High Expectations for State of the City Address

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SACRAMENTO --

Business interests have high expectations for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's final state of the city address on Thursday evening.

He has said he will not run for another term after seven years on the job. In the past he's announced some bold initiatives that have helped the city gain national recognition. Among them, his declaration of Sacramento as the farm-to-fork capital of the nation and announcing that a group was found to construct the Golden 1 Center.

Johnson's spokesman, Ben Sosenko, says this year's speech will concentrate on a long-time theme.

"Portraying how are we going to create jobs and how are we going to diversify economy, that's going to be his mission as he finishes out his second term, and that's the focus his speech," Sosenko said.

Look for Johnson to announce the relocation of businesses to the city's innovation zone. He will also address the 24 percent spike in violent crime after years of falling crime rates and the city's chronic homeless problem. All of those relate to improving the economic climate for the city.

The Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau says the city has already benefited from Johnson's past efforts.

"Big plans has often translated to big business for us," said the bureau's Chief Operating Officer Mike Testa.

However, a solution to the homeless problem has eluded Johnson since he's been mayor.

J.T. Plante, one of the homeless protesters who has camped out at City Hall for nearly two months, doesn't expect that any homeless initiative Johnson announces will do any good.

"No, not really, not until I see something get done," Plante said.

Sosenko did say last year's speech included goals of creating 10,000 housing units in downtown Sacramento, raising the minimum wage, instituting good governance standards for the city, and creating a police engagement program that included body cameras for officers, all of which have been successful.