Payano is a member of the Democratic party serving on local and national campaigns and initiatives, including for Gov. Deval Patrick. He was also a special assistant to Congresswoman Niki Tsongas working on economic development and helping advocate for constituents with immigration and social security issues. While working with Tsongas, he researched how Lowell was able to recreate itself and how Lawrence can find ways to do the same.
Payano was co-director of President Barack Obama’s Nashua office for Latinos in New Hampshire during the 2008 presidential race, coordinating strategies and messages and said he has met Obama a half dozen times.