Bobby Shriver (search) took office Tuesday as a Santa Monica city councilman, carrying on his famous family's political legacy.

Shriver, the nephew of President John F. Kennedy (search) and brother of Maria Shriver, wife of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said during a swearing in ceremony he would focus on helping the homeless during his term.

"It feels good," he said afterward. "But I still have a responsibility. I'm very determined to do what I told the people I would do."

The 50-year-old lawyer said he wants to establish a sobering facility in the city as well as a center for the homeless on nearby Veterans Administration (search) property.

Shriver pulled 17 percent of the vote in last month's election, giving him more votes than any of the 16 candidates, including four incumbents, seeking four council seats.

His candidacy injected some star power during the race in this seaside Los Angeles suburb of about 86,000 that was once famous for a liberal outlook which earned it the nickname "People's Republic of Santa Monica."

Shriver had said his interest in local politics came after he and some neighbors received city citations enforcing a 1948 ordinance governing hedge and fence height.