Congressman Al Lawson is a committed public servant who brings a hard- working, problem-solving spirit to Congress and to the task of creating jobs, improving access to high-quality education from preschool through the post- secondary level and protecting working families. Elected in November 2016, and sworn-in January 3, 2017, Lawson represents Florida’s 5th Congressional District.
Congressman Lawson has devoted more than half of his life to public service and is guided by the belief that the greatest gift an individual can give is service to his or her community. Lawson has served the people of Florida for 28 years in the state legislature as a member of the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate.
In the Florida House of Representatives, Lawson garnered national attention as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, where he authored one of the most important environmental laws in the country, Preservation 2000, which created the largest state funded land acquisition program in the United States. He also authored and passed the Apalachicola Bay Protection Act and was the prime sponsor of the Everglades Protection Act. Lawson also received national recognition for his efforts to pass the Rosewood Legislation, which provided reparations to the survivors of Florida’s Rosewood massacre in the 1930s.
During his tenure in the Florida Senate, Lawson was named the “Dean of the Florida Legislature,” in recognition of his many years of service, and was elected Democratic Leader by his peers in 2012. The Florida Legislature named a portion of U.S. Highway 90 from the City of Midway to the City of Quincy as the “Alfred Lawson Jr. Highway” in his honor.
Lawson also made a name for himself in the business world as an insurance agent with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, where he has frequently been recognized as one of the company’s most valued agents. In 1984, he started Lawson & Associates, marketing and communications firm. He founded the Capital City Classic holiday basketball tournament, and the Capital City Black Pages (minority business directory).
He has been active in the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Board of Directors of the Tallahassee Urban League and has also chaired and served as the President of the FAMU Booster Club. Additionally, Lawson has committed his personal time to the 4-H Legislature, coached little league baseball and served as a member of the Suwannee River Area Council of Boy Scouts.
Lawson has received numerous legislative and community achievement awards. Among his most cherished recognitions are the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, FAMU Meritorious Award, FSU Distinguished Alumni Award, and Legislator of the Year Award from the Nature Conservancy. Additionally, he has been recognized as the Legislator of the Year by the Florida Police Benevolent Association, Florida State Student Government Association, the Florida Sheriff’s office and AFSCME and has received the NAACP Outstanding Achiever Award and the Gadsden County Citizen of the Year Award. Lawson was inducted into the FAMU Sports Hall of FAME and the FAMU University Gallery of Distinction in the College of Arts and Science.
A native of Midway, Florida, Lawson graduated from Havana Northside High School, where he was a standout athlete, and received his Bachelor’s degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), where he lettered in basketball and ran track. Lawson went on to earn a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Florida State University and completed his course work for the Ph.D. in Public Administration.
Following a brief stint as a professional basketball player, Lawson became an assistant men’s basketball coach at Florida State. The highlight of his coaching career came in 1972 when the Seminoles reached the NCAA National Championship.
Lawson married his college sweetheart Delores Brooks, and they have two adult children, Alfred III and Shani. He is also the proud grandfather of Kobe, Samuel, Harlem, and Cameron Lawson.
He is a proud member of the Florida A&M University Sports Hall of Fame, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Congressman Lawson’s work ethic, problem-solving approach, and ability to build collaborative working relationships with his colleagues, regardless of political party, in Florida will serve him well in Washington, DC. As a dedicated public servant, Lawson begins each morning with a prayer, and a firm promise “to do the people’s work.” It is this simple philosophy that defines him as a man of character and substance that always keeps his promise.