By: Rachel Thompson
The swearing in of John Whitmire and Christopher Hollins, presided over by the Honorable Victor Trevino III, Harris County JP, marked the passing of the baton between the outgoing administration and this new one. John Whitmire is now the 63rd Mayor of Houston. Optimistically, Mayor Whitmire said, “I am willing to give the next eight years my best. It’s time to go to work.” Shortly a er presiding over the swearing in of City Councilmembers, Mayor Whitmire gave his inaugural address. Topics covered included homelessness, criminal justice, mental health, affordable housing, and infrastructure. “I’ll ask Metro to partner with us since it is their buses that tear up the streets,” exclaimed Whitmire.
He also described a ride-along with Chief Troy Finner. “We will increase the number of officers on the streets, and open HPD’s doors to officers from other places,” declared Whitmire while referencing the Houston Police Foundation, Don Sanders, and others. “We also need firemen. We have to get out of court. You don’t sue first responders under a Whitmire administration,” referring to the ongoing stalemate between the City of Houston and the Houston Fire Department concerning contracts. Whitmire stated that he would work with Austin, Texas for the benefit of Houston. By referencing Commissioner Dawn Buckingham of the Texas General Land Office, it was implied that his relationship with her and others in Austin will help Houston a er disasters, support energy e orts, ensure that children in Houston will benefit from the Permanent School Fund, and serve Veterans.
In addition to his platform, Whitmire explained that another goal of the ceremony was to show the diversity of Houston. The program featured Khambrel Marshall as the Master of Ceremonies; performances by the Houston Symphony and the Grand Opera; a joint Honor Guard comprised of first responders from HPD and HFD; soloists Mary Gri n and Shaun Smith; and Eduardo Trevino, Mariachi Nuevo Imperio. “I was told that I can unite this city, and that’s what I intended to do,” stated Mayor Whitmire. In attendance were Mayors Emeriti Sylvester Turner and Annise Parker, as well as former First Ladies, Elyse Lanier and Frances Brown. Councilmembers’ escorts, ranging from spouses to grandchildren, were also seated behind their elected loved one.