Jerry Brown is entering his final year as governor of California. The Democrat was inaugurated Jan. 3, 2011, after serving as the state’s governor from 1975 to 1983. On Thursday, Brown, 79, gave his record 16th State of the State address.

Brown opened his speech by commenting on California’s economic evolution under his leadership.

Simply put, California is prospering.

While it faces its share of difficulties, we should never forget the bounty and the endless opportunities bestowed on this special place, or the distance we’ve all traveled these last few years. It’s now hard to visualize or even remember the hardships, the bankruptcies and the home foreclosures so many experienced during the great recession. Unemployment was above 12 percent, and 1.3 million Californians lost their jobs. The deficit was 27 billion in 2011.

The New York Times, they called us ‘The Coast of Dystopia.’ The Wall Street Journal saw ‘The Great California Exodus.’ The Economist of London pronounced us ‘the ungovernable state.’ And the Business Insider simply said, ‘California Is Doomed.’

Even today, you will find critics who claim the California dream is dead.

But I’m used to that.

Back in my first term, a prestigious report told us that California had the worst business climate in America. In point of fact, personal income in 1975, my first year as governor, was 154 billion. Today, it has grown to 2.4 trillion. And just the last eight years alone, California’s personal income has grown 845 billion, and 2.8 million new jobs have been created.

Very few places in the world can match that record.

Brown also talked about California’s criminal justice system, climate change and more. You can watch all of his 2018 speech above, starting at the 1:02:00 mark.

In his 2017 State of the State, Brown focused more on Donald Trump and California’s role in a nation with a new president, Capital Public Radio reported.

For an archive of California State of the State speeches since 2004, click here.

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