Mayor Jerry Sanders planned to declare victory in his final State of the City address tonight — repeatedly.

An advance copy of his speech shows he planned to say the word “success” more than any other. It emphasizes Sanders’ push to lower pension costs, end the city’s structural deficit, build a new central library and reshape Balboa Park’s central plaza during his tenure.

“I’ve talked about success tonight, and what it looks like from where I stand,” the speech says. “But I never forget that for most of us, the true measure of success is the ability to provide for our families, buy a home, send our kids to college, and plan for our futures — confident that government won’t let us down.”

To illustrate how often Sanders planned to use the word “success,” I created the image above. The bigger the word, the more Sanders planned to say it. (I excluded “San Diego” and “city” — the two most common words — to highlight the speech’s more unique language.)

For reference, we posted a similar image last year of Sanders’ State of the City address. It highlighted the buzzword “services.”

To read the advance copy of Sanders’ speech this year, click here. I also recommend checking our site later for City Hall reporter Liam Dillon’s analysis. Like last year, he’ll explain the broader meaning of Sanders’ words.

Keegan Kyle is a news reporter for He writes about public safety and handles the Fact Check Blog. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5668. You can also find him on Twitter (@keegankyle) and Facebook.

Like VOSD on Facebook.

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.