Darryl Rouson, veteran Tampa Bay area legislator and civic leader, today was awarded the Torchbearer Award before a large noontime crowd in the main ballroom of the Hilton Carillon St. Petersburg.
The senator received the award from Live Tampa Bay at the inaugural regional leaders lunch to end overdose. The organization, which is presented by the Tampa Bay Partnership, “mobilizes business, faith, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders in our region around a singular mission: to drastically reduce opioid deaths in our community.”
“I was honored to be awarded with Live Tampa Bay’s Torchbearer Award today at the Inaugural Regional Leaders Luncheon to End Overdose,” the senator, whose district includes parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, later wrote in a Facebook post. “Overdose and addiction does not discriminate. Thank you to everyone who shared their story and stood together as we fight together to end overdose.”
Sen. Rouson, who has been regularly listed as one of Tampa Bay’s most influential politicians, was the first Aftican American prosecutor in Pinellas County. In 2003, he was appointed the first chairman of the newly formed Substance Abuse and Addictions Task Force for the National Bar Association.
He served as president of the St. Petersburg NAACP from 2000 to 2005 and was a member of the Taxation anad Budget Reform Commission in 2007.
Before his election in 2016 to the state Senate, he served in the state House beginning in 2008. The senator has a passion for reforming the criminal justice system in Florida, increasing funding for substance abuse and mental health issues and creating innovative solutions to transportation issues.
The senator is married to Angela Rouson, an influential civic leader, and they are raising five boys. He practices law in the Tampa Bay region with the Rubenstein Law Group.