NEW BEDFORD — Thursday afternoon, Mayor Jon Mitchell will give his annual "State of the City" address, but he gave a bit of a sneak preview Wednesday in his weekly appearance on WBSM.

Mitchell said unlike his inauguration speech, which he said he wrote in a "cram session," he said his "State of the City" address was mostly complete as of noon on Wednesday.

He said the speech, which is hosted by the SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce, is a chance for the city to see where it stands, not rest on its laurels.

"It's an occasion for the city to take stock in its accomplishments, not for the purpose of celebrating how great we think we are, but an exercise in taking stock," he said.

The mayor said he's keeping with one theme that has been consistent throughout a number of his speeches.

"Cities that succeed don't passively sit back and wait for things to happen to them. They initiate the action, and that's what we've been doing," he said. "We have the power in our hands to make our city stronger."

Mitchell said that "can do" attitude has kept New Bedford on the upswing.

"Cities that have low self-esteem always think somebody has to do something for them. It's sort of an entitlement mentality," he said. "We're getting beyond that now in New Bedford. The mantra here isn't 'Oh, if only so and so built this, if the state did this for us.' We're getting beyond that. We're saying, 'OK, what's next? What are we going to do next?' And that's been a big change in the city."

"The more we can do that, the stronger the city will be in the long run," he said.

Mitchell said there is also a positive by-product of holding the speech at New Bedford High instead of Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, where it has been held in recent years.

"It's good to get people in New Bedford High to see it for themselves," he said. "The last few years, there's been this somewhat unfair portrayal of the school. The place has come a long way, and it will be good to have some 500 or so people in the gym to take a look at the place for themselves. It'll be a good event."

The "State of City" speech will be delivered Thursday beginning at 1 p.m. in the Beardsworth-Gonsalves Gym at New Bedford High School. It will also be carried live on 1420 WBSM, with audio streaming on the WBSM app and video streaming on WBSM's YouTube channel.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420