institute and the Greater Lawrence Young Professionals organization.


Most recently, Payano served as an At-Large Lawrence City Councilor, proudly dedicating the last eleven years fighting for the resources our communities deserve. Prior to being elected to the Council in 2017, Payano was a member and the 2012- 2014 Vice-Chair of the Lawrence School Committee.

As your next State Senator, I promise to build upon my proven track record of fearless advocacy and advance policies that fuel equitable economic growth, create housing, address environmental and transportation challenges, accelerate COVID recovery, and ensure 

every child receives a quality education across the K-16 continuum.



- Pavel Payano


Rep. Andy Vargas leaning against a bridge in a checkered shirt, smiling
"Pavel understands what it takes to create transformational change.
I know he will be a strong partner and a fearless advocate. I look forward to working with him as we fight for working class families."

Andy Vargas

State Representative 

    EARLY CHILDHOOD The COVID 19 Pandemic taught us the importance of early childhood education and why we need to invest more in it. Pavel is a supporter of the Common Start agenda which seeks to make early childhood education and child care more accessible and affordable to Massachusetts families. Doing so will ensure that we strengthen our economy, reduce inequality and meet the needs of working class families. K - 12 EDUCATION Fully funding our schools: We need to fully fund the Student Opportunity Act to ensure that urban districts like Haverhill, Lawrence and Methuen have the funds they need to provide their students an excellent education. Historically urban districts like ours have been underfunded leaving many schools without the tools they need to equitably educate their students. We need to rethink the way we look at our schools and see them as a space where behavioral health and other wraparound services can be provided. Pavel would like to see more investments in school mental health professionals and social workers that can identify a student's family needs (food insecurity, housing, employment, etc.) and work with community organizations to provide the services they need. Support and Expand Early College Programs: As a School Committee Member Pavel was an early advocate for the establishment of an early college program at Lawrence High School. He has seen how this program has helped hundreds of students earn free college credits while receiving needed support from their high school. Students are graduating high school with a high school diploma and with the opportunity of also obtaining an associates degree. Pavel will fight to expand this program to Haverhill and Methuen as it is a key tool to making higher education more accessible to working class families. Renovating our school buildings: As a School Committee Member and as a Lawrence City Councilor, Pavel Payano has fought for more state and local funding to fix school buildings that are in disrepair. Urban districts like ours have more buildings that need to be renovated or rebuilt yet it is more difficult for us to obtain the funding to do so. He will fight to reevaluate the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s reimbursement formula to better support districts like Haverhill, Lawrence, and Methuen. HIGHER EDUCATION Since he attended UMass Amherst, Pavel has been an advocate of making public higher education affordable and accessible to working class families. It is clear that there is a correlation between college educated workers and higher wage economies. Yet we are seeing that it has become more difficult for working class families to afford a public university. The share of graduates of public four year colleges who have student loans increased from 54% in 2007 to 75% in 2014. Students have also seen their debt increased by 55%. State funding to our public universities and colleges dropped by 31% since 2001. We also cut funding for scholarship programs for targeted student populations. The Commonwealth should provide all residents access to tuition free community college and state universities. We need to invest more in our public college and universities and ensure that they are accessible for all.
    Pavel will advocate for investments to programs that stop youth from entering the criminal justice system and stop recidivism. To do so we need to look at root cause issues such as failing schools, lack of access to mental health or recovery services, homelessness or inability to obtain good quality jobs. We need to invest in wraparound and workforce developments that will train at-risk youth or those that have been recently incarcerated in skills that will enable them to obtain a career. As a teacher at the Middleton Jail he saw how important family was in ending recidivism. He will fight to end the high costs inmates are charged for making a phone call to their loved ones.
    As a School Committee Member and City Councilor, Pavel has seen how ever increasing rent costs has affected working class families. He has seen how the struggles to keep up with rising rents has made it more difficult for many to reach their version of the American Dream. He will advocate to increase first-time homeownership by investing more in down payment assistance. In the past few years we have seen housing underproduction lead to the high costs of homes and high increases in rent. Pavel will support policies and initiatives and that will help the Commonwealth build the 108,000 housing units they need to meet the current demand.
    One of Pavel’s top priorities will be helping build a vigorous economy that benefits the residents of Haverhill, Lawrence, and Methuen. Pavel is committed to supporting small businesses that drive the economic prosperity of our communities. He will work on creating public-private partnerships that will help revitalize our communities. As part of his advocacy to further economic growth he will work on supporting regional trade schools and vocational programs. He will also advocate for programs and policies that promote entrepreneurism and connect business leaders with needed capital and educational resources.
    Pavel is committed to protecting the environment and advocating for climate action. As a Lawrence City Councilor he sponsored policies that promoted recycling and minimized the amount of trash being sent to landfills and incinerators. Pavel believes that the issues of public health, environmental justice, transportation, and energy policy are inextricably linked, especially in urban communities. He will work to advance renewal energy and create policies that will improve air and water quality, reduce waste and will address inadequate access to healthy foods, lack of transportation, and unsafe homes.
    In the Senate, I will make sure the MA's Department of Veteran Affairs is well funded and that we are investing taxpayer dollars to ensure that those who have answered the call of service upon their return get access to the resources they need to successfully integrate into our communities. We need to make sure our veterans have access to: - stable housing, and address veteran homelessness, - food insecurity and expand access to holistic and long-term VA health care, and substance treatment, - advocate for public/private partnerships that expand access to bureaucracy-free mental health services and transition programs that provide exposure to financial literacy, and career readiness - proper and comprehensive training for VA and non VA providers We have a sacred obligation to ensure that we provide our veterans and their families with the resources and support services they deserve. I have been an advocate of these types of initiatives and will continue to make this a top priority of mine in the Massachusetts State Senate.


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