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A State of the City address — and cool sneakers, too
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Mayor Amy Bublak, in addition to other civic leaders, will be wearing these custom sneakers during her State of Turlock address on Friday to promote local non-profit organizations (Photo contributed).

Mayor Amy Bublak will deliver the annual State of Turlock address on Friday at noon at Harvest Church, 130 Third St.

In addition to the mayor’s address, the hour-long event will feature comments from Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, who now represents about two-thirds of Turlock in the 5th Congressional District.

Three local members of the clergy — Pastor Ron Eivas of host Harvest Church, Pastor Dave Larson of the New Life Christian Center, and the Rev. Manuel Sousa of Our Lady of Assumption — will also speak.

Bublak, the first female mayor in Turlock’s history, did not tip her hand when asked about the details of her speech and the overall state of Turlock, but she did offer that volunteerism will be one of the themes of the afternoon.

“Almost all of the city department heads and elected city officials will be wearing high-top sneakers with the logo of a local non-profit organization on their sneakers to raise awareness,” said Bublak, who was elected to her second four-year term as mayor in November. “We want to give them some recognition and perhaps help them find volunteers and funding. Let’s raise awareness.”

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Turlock Police Chief Jason Hedden will join City officials during the State of Turlock address on Friday in wearing custom sneakers to promote local non-profit organizations. His sneakers will promote both the Turlock Police Association’s Widows and Orphans Foundation and the Turlock Police Activities League (Photo contributed).

McClintock, a veteran lawmaker who represents portions of Turlock for the first time in his legislative career, praised the mayor’s focus on community involvement.

“Volunteerism has always been a defining quality of American society and that spirit is alive and well in Turlock,” said McClintock. “The mayor's initiative to promote volunteerism is an appropriate theme for this year’s State of the City address, and I’m looking forward to being part of that celebration on Friday.”

While the topics that Bublak will cover in her speech are unknown, there are a few issues the city council has been addressing that the mayor will most likely touch upon. The City Council is in the midst of budget talks, while deciding the best use of remaining COVID-19 federal funds, cannabis pilot project funds and Measure A city tax funds. The Council has also recently approved a new day center for homeless individuals and the construction of a container home project to provide transitional housing for those working to get out of homelessness.

Members of the Giesbrecht Family — triplets Kevin Giesbrecht, Kim Ford and Karol Sousa, along with sibling Denise Jenkins — will deliver an a cappella version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“I like showcasing the talents of others in the community. I don’t really enjoy being the center of attention. I want Turlock to get the attention, not me. But I guess that’s not what you do when you’re mayor, huh? I guess I didn’t read the fine print on the job description,” Bublak joked. “We visit all 58 churches in the community and during Christmas a few years ago, we heard this family sing. Wow!”

Additionally, Sgt. Nicholas Boland and Sgt. Jessica Betando of the U.S. Army will perform “God Bless America.”

The event is open to the public and a boxed lunch is provided, by Costco (beverages), Sourdough & Co. (sandwiches) and Sunrise Bakery (cookies).