Monday 15 April, 2019
King is first Black city councillor in Ottawa’s 150-year history
Rawlson King has won the by-election in Rideau-Rockcliffe
King received 1,529 votes, or 18.36 per cent of the vote, to win over second-place finisher Jamie Kwong, who had 1,406 votes. Altogether, 17 candidates vied for this position to replace former councillor Tobi Nussbaum, who had stepped down after the last election to take a post as Chief Executive Officer with the National Capital Commission.
He would be the first black city councillor in Ottawa’s history. As of 2016, black people — Ottawa’s largest visible minority group — made up six per cent of the city’s population.
Rawlson celebrated with volunteers and supporters at a pub on Montreal Road where he spoke about his victory.
“It’s amazing especially since it went from conception to reality so quickly, that’s what’s amazing about it. It was an idea that we had I guess late in the year when we heard Tobi Nussbaum was resigning.” Rawlson said.
Campaign volunteer Rachel Décoste says the victory is a big step forward for Ottawa. “First black person to be elected in Ottawa whether it’s federal, municipal or provincial this the first time I think it’s a historical moment.” Décoste explained.
Mayor Jim Watson in a tweet congratulated King on his election. “Congratulations @rawlsonking on your win! I look forward to working with you and to your contributions to Rideau-Rockcliffe and on City Council. I’d also like to thank all those who’ve put their name on the ballot in this by-election – our democracy is stronger because of you”.
King is the president of the Overbrook Community Association and a board member at the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre. He is also the co-chair of the Ottawa Police Service Community Equity Council.
He has lived in Rideau-Rockcliffe for 15 years and graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s degree in communications.