This past Monday, Florida A&M Uuniversity alumnus and state Senator Alfred “Al” Lawson assumed the leadership mantle for the Florida Senate’s 14 member Democratic Caucus.
Lawson is the second black person to assume the position. According to WCTV, the senator will replace Steven Galler of Cooper City.
“I am honored to serve as the Minority Leader of the Florida Senate,” Lawson said of his honor.
Tola Thompson, FAMU’s director of governmental affairs, is proud of Lawson’s newly appointed position.
“He’s a smart and intelligent man that has always brought about common set solutions of some of the problems that are facing the state of Florida,” Thompson said.
As far as FAMU shaping Lawson’s political career, the senator commented that the universities influence people and not the other way around.
“I don’t believe schools shape careers,” Lawson said.
Shackisha Clark, 18, a first year business administration student from Atlanta, Ga., who has heard the senator several times on the radio, thinks Lawson’s accomplishment is great news for the black community.
“I like to see that African Americans are coming up in politics,” Clark said.
Alesia Lewis, 22, a senior accounting student from Wacissa, thinks it is a great achievement and that it shows how the nation has been changing.
“Black people are coming up and getting more powerful positions in this generation,” Lewis said. “I wish him the best in the future.”
In a WCTV-6 interview, Lawson outlined the priorities for the 2009 legislative. According to WCTV-6, environmental protection, health care for the elderly, children and raises for state employees are high on his list.
“For the next two years, I think we have a great deal of challenges ahead of us,” Lawson told WCTV-6.
The senator also told the television station that he wants to start working very soon and will be holding a special session in December or January to discuss budget cuts.