New Houston city secretary makes history as first African-American to be appointed

New Houston City Secretary, Pat Jefferson Daniel, makes history as first African-American to be appointed (City of Houston)

HOUSTON – The new Houston city secretary has made history as being the first African-American to be appointed after being selected by Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Houston native Patricia Jefferson Daniel will succeed beloved city secretary Anna Russell, who died last year after serving that role for nearly seven decades. Daniel worked closely with Russel for years.

“No one can ever fill Anna Russell’s shoes, but I am honored to follow in her footsteps to support Mayor Turner, City Council, and serving the people of Houston,” Daniel said. “My goal is to oversee an efficient and responsive office. I also hope to move forward on ideas to modernize our services during my tenure as city secretary.”

Daniel has been employed with the city of Houston for over 36 years and started in the city secretary’s office as a typist. According to a release, her previous experience as a Harris County Election Clerk prepared her to process mail‑in ballots for the mayoral election and other general and run-off voting functions.

Working for the city of Houston apparently runs in the family as Daniel said her mother, Norma Jefferson, also served in the Harris County Elections department for over 40 years.

”(Patririca) Daniel brings a wealth of institutional knowledge to the position of City Secretary and will be an asset to the office as they move forward,” Turner said. “Her appointment is historic, and it is fitting that Ms. Daniel’s position was made official during Black History Month. She has been the Interim City Secretary since 2018 and I am proud to make her role permanent.”

Daniel is an honors graduate of Jack Yates Senior High School and attended Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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