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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. The Taylor household radiated hospitality, offering a safe haven for both extended family and strangers seeking refuge. Any relative in need of shelter found a welcome abode under Sylvia's roof.

Rita, hailing from Reserve and New Orleans, was an outgoing and welcoming person who effortlessly connected with people from all walks of life. Working at the local post office in Reserve, she formed lasting friendships, some of which Sylvia still cherishes today. Rita's open-heartedness extended to inviting those in need into their home, a quality that Sylvia deeply admired. Despite her warm nature, Rita was also thoroughly hardworking, embodying a tenacity that Sylvia would carry forward.

Walter, a disabled veteran, defied his physical limitations to instill a robust work ethic in his children. He exemplified this by driving a fruit and vegetable truck to the French Market each morning, enlisting his kids in the endeavor. His commitment to work extended beyond the market, as he built a new home for the family in 1967, even adding a sweet-making shop for Rita around back. When Hurricane Betsy struck down their local Bethlehem Baptist Church, Walter immediately dedicated himself to helping the community he called home, rallying his friends to build a brand new church by hand. The Taylor family, including their dogs King and Spot, would celebrate their faith at this very church for years.

From a young age, Sylvia aspired to a robust education, 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. It was here that her interest in law crystallized into a career. Engaging speakers at Dillard fueled Sylvia's pursuit of a legal education, demonstrating the community impact that she could have through a career in law. 

Following her undergraduate studies, including a summer legal intensive program at Tulane University, Sylvia's trajectory led her to Southern Law School and then Loyola Law School, where she completed 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. 

When, in 1976, Sylvia’s mother fell ill, she made the decision to leave her job in Baton Rouge and return home. She navigated this challenge, however, with resilience, beginning 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 Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes. After serving as a judge with dignity, establishing a firm reputation for impartiality and fairness, Sylvia retired in 2015. She left behind a professional legacy of integrity, practicality, and selflessness.

Sylvia currently lives in LaPlace, Louisiana, where she operates her own private law firn. Her firm dedication to service is carried forward by her daughters, Syrita and Aspen. Syrita, a prominent nonprofit leader, and Aspen, a driven media professional who recently graduated from Loyola Law School, embody the resilience and dedication instilled by their mother. 

Sylvia rose from humble beginnings to become a dedicated advocate for justice and community empowerment. With an unwavering work ethic instilled by her parents, Sylvia's journey from a fruit and vegetable truck to the bench as a Workers Compensation Judge exemplifies her commitment to fairness and integrity. Her experience, coupled with a legacy of uplifting those in need, has led her to run for State Representative in Louisiana’s 57th district. When elected she will champion the interests of her community, bringing positive change to the district and embodying the principles of progress, resilience, and genuine service.

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