Sylvia Taylor to run for State Representative in Louisiana’s 57th District

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, September 13, 2023

LAPLACE — Community lawyer, mother, and former Workers Compensation Judge Sylvia Taylor has officially declared her candidacy for State Representative in Louisiana’s 57th District (Ballot #59). Having fought for our community for over 50 years, Sylvia Taylor brings a lifetime of experience and commitment to positive change to the campaign trail.

Born at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, Sylvia Taylor’s early life was rooted in strong family bonds. Raised by her mother, Rita Poole, and stepfather Walter Smith Jr., Sylvia learned the values of hard work, community, and kindness from a young age. “My childhood house was a home for everyone,” Sylvia says. “My family offered a safe haven for anyone who needed it, whether they were extended family or strangers seeking refuge.”

Inspired by her parents’ work ethic, Sylvia aspired to a robust education from a young age, determined to overcome the financial constraints that had often defined her childhood. Her ambition led her to excel at Fifth Ward High School in Reserve, where she graduated with high honors before receiving a full-tuition scholarship to Dillard University.

Following her undergraduate studies, Sylvia’s trajectory led her to Southern Law School and then Loyola Law School, where she interned with the Judge Advocate General in Washington DC before completing her legal education in 1974. After receiving her JD, she embarked on a community lawyer fellowship at the New Orleans Legal Assistance Corporation, which aligned with her dedication to serving impoverished communities. Her journey took her from Lake Charles to Washington, D.C., engaging in community legal services and empowering aspiring law students.

In 1975, Sylvia successfully passed the Bar exam, propelling her forward into the legal profession. Her career flourished in Baton Rouge, where she led a team of attorneys as the Executive Director of Capital Area Legal Services.

“1976, my mother fell ill,” Sylvia said, “and I made the decision to leave my job in Baton Rouge and return home to take care of her”. Sylvia soon began a new job at a local community services law firm. When this firm faced defunding, Sylvia’s unwavering work ethic prompted her to establish her own, independent law practice, a testament to her parents’ teachings.

In 1992, Sylvia was hired by the State of Louisiana as a mediator before swiftly ascending to the role of Workers Compensation Judge in St. Bernard, Jefferson, and Plaquemines Parishes. After serving as a judge with dignity, establishing a firm reputation for impartiality and fairness, Sylvia retired in 2015. “I’m proud to have left behind a professional legacy of integrity, practicality, and selflessness,” she says.

“Today, I maintain my commitment to nurturing and protecting our community through my private practice law firm in LaPlace,” Sylvia says. Her daughters, Syrita and Aspen, have inherited this spirit of service. Syrita is a prominent nonprofit leader, while Aspen is a driven media professional and recent Loyola Law School graduate. Both embody the resilience and dedication instilled by their mother’s example.

Priorities for Progress

“I’ve lived in this district most of my life,” Sylvia says. “That’s why I know we need a State Representative who advocates for our community. When elected, I’ll keep fighting for our community, just as I’ve done for the last 50 years. I’ll keep working hard to make peoples’ lives better.” Sylvia’s platform focuses on four key areas:

  • Education: Sylvia aims to strengthen district schools, support teachers, and provide job preparation opportunities, whether students choose higher education or trade schools.
  • Healthcare Access: Sylvia is determined to expand healthcare services within the district to improve community health and reduce travel for essential care.
  • Transportation: Recognizing the need for improved transportation, Sylvia plans to enhance public options, ensuring access to vital services.
  • Environment: Sylvia advocates for responsible business practices to safeguard the community from harmful pollutants.
  • Jobs: Good-paying jobs are a cornerstone of our economy. Sylvia will fight to expand employment opportunities for all members of our community.

To learn more about Sylvia, her campaign, or her platform, please visit

To speak with Sylvia, set up an interview, or ask questions, please contact her campaign at