Mayor Sylvester Turner was elected Mayor of Houston on December 12, 2015, to serve a four year term beginning January 4, 2016.
Sylvester Turner was born and raised in the Acres Homes community in northwest Houston. His parents moved to Acres Homes in 1954, the year Sylvester was born.
Sylvester's mother worked as a maid in the old Rice Hotel in Houston. His father worked as a painter for Continental Ensco and cut yards with his sons on the weekends to make extra money. The Turners raised nine children in their modest two-bedroom home in Acres Homes. Sylvester lost his father to cancer when he was 13 years old. Afterward, his mother took over the Turner household. Although she never finished high school or learned to drive, she ensured her children got an education and inspired them to achieve.
Sylvester attended neighborhood public schools until forced integration came to Houston and he was bused to Klein High School. After a predictably rocky start, the student body adapted to its new enrollees - and Sylvester was later elected president of the student body and graduated as valedictorian.
Sylvester graduated from the University of Houston and Harvard Law School before joining the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski. He later founded the Houston law firm of Barnes & Turner in 1983.
In 1988, Sylvester was elected to the Texas House of Representatives to serve the people of House District 139 in northwest Houston. He served until his election as mayor, working on the House Appropriations Committee for 21 years and serving as Speaker Pro Tem for three terms. He was appointed to several Budget Conference Committees to help balance the state's budget and served on the Legislative Budget Board.
He is very proud of his daughter Ashley, who is continuing the Turner family tradition of public service in the healthcare field.
Read past Mayoral Media Release (before November 2013)
Mayor's Media Releases
Mayor Sylvester Turner is among those offering condolences on the passing of Terry Hershey, a well-known Houston environmentalist who was the force behind the movement to halt the planned straightening of Buffalo Bayou for flood control in the 1960s. “Without Terry Hershey, Buffalo Bayou woul...
Work Continuing on Comprehensive Homeless Initiative
The Houston Solid Waste Department was out in force again Friday removing trash and debris from the Highway 59 underpass in the Midtown/Museum Park area. All personal items are left alone; only trash is hauled away. Assistance is offered in case any of the homeless desire to seek shelter, but n...
City Moving Forward with Expanded Low Income Housing
Mayor Sylvester Turner is in strong disagreement with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development letter of findings regarding the Houston Housing Authority project on Fountain View in the Galleria area. "I have spent my entire career working to improve the lives of the less fortunate,...
Houston Council has voted to rename the entirety of Houston’s Dowling Street to Emancipation Avenue to align the street name, which serves as the front door to Emancipation Park, with the name of the park itself. The action brings Emancipation Park in line with Houston’s other signature parks, H...
In a move that represents a major shift in the City’s approach to improving drainage and mitigating flooding, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced formation of the Storm Water Action Team. The SWAT will work proactively to reduce drainage problems that are not directly attributed to overflow from th...
Mayor's Public Service Announcements
Mayor's Fact Sheets