U.S. Rep. Al Lawson made some time Tuesday evening for the Jacksonville City Council, attending their regular meeting.
Lawson, from Tallahassee, has had an interesting time navigating Jacksonville’s political world since he began his race to unseat local Corrine Brown last year.
With questions and concerns about how engaged Lawson is with Jacksonville issues, and the very real chance of a challenge looming in 2018 from Duval, this was one of those addresses that may have been more important than it seemed as just a line on the agenda.
Lawson described his experience in Washington as “extraordinary,” noting that he “came to Washington to break partisan activities.”
The congressman said he had made a “lot of appropriations request,” noting that Jacksonville had serious infrastructural needs.
He also outlined another priority: helping people with “problems with student loans.”
Lawson also described his trip to Eureka Garden with HUD Sec. Ben Carson, saying that the pediatric neurosurgeon was “hitting the ground rolling.”
Among other priorities: “working to secure funds for JaxPort.”
Lawson cited relationships with former legislative titans from Jacksonville, such as Jim King and John Thrasher, with keeping him informed.
And he also lauded the Jacksonville City Council for the “great work y’all’ve done on the pension issue.”
Finally, Lawson noted that, despite President Donald Trump signaling an interest in cutting Community Development Block Grants, colleagues “on the other side of the aisle” will resist such moves.
Lawson’s words aren’t going to make locals forget Rep. Corrine Brown.
But in terms of building a bridge to Jacksonville, they are a start.