Mayor Sylvester Turner served eight years as Houston’s mayor. Before that, he served 27 years in the Texas House of Representatives, but the title for mayor had not crossed his mind.
“My connections into the city of Houston are very, very deep,” said Turner. “When I was growing up, I didn’t envision myself becoming mayor. I wanted to be a lawyer.”
A vision that seemed out of reach for a young man coming out of Acres Homes, a historic African-American community, and even more so when he took office in 2016 as Houston’s 62nd mayor.
Turner set goals to address Houston’s potholes, infrastructure, public safety, flooding and more. And just into his first term, the new mayor showed how ready he was to tackle what Houston had to offer. The tax day flood hit Houston in April of 2016, nearly overflowing the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs in West Houston.
“That’s really when I discovered that we really didn’t have a lot of assets to get people out of harm’s way,” said Turner. “We didn’t have enough rescue boats or apparatus. We didn’t have let’s say firefighters, for example, that were trained to go and rescue people from flooding waters at the numbers that we needed.”