As we usher in the New Year, we welcome a new class of city legislators. The City of Houston held its Inauguration Ceremony on Tuesday at the Hobby Center to swear in Mayor Annise Parker, City Controller Ronald Green, and the new City Council of 16 members that will represent the City’s newly redistricted map.
The event was emceed by Lisa Foronda, Pastor Remus Wright of the Fountain of Praise delivered the invocation and four-time Grammy Award winning gospel singer Yolanda Adams performed the national anthem and two other musical selections.
In her inaugural address Parker said, “My number one job for the next two years is to continue to bring more jobs to Houston. We will continue the Hire Houston First policy.” She also highlighted some of the successes of her first term, including taking steps to address our aging infrastructure and avoiding layoffs of firefighters and police officers.
Of the 16 Council Members, five are African-American. Freshman council members Jerry Davis, District B, Larry Green, District K, and Andrew Burks Jr., At-Large Position 2, join Wanda Adams, District D and C.O. “Brad”
Bradford, At-Large Position 4, as our Black representatives on Houston City Council.
Now it is time for Council to get to work. It will be interesting to see how the new Council interacts. They will undoubtedly face challenges, but hopefully reach compromises that result in progress. As Parker said, “We rise and fall together. We succeed or fail together.”
“For all our differences, we share the values of faith and family and community. Those values will unite us as colleagues,” Parker said.
As with each New Year, we have great optimism and hope for what the year holds. Parker noted that, “We are home to the largest medical complex in the world, world capital of the petroleum industry, and the largest foreign tonnage port in America. We pioneered the artificial heart, and revolutionized heart transplants. We are the home of NASA. The first word spoken on the moon was … “Houston,” and one day the first word spoken from Mars will be “Houston”, she said to roaring applause. This year we hold the expectation that Council will work for the betterment of the city, represent constituents to the best of their ability, and keep this great city moving forward, but only time will tell.