Feb 3, 2023 - News

Houston council chambers dedicated to late secretary

Illustration of Houston City Hall with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Houston's late city secretary will be forever enshrined at City Hall.

Flashback: Anna Russell, who died at the age of 88 in 2020, spent the last four decades of her life serving as city secretary, overseeing a plethora of city documents and keeping tabs on City Council.

  • Russell was first hired as a city clerk in 1950 and became secretary in 1972, a position she held until the day she died.
  • She was the city's longest-serving employee.

Driving the news: Houston's City Council chambers, where council members meet weekly to discuss city business, were officially named the Anna Russell Council Chambers this week.

  • Mayor Sylvester Turner, council members and Russell's relatives unveiled an official plaque Wednesday in honor of the late stalwart.

What they're saying: "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," Turner said. "The truth is Anna's memory will never expire."

The big picture: Russell was a major player in Houston's city government, a "petite powerhouse who oiled the engine," as the Houston Chronicle reported after her death.

  • She rarely took vacation and had accumulated three years' worth of paid time off by the time she fell ill in 2018.

The bottom line: "We are so honored to have mother's name here," said Russell's daughter Karen Davis. "She spent most of her life here, and this was her room."


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Houston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Houston stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Houston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more