Mayor, council sworn in

Houston gains 2 new council seats

HOUSTON - Houston's mayor, city controller and 16 city council members were sworn in to office on Tuesday.

Seven new council members took the oath for the first time. Five council members were unseated by term limits and two incumbents, Jolanda Jones and Brenda Stardig, were voted out.

Two new council seats were created this year because Houston's population has grown past the 2 million mark.

The celebration took place at the Hobby Center in downtown.

An estimated 5,000 people were invited to attend the event, which included performances from Grammy winner Yolanda Adams and choirs from around the city.

"I do love this city," Mayor Annise Parker said. "I thank Houstonians for honoring me once again with your trust and your hopes for your future. This council represents the amazing diversity of our city with the two new seats to reflect our increasing population."

Parker said her goal is to keep Houstonians working.

"My No. 1 job for the next two years is to continue to bring jobs to Houston," Parker said. "We will expand the programs we already started to stimulate small business with access to loans and training. We will hire Houston first."

After the inauguration, Parker, City Controller Ronald Green and the city council headed to City Hall for the first official council meeting of 2012.

"We're going to have a lot of work to do this next two years," Parker said. "Running a city is a little like riding a bicycle. You have to keep moving forward or you fall down."

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