Texas Black Caucus Leaders Unhappy With New Election Maps
December 4, 2011

The battle over redistricting faces another test. This time from members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, who have called a news conference on Monday, December 5, to discuss the interim Texas House Maps.

The group, which includes State Rep. Sylvester Turner, State Rep. Harold Dutton, State Rep.Alma Allen and State Rep. Borris Miles of Houston, believes historical African American communities are being torn apart for the 2012 Elections

According to a news release, the Houston-area members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus say the interim maps for the State House districts will have a devastating impact on neighborhoods and traditional communities of interest which bind together the African American community in the Houston area.

The news release says the four African American members of the Texas House from Houston will lay out just what this will mean to the community. Not all minority groups, especially African Americans, are happy with the interim maps as they believe their communities have been adversely affected. The news conference will be held at the site of a venerable community center, Hester House in the Fifth Ward, which is now stripped from its historical legislative district under the interim map

Rep. Turner Honored By AARP
November 2, 2011

(News Release)

Rep. Turner Receives

AARP Legislative Leadership Award

State Representative Sylvester Turner (District 139—Houston) has been awarded the 2011 Legislative Leadership Award by AARP Texas

Presented to Turner before an audience of seniors at the Acres Homes Multi-Service Center in his district, the award symbolizes the AARP’s appreciation of the Representative’s ongoing efforts to protect senior citizens.

Choosing Representative Turner for this award was easy, said Tim Morstad, Associate State Director for Advocacy for AARP Texas.

 “First,” said Morstad, “Sylvester Turner was the best in the past session at articulating the human impact from draconian budget cuts.  No single legislator did more to put a human face on what would happen when cuts were made in critical legislation.”

 Second, Turner fought to keep dedicated funds for their original purpose.  This included the System Benefit Fund, originally created to help seniors and those with low incomes pay their electric bills.  The money for that fund is still being collected on all electric bills but it has been siphoned off by the State Legislature, leaving little to help those in need.  Morstad said it would have been worse if not for Turner.

‘Third, Sylvester Turner is the conscience of the Texas House,” said Morstad.  “Someone needed to stand up and say ‘This is wrong.’  Representative Turner has been our best, most vocal advocate.”

Turner thanked AARP for its work on behalf of seniors and for bestowing the honor on him in the heart of his district.

“It was not a difficult decision to take a position to support our seniors,” Turner said.  “I came into office 21 years ago on the backs of seniors, who rallied on my behalf.  Had it not been for seniors investing their earnings in me, I would not be standing here today.  I and many others are standing on the shoulders of the seniors in this district and across Texas.”

Turner said the past legislative session was the most challenging he’s ever faced with the massive budget cuts.  He said he was astonished that legislators even considered closing half of the state’s nursing home and cutting assistance to seniors who want to stay home. 

“Often, seniors have to choose between food, rent or mortgage, medicine or electricity,” Turner pointed out.  “Yet, the state continues to decrease the electricity discount from the System Benefit Fund and put the money into the General Fund.

“Something is morally wrong when Texas leaders can rob seniors, the poor and those who are barely making it to subsidize oil and gas companies that are doing extremely well,” said Turner.  “Something is wrong with this state leadership when seniors no longer matter, when children don’t matter, when nursing homes close.”

Houstonians Celebrate Juneteenth
June 20, 2011

Houstonians held parades, picnics and musical tributes to commemorate Juneteenth, often referred to  as African-American Independence Day.

The holiday fell on Father’s Day this year,  but that didn’t stop the community from remembering the day in 1865 when  General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to read the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed more than 250,000 slaves throughout Texas.

On Saturday, St. Representative Sylvester Turner  hosted the Juneteenth Centennial Parade.

The parade route went through the heart of the Acres Homes community and featured horses, marching bands, community groups and politicians, including Mayor Annise Parker and City Council Members Jarvis Johnson and Melissa Noriega. 

“I am very excited to be able to celebrate the community of Acres Homes and to have a parade that is a worthy tribute to our rich heritage,” said Rep. Turner.

State Rep. Sylvester Turner Will Serve On Powerful Committee
February 9, 2011

Committee assignments have been handed out in the Texas House of  Representatives.

Republicans hold a majority and the number of  Democratic chairman was reduced from 16 to 11.

State Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) was named  Vice Chair of  the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

That will be important to the people in his district and the entire city because lawmakers are struggling with a big budget deficit and proposed program cuts that will be  painful.

Rep. Turner has a history of  fighting to maintain or increase funding in education, social services and other areas important to Texans.

 Turner was also named as a member of the State Affairs Committee by House Speaker Joe Straus.

According to a news release,  As Appropriations Vice Chair, Turner will be tasked with deliberating over the state’s budget and the challenging decisions regarding its current $27 billion debt.  On State Affairs, Turner will be overseeing numerous pieces of legislation that will thoroughly review the state’s oversight of the electric and telecommunications industry.

 “I am eager to begin work,” said Turner.  “The task ahead of us is daunting and Texas has never faced such an extraordinary budget crisis. I am committed to doing all I can in the appropriations process and I am ready to give this process my very best.” 

The Appropriations Committee holds its first meeting tomorrow. (Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011)

Statement from St. Rep. Sylvester Turner on release of Chad Holley tape
February 5, 2011

The community outrage continues to pour in regarding the videotape that shows several Houston police officers kicking and punching Chad Holley, the teenager who was a suspect in a home burglary case.

State Representative Sylvester Turner is concerned the alleged actions of the officers could damage the relationship between HPD and minority neighborhoods.

I have posted his entire statement below. It is followed by a statement from Michael Williams, Houston Community College Trustee and city council candidate.

From State Rep. Turner:   “The actions of some of the police officers shown in the recently-released videotape attack on Chad Holley are disturbing and unacceptable.   No matter how much we love and respect the men and women in blue, the unprovoked actions by these officers should be universally condemned by all.  Whether the senseless actions were being committed by persons against a police officer or police officers against a person, in this City, it is our responsibility to condemn those actions.  The kicking and stomping of Chad Holley cannot be justified or simply glossed over in the midst of bad weather. 

 “It has taken years to build a positive relationship between the Houston Police Department and the general public, especially in minority neighborhoods.  Without question, it requires a trusting and respectful relationship between the two to maintain public safety.  I am incensed that the actions by these few could place a strain on a relationship that has made tremendous strides for the better but whose bond still needs to be perfected.  No matter how distasteful or painful the actions depicted on this videotape may be, the airing of it and the condemnation of the actions shown will make the police force better and allow us all to strengthen a relationship between HPD and the public that may have been strained but is desperately needed.”

From Michael  P. Williams:  “Those who do not know their past are doomed to repeat it” is an often used phrase that has lost its impact. But this week’s recent release of a private security video, showing the beating of a young black man by Houston police officers, brought back memories of a painful time in our history as African-Americans. The days of police beatings and dogs being let loose on our community is something that we think is behind us and today’s youth can hardly imagine. However, here it is again in black and white. As an African-American, whose father was born in Tunica, Mississippi, I understand injustice and the violation of the civil rights of a young man within our community. For those of us who do remember, we must speak up to ensure that it never becomes an acceptable practice again.  In the sense of fairness, we need to continue to hear from all parties involved and keep our discourse civil. We urge our elected officials and police department to act swiftly to bring this issue to a just closure

Astros and Major League Baseball Team Up At Sylvester Turner Park
April 10, 2010

The Houston Astros and Major League Baseball teamed up on Saturday to dedicate the Urban Youth Academy at Sylvester Turner Park.

The ribbon cutting drew dozens of people and several political and community leaders including Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee,  State Senator John Whitmire, State Rep. Sylvester Turner, State Rep. Armando Walle, Mayor Annise Parker, Astros Owner Drayton Mclane, Astros announcer Milo Hamilton , and Joe Turner, director of the city’s parks and recreation department.

The academy, located in north Houston,  is designed to promote baseball among inner city youth.

According to the official announcement,  this is the second such facility in the nation to offer free year-round baseball, softball and education programs.  The Academy will have a show field; permanent seating for 500 fans, with space for an additional 1,800 fans; dugouts and lights; one auxiliary field; two Little League/softball fields; and 1,500 square feet of office space and other facilities.

Family Day at Sylvester Turner Park April 10
April 6, 2010

 

(If a google search sent you to this page – this is last year’s post. The 2011 date is Saturday, April 9)

The 3rd Annual Family Day at Sylvester Turner Park returns April 10, 2010 (Sat. April 9, 2011) bigger and better than ever. 

Free food, free games, free music and free baseball.  What more could you ask? 

Family Day is scheduled from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, at Sylvester Turner Park, 2800 W. Little York.   For more information, please contact Rep. Turner’s office at 713-683-6363. 

“This park belongs to the people of Acres Homes,” said St. Representative Sylvester Turner, who brought together the resources to create the park and its facilities.  “This Family Day brings together all Acres Homes residents to enjoy this park and celebrate our community.” 

Come hungry for delicious food, including sausage on a stick, hot dogs, barbeque, popcorn, nachos and snow cones.  Kids can play on the moonwalks, climb the rock wall, get their faces painted or ride a little train around the park.  Youth baseball will be played all afternoon. 

The Houston Astros will set up baseball skill games for the youngsters.  The U.S. Army is bringing its famous drag racer and a number of games for the kids. 

Family Day will also feature music from the popular band J. Paul Jr. and the Zydeco Nubreeds beginning at 3 p.m.  Come prepared to dance. 

A special area for seniors with activities for them, such as bingo, has been set aside.    And Aldine Carver High School Dance Company, Choir and Drama Departments will all perform. 

Earlier in the day at 11 a.m., Rep. Turner will participate in the grand opening of the Major League Baseball/Houston Astros Urban Youth Academy on the north side of the park.  This academy is the only the second one established by MLB in the country and will work within the community to teach children baseball.   A building for the academy and a new field have been built on the north side of the park.

 Sponsors for Family Day at Sylvester Turner Park include AT&T, Aldine Independent School District, CenterPoint Energy, the City of Houston—Mayor’s Office of Special Events and Parks and Recreation Department, Comcast, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Golf Cars of Houston, HEB, Major League Baseball/Houston Astros, Minute Maid, Power Ade, Reddy Ice, St. Monica’s Catholic Church and Wholesale Beer Distributors.

State Rep. Sylvester Turner Says -“No Electricity Shutoffs Until After Monday”
January 9, 2010

 

    

 

Rep. Sylvester Turner Urges Electric Customers Be Informed of Moratorium on Electric Disconnects until this Monday  

 

 

Houston, Texas – State Representative Sylvester Turner would like to make sure that Houston residents are aware that the entire CenterPoint energy service territory is under a National Weather Service Hard Freeze Warning through 9:00 AM Sunday January 10th. Therefore, Centerpoint has made a decision to stop any disconnections until Monday, Jan. 11. Electric Retailers may resume disconnection starting Monday January 11th.  

 

Rep. Turner would like to ensure that Houston Electric Customers are aware of this moratorium and would urge anyone who is disonncected today, or this weekend to call his office immediately at 713-683-6363.