A Houston native who grew up and still lives in Acres Homes, Mayor Sylvester Turner was elected the city of Houston's 67th mayor in 2015 and overwhelmingly re-elected in 2019.
Since taking office, Mayor Turner has expertly managed significant challenges facing the nation's fourth-largest city, including budget deficits, homelessness, and natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. He is currently leading Houston's response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Amid national unrest and calls for improving the community and police relations, the mayor signed an executive order restricting the use of force. He created a Task Force on Policing Reforms.
In 2017, Mayor Turner received the Ohtli Award, the Mexican government's highest honor. In March 2020, the University of Houston's Master of Public Administration Program honored Mayor Turner with the Pioneer of Public Service Award. The United States Conference of Mayors, Americans for the Arts presented the 2022 Local Arts Leadership Award to Mayor Sylvester. He also received Rice Kinder Institute's 2023 Stephen L. Klineberg Award.
Numerous publications and news outlets such as 60 Minutes, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, and FOX News have recognized Mayor Turner as a thought leader. The Wall Street Journal, Black Enterprise Magazine, Cuba Today Magazine, Ebony, New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today have also featured Mayor Turner for his leadership and accomplishments.
Before serving as Houston's mayor, Turner served 27 years as the Texas House District 139 Representative. He worked on the House Appropriations Committee for 21 years and served as Speaker Pro Tem for three terms. He was appointed to several Budget Conference Committees to balance the state's budget and served on the Legislative Budget Board.
In 2023, Mayor Turner was honored with the President's Award at the National Urban League Conference Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Gala, the Legacy of Leadership Award in honor of Turner's unwavering support of The Ensemble Theatre, and the President Bush Medal for the Empowerment of People with Disabilities.