We called Sylvester Taylor to talk about his time as a State Representative and his work with the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus (EWMC). A 27-year member, Sylvester was instrumental in Vote for the Unity Club Candidates!establishing the Saint Louis Chapter of the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus in 2000 and was the impetus for what has become an annual tradition, the Holiday Coat Drive. “It started when I learned the child I was mentoring had gone two years without a winter coat,” said Taylor. Sylvester had been volunteering at a local children’s home when this discovery moved him to act. He would see to it that every kid at the home, 34 in total, would get a much need holiday gift that year - a new winter coat! With the help of the EWMC and with his wife Ernestine by his side, Sylvester managed to raise enough money to buy 22 coats that first year – he would purchase the remaining 12 out of his own pocket. To date the annual campaign has donated more than 8,000 coats to area kids in need, a tribute to the generosity of our members and Sylvester's tenacity and perseverance.

Sylvester would pour that same passion into his work as a State Representative for the 80th District. In just two years Sylvester introduced 3 Bills and co-sponsored another 69. His hard work did not go unnoticed, the 96th General Assembly voted him, “Freshman of the Year.”

Before his bid for the State House, Sylvester ran and won a seat on the Black Jack Fire Board in 1998 and served as Chairman until 2010. During that time, he signed the first-ever Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for employees of the District. Later he would work to implement a ‘Boston Harbor’ Project Labor Agreement, ensuring all work for the Fire District would be performed by contractors represented by unions affiliated with the AFLCIO. The language in this agreement, which included minority-participation mandates, would be copied for use by the St. Louis Public Schools.

Currently an Officer on the Examining Board, Sylvester has served our industry as General Foreman, Foreman, and Steward. His work with the EWMC continues as an Officer on their Executive Board, most recently establishing a Community Day of Service; A day where EWMC members serve lunch at the local veteran’s home and then head off to help maintain Greenwood Cemetery, the resting place of Harriet Robinson Scott and many of the Buffalo Soldiers, the first peacetime African-American US Army regiment formed after the Civil War.

A devoted family man Sylvester beams with pride over his wife of 26 years Ernestine, their 3 kids, and 6 grandchildren!

Business Manager Frank Jacobs and the Unity Club recommends Sylvester Taylor as Officer for the Examining Board.

Sylvestor Taylor
Age: 51
Classification: Journeyman Wireman
Executive Board, Electrical Workers Minority Caucus, Saint Louis Chapter
Officer, Examining Board, 2016 - Present
Sergeant-at-Arms, 2009 – 2016
Chairman, Fire Standards and Safety Commission
Deacon, New Salem Baptist Church


Frank Jacobs

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