An estimated 5,000 people were invited to the inauguration, which included entertainment from Grammy winner and Houstonian Yolanda Adams, accompanied by the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, and choirs from area churches and chorus groups.
After Federal Judge Vanessa Gilmore administered the oath of office to Mayor Annise Parker and to Controller Ronald
Green. Mayor Parker then swore in 16 councilmembers, 7 of whom will be serving their first term.
Here's part of their oath of office.
(Councilmembers repeat after Mayor Parker)
Mayor: "...The Constitution and Laws..."
"The Constitution and Laws..."
Mayor: "of the United States..."
"of the United States..."
Mayor: "and of this state..."
"and of this state..."
Mayor: "so help me God..."
"so help me God"
Mayor: Our new city council."
During her inaugural speech, Mayor Parker said she wanted the take the city's crime lab from the Houston Police Department and put it under independent management, to phase out the city jail to Harris County, and to address the problem of homelessness.
She also pledged to make progress on what she called pension security for both city workers and retirees.
Mayor Parker thanked Houstonians for honoring her once again with their trust and hopes again for their future.
"My number 1 job for the next 2 years is to continue to bring more jobs to Houston. We'll expand the programs we've already started to stimulate small business, with access to loans and training. We will hire Houston first."
She also made reference to the controversial drainage infrastructure improvements that included a monthly fee to finance those improvements. Parker ended her speech saying, "We dream great dreams, but then we make those dreams happen."
Some attendees offered comments:
Woman: "I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was exciting."
Man: "She acknowledged the economic realities that the city's facing, but with a forward looking vision."
Woman: "She offers that continuity, that ability to bring compromise to the table, a calm about her, that I think is very impressive as well. And I think that's what we need during this time."
Mayor Parker and Council will now get to work on realizing her goals for the next two years.