‘The work must begin’: key takeaways Austin sworn in as new mayor, council

Four new faces — a mayor and three councilors — officially joined the Austin City Council on Friday night, potentially changing how the city’s top governing body will tackle tough issues like accessibility, homelessness and transportation.

During a ceremony at City Hall, Kirk Watson was sworn in as mayor, and José Velasquez, Ryan Alter, and Zohaib “Zo” Kadri were sworn in as councilors for districts 3, 5, and 9, respectively. District 1’s Natasha Harper-Madison and District 8’s Paige Ellis, re-elected in November, were sworn in for a second term.

In his first address to the city as mayor, Watson focused on unity and activism as the council works to address the challenges facing the city.

“Right now, I’m very excited about finding ways to work together next year and beyond,” Watson said. “In fact, the more the world around us is mired in division and inactivity, the more I think we in Austin have a responsibility to come together and do something for this city that we all love.”

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