Breaking Barriers: Sylvia Taylor, the first woman to represent District 57

Published 1:59 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Following her victory on Nov. 18, Sylvia Taylor is poised to become a trailblazer in Louisiana’s political landscape. Recently elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives, Taylor not only secured a seat for District 57 but also shattered historical barriers as the first woman and first Black woman to hold this position. Taylor will assume office on Jan. 8, 2024.

A trailblazer from the outset, Taylor was the first female attorney in St. John the Baptist Parish, laying the foundation for a career dedicated to justice and advocacy. Now, with her recent electoral victory, Taylor extends her legacy as the first woman and Black woman to represent District 57 in the Louisiana House of Representatives.

Taylor’s commitment to education takes center stage as she outlines her priorities for her upcoming tenure. A product of St. John Baptist Parish Schools, Taylor’s academic journey reflects her dedication to learning.

Beyond education, Taylor recognizes the pressing issues that demand attention in her district.

Other than education, Taylor also plans to center her concerns for hospitals in St. John Parish, transportation, and environmental issues. She expressed her commitment to working for the betterment of the community, emphasizing the need for a valid transportation system and completion of the levee infrastructure in St. John.

“I’d like the levee to be completed,” Taylor said. “I mean, transportation. We need a valid transportation system in St. John, and I’m an environmentalist, as I said, so I’m really a concerned person who wants to work for the betterment of the community.”

Despite not initially planning to run for the position, Taylor was approached by several people, including the incumbent, who believed her community-oriented background and credentials aligned with the criteria needed for the role. Reflecting on her unexpected candidacy, Taylor stated, “I just feel like the history that I have and what I’ve done in the past would translate into this position, and I was the right fit.”

Acknowledging her first-place finish in the election, Taylor emphasized the importance of reaching out to others in the race, recognizing the need for teamwork to achieve common goals. “Teamwork is going to make the dream work. In order for me to be effective with my district, I have to learn all the intricacies of the job,” she said.

Taylor’s victory holds additional significance as she becomes the first woman, regardless of ethnicity, to hold the position in St. John Parish. She joins another recently elected woman in St. Charles Parish, marking a significant moment for the River Parishes.

In concluding her thoughts on the campaign and her historic win, Taylor said, “I don’t make promises that I can’t keep, and I intend on keeping the ones that I made in order to get elected.”