Office of the Mayor
Biography: Mayor Michael S. Rawlings
Elected Mayor in June 2011, Mayor Mike Rawlings is working to improve the quality of life in Dallas. In his short time in office, Mayor Rawlings has introduced a development plan for southern Dallas, taken a hands-on approach to improving education and created new strategies for growing the arts. He has put Dallas in the spotlight nationally and internationally by taking a leading role with the United States Conference of Mayors.
With the launch of GrowSouth, Mayor Rawlings outlined a comprehensive strategy designed to boost the economic impact of southern Dallas. GrowSouth has already been a catalyst for new economic investment, job creation and public-private partnerships. The Dallas Morning News praised Mayor Rawlings saying “after only six months, Rawlings has accomplished more for southern Dallas than many of his predecessors managed in their entire terms.”
Mayor Rawlings believes in achieving academic excellence and thus has committed to improving Dallas ISD by adopting four southern Dallas schools located in areas prime for growth. He is also working closely with Commit!, an education collaborative for Dallas area schools. Mayor Rawlings was active involved in the recruitment of our new Dallas ISD Superintendent and in the election of new School Board Trustees, even though these decisions traditionally fall outside the scope of responsibility for the Mayor and city officials.
To leverage new assets in our Arts District, Mayor Rawlings formed the Mayor’s Business Arts Initiative to draw corporate participation in the largest urban arts district in the nation.
On top of focusing on economic growth and neighborhood enhancement strategies, Mayor Rawlings has worked to bring together our City Council to approve a budget that will improve infrastructure and basic services without increasing the tax burden on homeowners. He has presided over the passage of $600 million in new city bonds to fund streets, flood protection and economic development initiatives.
Mike Rawlings came to Dallas in 1976 with $200 dollars in his pocket and proved that Dallas truly is The City of Opportunity. He worked his way up from an entry-level position to become the CEO of Tracy-Locke, then the largest advertising agency in the South. Later, he took the helm of the world’s largest pizza company, Pizza Hut and grew it to record sales. Most recently, Mayor Rawlings served as Managing Partner of CIC Partners, where he provided business counsel and capital, helping to grow small and mid-sized businesses in Dallas, and across the U.S.
In addition, to running two of our region’s biggest companies, he also found time to fall in love and raise a family here in Dallas, he and his wife Micki live in North Dallas, and their two children, Michelle and Gunnar also live in Dallas.