Michael Payne graduated from the College of William & Mary with a BA in Government [1, 2, 3, 6]. He was formerly a project manager for Habitat for Humanity Virginia, which works to provide affordable housing, and an overnight supervisor for People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry, which provides shelter for the unhoused during the winter [1, 2, 3, 4, 6]. Payne currently serves as a city councilor for the City of Charlottesville. While a city councilor, he has helped invest 10 million dollars into affordable housing and create a Climate Action Plan that lays out the path to carbon neutrality in Charlottesville by 2050 [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Payne co-founded Indivisible Charlottesville, which works to oppose Trumpism [1, 2, 3, 6].
Payne wants to prepare for investing in all school buildings in the system with significant deferred maintenance, provide strong pay and benefits for teachers, invest in direct tutoring in literacy and numeracy for children in kindergarten through third grade, invest in recruiting a diverse pool of teachers, invest in career and technical education opportunities, and increase bus driver salaries to alleviate the school bus driver shortage [1, 4, 5].
Payne wants to use the currently underway decarbonization study to plan on how to transition the city away from fossil fuels and bring down energy costs for residents. He wants to hire enough staff to implement the Climate Action Plan, create a revolving loan fund and a Green Bank to finance green retro-fitting and decarbonization, implement the Urban Rivanna River Corridor Plan to preserve the Rivanna as a public park and natural area, electrify the municipal vehicle fleet, and pursue the new federal funding opportunities for local climate action [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].
Payne wants to increase the annual investment target for affordable housing from $10 million to $13 million a year, create a permanent line-item for the Pathways Community Resource Helpline, fully fund resident-led redevelopment of Westhaven, create a Land Bank to build new permanently affordable housing, expand the use of Community Land Trusts to open up home ownership to more families, and demand UVA enter into a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].
Payne wants to invest in youth mentorship and youth job programs, expand successful existing programs such as CAYIP and PHAR’s Youth Internship Program, expand existing GO Programs, invest in a city-wide strategy for community wealth building, and implement the Marcus Alert System [1, 4, 5].
Payne wants to finish and then implement the Regional Transit Vision Plan to create a Regional Transit Authority, improve CAT’s app, expand CAT route frequencies, hire sufficient project managers to get through the backlog of bike/ped projects, increase wages and benefits for CAT bus drivers, provide funding for new bike/ped projects, find creative ways to make protected bike-lanes a norm, and work with schools to strengthen and expand the Safe Routes to School initiative [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].
Mike Gravel, former U.S. Senator; Creigh Deeds, State Senator; Don Gathers, community organizer; The Daily Progress; Working Families Party; Charlottesville Democrats