City of Houston Mayor's Office of Communications 

Mayor's Press Release

Mayor Turner Honored with George Bush Medal for Unwavering Commitment to Advancing Quality of Life for Houstonians with Disabilities

July 29, 2023 -- In a historic and heartwarming moment, Mayor Sylvester Turner was recently awarded the prestigious George Bush Medal, becoming the first-ever Mayor to receive this esteemed recognition. The George Bush Medal is a testament to Mayor Turner’s exceptional dedication to fostering inclusivity, championing the rights of people with disabilities, and creating a more accessible and equitable city for all.

“Every resident of our great city deserves an equal opportunity to thrive, regardless of their abilities,” said Mayor Turner. “The George Bush Medal is a testament to the collaborative efforts of our entire community in making Houston a place where everyone can participate fully and live with dignity.”

Medal Presentation Photo 1

Mayor Turner showcasing the George Bush Medal presented to him by Jean Becker, Chief of Staff to former President Bush.

Mayor Turner’s leadership has sparked significant advancements in improving the quality of life for Houstonians with disabilities. The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, under his guidance, has spearheaded transformative initiatives that have left a lasting impact on the city’s accessibility landscape.

The collective efforts of Mayor Turner’s administration have championed diverse projects aimed at fostering a more inclusive environment such as the development of over 40 audio pedestrian signals, catering to the needs of those with hearing impairments. Furthermore, the administration’s focus on infrastructure improvements has led to the construction of 8,193 new accessible curb ramps and the enhancement of over 330 miles of sidewalks, improving mobility and accessibility for everyone.

“Mayor Turner’s steadfast commitment has empowered our office to drive meaningful change,” said Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Director, Angel Ponce. “Through his leadership, we have been able to implement initiatives that enhance the quality of life for all Houstonians with disabilities, ensuring they can access public spaces, services, and opportunities without hindrance.”

Medal Presentation Photo 2

On stage from left to right (Jean Baker- Chief of Staff to former President Bush, Lex Frieden- Disability Rights Activist, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Angel Ponce- Office for People with Disabilities Director, Meridith Silcox- Disability Rights Activist) pose for photo during the Americans with Disabilities Act 33rd Anniversary Celebration hosted by Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities. Location: Metropolitan Multi-Service Center

Mayor Turner’s receipt of the George Bush Medal honors not just his accomplishments, but it also signifies a commitment to a future where inclusivity is a cornerstone of society. His legacy will serve as a reminder that through determination and compassion, we can create a city where every individual’s potential can flourish, regardless of their abilities.

About the George Bush Medal
The George Bush Medal, established in 1992 by the disability community, commemorates the legacy of President George H.W. Bush and his dedication to promoting equal rights and opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The medal signifies the nation’s commitment to upholding the promises of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and fostering inclusivity on a global scale.