Showing posts with label lawson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lawson. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2015: Lawson says Mangum refuses to trust anybody

Back in July of 2015, FAMU lost budget authority for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) after 28 years. FAMU President Elmira Mangum supported the changes that led to this.

The next month, FAMU alumnus and former state Sen. Alfred “Al” Lawson told a reporter that he had offered his help to Mangum a number of times but she wasn’t interested in hearing what he had to say.

The News Service of Florida report stated that “Lawson said Mangum doesn't trust anyone.”

“I told her I wanted her to be successful,” Lawson said in a quote in the article. “I've been around for a long time, and I could keep her from running into roadblocks. … I was not trying to be hired or anything. I did that on three different occasions, and it did not work out.”

Monday, April 25, 2016

Lawson qualifies for CD5 primary with more than 2,000 petition signatures

On April 21, 2016, former Florida Senate Minority Leader Alfred “Al” Lawson announced that he had qualified by petition for the upcoming Democratic primary in the Fifth Congressional District of Florida (CD5).

In order to qualify, Lawson had to have 2,298 verified petitions. He has now exceeded this amount and met the petition qualifications.

“I have always thought that the voice of the people was the most important. I am very honored to have their support, and will continue to look out for the interests of North Florida,” Lawson said. “It’s a privilege to have their backing.”

Thursday, February 25, 2016

2007: Lawson succeeds in blocking Lowe’s reappointment to FAMU Board of Trustees

Back when Florida A&M University alumnus Alfred “Al” Lawson was in the Florida Senate he didn’t just talk about holding FAMU trustees responsible for their actions. He did it.

In 2007, Lawson rallied members of the majority Republican state Senate to block the reappointment of Challis Lowe, the chairwoman of the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT).

Lowe was one of the biggest supporters of former Interim President Castell Bryant, defending her even as her administration received the first and only qualified state audits in the history of FAMU.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Lawson officially files for North Florida Congressional race, picks up endorsements

Al Lawson during his 2012 Congressional campaign in District 2
While voters prepared to cast the first votes of the 2016 election season in Iowa on Monday, former Florida Senate Minority Leader Alfred “Al” Lawson officially filed his paperwork to run for the new Congressional District 5. The district covers North Florida from Tallahassee and Gadsden County to Jacksonville.

“Washington is broken and now more than ever we need real leadership in Congress that puts the people ahead of politics,” said Lawson, an alumnus of Florida A&M University. “I fought for this community in our state Capitol, and I will continue to fight for North Florida’s working families in Congress.”

Monday, January 18, 2016

1988: Meek, Lawson blast BOR for talking to Humphries in a demeaning manner

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) will hold a meeting at Florida State University. Three Florida A&M University Board of Trustees vacancies will be on the agenda.

The FAMU alumni in the Florida Legislature have let the BOG run all over their alma mater since 2015. They are still silent in the aftermath of BOG-supported changes that led to FAMU losing control of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) budget after 28 years, BOG member Norman Tripp talking to FAMU administrators in a condescending way, and FAMU’s alumni being reduced to a minority in the 11 appointed university Board of Trustees seats.

FAMU used to have much stronger alumni legislators like Carrie P. Meek and Al Lawson who didn’t back down when the former Board of Regents (BOR) did things that were harmful to the school.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Lawson’s response to Brown reelection filing: “Go Gata!”

Florida A&M alumnus Alfred “Al” Lawson was unfazed when asked to respond to Corrine Brown’s decision to file for reelection in the Fifth Congressional District of Florida. The news came less than a week after Lawson announced that he would enter the Democratic primary in the newly redrawn district that now includes Leon County.   

“She keeps saying that Tallahassee has nothing in common with Jacksonville and that kind of offends some people,” Lawson said in a quote published by POLITICO Florida.

This summer, the Florida Supreme Court ruled the state’s congressional districts unconstitutional and ordered a new map drawn. Following a special session and continued litigation, the trial court adopted and the Florida Supreme Court approved a map that created a new district for the communities of North Florida, stretching from Tallahassee and Gadsden County to Jacksonville. District 5 formerly ran north-south from Duval County to Orange County.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lawson likely to face CD5 primary contender from Jacksonville

On Tuesday, Florida A&M alumnus Alfred “Al” Lawson confirmed that he will enter the race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from the newly redrawn Congressional District 5 (CD5) in North Florida. He told the Miami Herald that he thinks incumbent Corrine Brown, a FAMU alumna, will probably run in District 10 (CD10) in Central Florida. CD5 and CD10 are both minority-access districts.

Lawson will almost definitely face a Jacksonville-based contender in the Democratic primary. The Florida Times-Union reports that several black current and former elected officials in the Duval County area are interested in running for CD5 if Brown decides not to seek reelection in that district.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Lawson announces candidacy for new North Florida Congressional District

Yesterday, former state Sen. Alfred “Al” Lawson announced his intention to run for the newly created Congressional District 5 which covers North Florida from Tallahassee and Gadsden County to Jacksonville. Lawson, a Florida A&M alumnus, will officially announce and file for Congress in January.

“North Florida needs a strong, progressive voice in Washington to protect those issues important to our families,” said Lawson. “I fought for our communities while serving in our state Capitol, and I will continue to fight for North Florida’s working families in Congress.”

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Tensions already rising between Lawson and Gillum ahead of likely U.S. House primary battle

Al Lawson at a Citizens for Responsible Spending press conference in September
Ever since the Florida Supreme Court ordered the Fifth Congressional District of Florida to be redrawn “in an east-west manner” on July 9, FAMU alumni Alfred “Al” Lawson and Andrew Gillum’s names have circulated as potential candidates. Both have kept the door open to jumping into the August primary race for the seat currently held by FAMU alumna Corrine Brown.

District 5 will remain a minority-access seat with about 45 percent black voters under the new map that was approved by the Florida Supreme Court on December 2.

Lawson, a former state senator, appears to have already come out swinging against Gillum.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Lawson, Brown could end up running in different Congressional districts

FAMU alumni Alfred “Al” Lawson and Corrine Brown might not end up in a contentious primary battle in the redrawn Fifth Congressional District of Florida if Brown decides enter the election for a new seat that will be based in Central Florida.

District 5, which Brown has represented since 1992, currently runs north-south from Duval County to Orange County. But a July 9 ruling by the Florida Supreme Court ordered that District 5 be redrawn “in an east-west manner” while remaining a minority-access seat. The Florida Legislature has proposed a new district that will run from Duval to Gadsden Counties.

Lawson represented all or part of four of those counties (Gadsden, Leon, Jefferson, and Madison) in the Florida Senate from 2000 to 2010. He told WFSU that he might run for the District 5 seat next year.

Monday, October 19, 2015

FAMU chair, vice-chair say $12.9M COE budget shift to FSU should be reversed

FAMU Board of Trustees Vice-Chairman Kelvin Lawson
On October 9, the Florida State University Board of Trustees (BOT) voted to approve a $90,000 bonus and a 7.4 percent raise for President John Thrasher.

One of the biggest accomplishments that Thrasher made this year was getting the $12.9M core operating budget of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) moved from FAMU to FSU after 28 years. That change was made without a vote of approval from the FAMU BOT and was supported by FAMU President Elmira Mangum.

Yesterday, the FAMU BOT voted against awarding Mangum a bonus for her performance during her first year as president. Vice-Chairman Kelvin Lawson, who made the motion, said that the COE budget shift to FSU was a problem that Mangum needed to work to fix.

“I would like to see us make an active pitch to regain budget authority for the College of Engineering,” Lawson said at the Sunday meeting.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lawson says he might run against Brown in new U.S. House District 5

A court-ordered redrawing of the Fifth Congressional District of Florida could lead to a Democratic Primary battle between two FAMU graduates in 2016.

FAMU alumna Corrine Brown has represented the district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1992. The district currently runs north-south from Jacksonville to Orlando. But a July 9 ruling by the Florida Supreme Court ordered the district to be redrawn “in an east-west manner.” That could set a pathway for another graduate of FAMU, Alfred “Al” Lawson, to challenge her for the seat.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Alumni challenge Mangum’s claim that FAMU didn’t previously have budget control for COE

On July 21, FAMU Trustee Cleve Warren asked President Elmira Mangum if FAMU had controlled the budget for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) before the creation of the Joint College of Engineering Governance Council in 2015. The Joint College of Engineering Governance Council passed a resolution back on May 20 to shift the COE fiscal agent duties from FAMU to FSU.

“For clarity purposes, before the creation of this joint committee, did A&M have control of the budget?” Warren asked.

“My opinion would be that the dean controlled the expenditures of the College of Engineering; FAMU kept account of them,” Mangum said.

Trustee Kelvin Lawson, a FAMU alumnus, disagreed and said that FAMU had the “responsibility for managing the budget” in the past. He added that the management responsibility wasn’t limited to executing “joint decisions.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Trustees take Mangum to task for supporting shift of $12.9M engineering budget to FSU

Yesterday, members of the FAMU Board of Trustees took President Elmira Mangum to task for her claim that they had given her the flexibility to decide whether FAMU would keep the fiscal agent duties for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE).

On May 20, 2015, Mangum and the other voting representatives on the Joint College of Engineering Governance Council unanimously passed a resolution to shift the COE fiscal agent duties from FAMU to FSU. FAMU had served as the fiscal agent for the COE for 28 years.

“There was a statement made by a senior administrator that the board supported this decision,” said Vice-Chairman Kelvin Lawson. “You hear from the comments that this isn’t true.”

Lawson’s statement appeared to be in response to a quote by FAMU Vice President for Communications Jimmy Miller that was in the Tallahassee Democrat last week. Miller said the change made with the resolution was consistent with what the FAMU board “authorized” during a February meeting.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Lawson to apply for FAMU Presidency

Former state Sen. Al Lawson told the Tampa Bay Times yesterday that he will apply to become the next president of Florida A&M University.

According to the Times, Lawson “said that he reached the decision to apply for the FAMU presidency just this week after being encouraged by others to apply. The school needs an apt fundraiser, who can help recruit students and has the connections among the elected officials who control the purse strings at the Capitol, he said.”

“I don’t know anyone who can do that any better than I can,” Lawson told the Times.

Lawson, 65, is a successful insurance executive and business man.  He represented Tallahassee and Leon County in the Florida Legislature for 28 years from 1982-2011.  

During his time in the Legislature he was an avid supporter of FAMU, guiding through legislation to establish the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering and reestablish the FAMU College of Law in 2000.  He can be credited with the renovation and construction of many facilities across the campus including the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication Building, New Developmental Research School, Multi-Purpose Teaching Gymnasium (that bears his name), University Commons Renovation, Gore Education Complex Remodeling, Jones Hall Remodeling, Tucker Hall Remodeling, College of Law (Orlando) and Pharmacy Phase II.

The FAMU Board of Trustees will discuss the pool of applications on Jan. 3. It has scheduled interviews for Jan. 6.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

FAMU celebrates newly remodeled Gore Education Center

FAMU officially cut the ribbon on the newly remodeled Gore Education Center on Wednesday, April 10. The renovations to the Gore Education Center began in July 2011 and cost an estimated $10 million. The building was originally constructed in 1968 and was named after FAMU’s fifth president George W. Gore Jr.

The renovations included the following:

• Two Student Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP) classrooms
that are highly collaborative and computer rich for large enrollment courses;
• A teaching lab and observation room for graduate psychology courses;
• Wireless infrastructure throughout the building;

Monday, March 25, 2013

FAMU set to cut ribbon on newly renovated Gore Education Complex

Gore Education Center, December 2012
FAMU has scheduled the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Gore Education Center for Wednesday, April 10 at 11:30 a.m.

Back in 2007, Sen. Alfred “Al” Lawson steered $8,301,606 into FAMU’s budget to help remodel the Gore Education Complex. That was followed by another $5,600,000 in 2008. Both appropriations came from Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) dollars.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rattlers remain divided over decision to reopen band director search

Back when he was a college student, Shelby Chipman dedicated himself to carrying the torch of legendary Marching 100 Director William P. Foster. He highstepped in the band as a Rattler student and then went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees, as Foster did.

For ten years, he led the Miami Central Rocket Marching Band and modeled its drills on Foster’s examples. He then returned to FAMU as a music professor and worked his way up to become the second-in-command behind Marching 100 Director Julian White, the man who had succeeded Foster.

So when FAMU’s interim administration turned Chipman down for the band directorship this year and opted to reopen the search, many Rattlers were outraged.

FAMU alumnus and former state senator Alfred “Al” Lawson directed very strong criticism against Interim President Larry Robinson. He suggested that the interim administration might be bending to outside pressures that are suspicious of Chipman simply because he was on the Marching 100's staff when the hazing death of band member Robert Champion took place in 2011.

“You should not let the politics of the band situation prevent a person of his caliber from getting the job,” Lawson told reporter Tampa Bay Times reporter Tia Mitchell.

But former FAMU President Frederick S. Humphries disagrees with Lawson. He thinks that Robinson made the right decision when he chose to reopen the search.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Crist should take note of Lawson’s clout with Democratic base, GOP lawmakers

Former Gov. Charlie Crist, a new member of the Democratic Party, had a strong showing in the latest Public Policy Polling (PPP) report on Florida. PPP’s January 16th poll found that 70 percent of Democrats in the state view him favorably. He would also beat incumbent Gov. Rick Scott 53 to 39 percent in an election matchup.  

But Crist might face opposition in the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary. Some members of the state party are attempting to recruit former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz to challenge Crist for the nomination.

If Crist wins a divisive primary contest, he will need a running mate who can energize the Democratic base. He will also need someone who can work across party lines in order to push legislation through the Republican-controlled legislature.

FAMU alumnus Alfred “Al” Lawson could rally swing voters in the majority white Florida Senate district he represented from 2000 to 2010. A Crist-Lawson ticket would also excite African American voters. Crist won 20 percent of black votes when he ran for the governorship back in 2006.

Lawson can get things done at the Florida Capitol. A recent news article published by the Florida Current shows that Lawson still has tremendous clout with his former colleagues in the Republican-dominated Florida Senate.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Crist should consider Lawson, Meek as potential running mates

Ever since 2011, many Florida Democrats have worked to recruit Charlie Crist to join the party and challenge Rick Scott for the governorship in 2014.

Crist took another step toward the upcoming gubernatorial race on Dec. 13 by officially registering as a Democrat.

Now that it seems likely Crist will seek the Democratic nomination for his former job, he has a big decision to make. He’ll need to select a running mate who will excite Florida Democrats, appeal to swing voters, and help him govern.

Alfred “Al” Lawson and Kendrick Meek, two FAMU alumni, could easily fit that bill.