Rawlson King is Ottawa's first black City Councillor. He was first elected in a historic by-election held April 15, 2019 to represent Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward 13 and was re-elected on October 24, 2022.
Before his election to public office, he was an entrepreneur and communications professional with more than 20 years of private sector experience in high-technology market research.
For the 2022-2026 Council Term, Rawlson was appointed Chair of the Built Heritage Committee and serves on the Finance and Corporate Services Committee, Environment and Climate Change Committee, and the Community Services Committee. Rawlson was also appointed to the boards of Ottawa Public Health, the Ottawa Public Library and Quartier Vanier BIA. He will also continue to serve as Council Liaison for the City’s Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations Initiatives, leading the implementation of the City of Ottawa's Anti-Racism Strategy.
During the 2018-2022 Council Term, Rawlson was appointed Council Liaison for Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations Initiatives and was responsible for the creation of the City's anti-racism office and strategy. During that term, he was Chair of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee and was also appointed to the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management and to the Information Technology Sub-Committee. He also served on the boards of the Ottawa Police Service, Crime Prevention Ottawa, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation, Ottawa Public Library, Ottawa Community Lands Development Corporation and the Quartier Vanier BIA.
A strong believer in public service, Rawlson previously served as President of the Overbrook Community Association (2014-2019), a board member at the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre (2011-2019), President of Gallery 101 (2011-2017) and was the first co-chair of the Ottawa Police Service Community Equity Council in 2018. He is a current and founding board member of the Rideau Winter Trail of Ottawa.
Recognized for his volunteer work, he won a United Way Ottawa Community Builder of the Year Award in 2018 and was a recipient of a Special Recognition Award from Black History Ottawa in 2021.
Rawlson was born and raised in Toronto, where he was educated at Bayview Glen School. He subsequently earned a Bachelor of Journalism and Law, and an M.A. in Communication from Carleton University. A proud Carleton alumnus, he and his wife personally established the Rawlson King and Linda Grussani Scholarship for Indigenous, Black and Racialized Students at Carleton University in 2022. He has lived with his wife in Overbrook since 2004.