Congressman Alfred “Al” Lawson, Jr., is true son of North Florida. Born in Midway, Florida, a small town located just outside of Tallahassee in Gadsden County. Al worked his first job picking tobacco in the Gadsden County tobacco fields at the age of 8, where he learned the value of community and hard work.
Al graduated from Havana Northside High School, where he was a standout student athlete. He went on to become a basketball star at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. He continued his studies at Florida State University, earning a Master`s of Science in Public Administration.
He married his college sweetheart, Delores Brooks, Ph.D., a former nursing professor at the Florida A&M University School of Nursing. They have two adult children, Alfred III and Shani, and three grandchildren, Cameron, Kobe, and Samuel. Al is a man of strong faith, and is an active member of St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church, where he has held serval lay leadership roles rising to senior warden (deacon).
A Small Businessman
For over 30 years, Al Lawson has been a successful small business owner in the Big Bend area operating Lawson & Associates and as a an agent with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. He understands the challenges and difficulties many small business owners face in meeting payroll, managing a company, and satisfying the needs of both his customers and employees.
An Engaged Leader
Congressman Lawson has devoted the majority of his life to serving his community and his country. In 1982, he held his first political office when he was elected to serve in the Florida House of Representatives. 18 years later, he was elected to represent North Florida in the Florida Senate. Because of his ability to get things done, his peers in the Florida Senate choose him to serve as Democratic Leader.
As Chairman of the Florida House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Committee, he authored landmark legislation —the Preservation 2000 Act. Preservation 2000, created the largest state-funded land acquisition program in the United States, and was heralded as one of the most important environmental laws in the country.
Al has been a champion for state employees, public schools and all working people in North Florida. He fought for pay raises and benefits for state workers and vigorously strived to improve the quality of life for children and the elderly. Al received national recognition for his role in passing the Rosewood Legislation, which provided remunerations to survivors of the Rosewood massacre in the 1930s.
In 2005, Al sponsored and passed legislation creating the First Generation Matching Grant scholarship program, which provides state university matching grants to first-generation, undergraduate students who demonstrate a financial need.
As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Al has worked to alleviate hunger among seniors, college students, and children in North and Northeast Florida, and throughout the United States, through his “Let’s Feed America Campaign”.
He also serves on the House Small Business Committee where he is Ranking Member of the Health and Technology Subcommittee.
Al has always dedicated himself to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and creating a world where all people are ensured of their most basic equal rights. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress.
Giving Back to the Community
Al Lawson has worked tirelessly to put forward thoughtful policy solutions that result in a better quality of life for the citizens of North Florida. Over the past 25 years, he has provided nearly $300,000 in academic scholarships to North Florida youth through his annual Capitol City Classic basketball tournament.
As a past chair of the Tallahassee Urban League, he worked to improve the quality of housing for the economically disadvantaged and for senior citizens. He has also worked to help aspiring homeowners with down payment assistance to make it possible for more North Floridians to achieve the American dream.
Lawson is a past chair of the FAMU Boosters and has been actively involved in the Florida State University Alumni Association.