City of Houston Mayor's Office of Communications 

Mayor's Press Release

Mayor Turner Honors Former City Secretary by Naming Houston’s City Council Chamber in Her Memory

Anna Russell City Council Chamber Dedication Photo 1

Press the image to watch a recap of Mayor Sylvester Turner's ceremony naming the Houston City Council Chamber in honor of former City Secretary Anna Russell

February 1, 2023 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner today joined the daughters of former longtime City Secretary Anna Russell and a host of friends and current and former elected officials to dedicate the City Council Chamber in Russell's memory.

Russell died almost three years ago on February 3, 2020, at the age of 88. She made history as the longest-tenured City of Houston employee — nearly seven decades — from the time she took a job as a clerk at age 18 in 1950 until she died.

She became City Secretary in 1972 and served alongside nine mayors and numerous elected officials.

Anna Russell City Council Chamber Dedication Photo 1

"Welcome to the Anna Adams Russell City of Houston City Council Chambers," Mayor Turner said at the beginning of the dedication ceremony." It is a fitting tribute to the woman who tirelessly personified public service and whose trademark saying, "Thank you, your time has expired," will never be forgotten. The truth is Anna's memory will never expire."

Russell's daughters, Janet Russell Spencer, Karen Marie Davis, and Linda Carol Loper, attended the ceremony.

"We are so honored to have mother's name here. She spent most of her life here, and this was her room. Everybody knows her everywhere I go in Houston, and it's an honor to be her daughter," said Karen Davis.

Anna Russell City Council Chamber Dedication Photo 3

Anna Russell City Council Chamber Dedication Photo 4

The special event concluded with the unveiling of a park bench inscribed with Russell's name. It will be permanently located in Hermann Square in front of Houston City Hall.